3- Cliff Hangers in 2-Nights! Part 3 Central Hardin @ John Hardin
3-Cliff Hangers in 2-Days! Part 3
Central Hardin@John Hardin
After two close games on Tuesday Night, it seemed unlikely that Wednesday Night’s rare 17th District first place showdown between Central Hardin and John Hardin would be a boring escape from the deludes of a slow mid-January scheduling gafe. But at first glance (first quarter actually), it looked like it might be over before it got started.
The Bruins looked to end the suspense early by coming out shooting (three’s ) and built a quick lead. After dropping their early meeting, Central Hardin knew that the second game would decide seeding in the upcoming District Tournament, so after building a quick 20-16 first quarter lead, the Bulldogs answered with a barrage that closed the score at halftime at 37-31.
Central Hardin, which is one of the early contenders for a 5th Region championship, got a big scare early when star senior forward Jacob Hobbs attacked the rim on a missed shot, but came down awkwardly on his ankle and went down hard. Although he appeared to be in some discomfort, he would return and finish out the game leading all scorers with 27-points / 9-rebounds and a couple of rim rattling dunks, but in the end it came down to a third quarter explosion by the Bulldogs which finally pushed them in front 53-50 going into the fourth quarter. After hanging on to a 67-65 lead with just seconds remaining, Chase Elmore tied things up with a driving layup at 67-all. The Bulldogs avoided an almost disastarous turn of events when Jachel Walker was trapped on the right sideline, but inside of throwing the ball away, he was able to get it to Aaron Scott, who drove the lane and was fouled.
Scott made one free throw to put the Bulldogs up a point, which was how the game ended, 68-67. Scott, who is no stranger when it comes to last second heroics ( he made the game winning basket last season against LaRue County in the 5th Region final), said he wasn’t nervous when he scored the winning points. More importantly, his shot kept the Bulldogs undefeated at 15-0 (they would eventually be 17-0 after wins over LaRue County and CAL by the end of the week).
His attitude was a perfect example of this season’s version of the John Hardin Bulldogs, which after winning their fifth 5th Region Championship were predicted to come back to the pack after losing stars Mickey Pearson and Malik Wright. With LaRue County and Central Hardin waiting in the wings, the Region is not short of contenders, but this year’s team has met every challenge and then some. The slack has been picked up by Alex Matthews, Scott, who currently lead the team in scoring. Trevon Harris and Jachai Walker have helped keep the fast break and pressing defense going as the Bulldogs are currently unbeaten. Still, head coach Jared McCurry feels like this team can still get better and that’s not good news to everyone else in the Region.