Bowling Green rolls past Hopkins County Central, 78-29
After going 1-2 in the prestigious King of the Bluegrass tournament against top competition last week, Bowling Green is already showing how beneficial the tournament is in regard to preparing it for the remainder of the season.
Following a four-day break from competition for the Christmas holiday, the Purples opened a lengthy home-stand with a dominating 78-29 win over Hopkins County Central on Wednesday evening in the Meijer Holiday Classic at Bowling Green High School.
“They were excited to come home and play a game,” Bowling Green head coach Derrick Clubb said. “We’ve kind of been all over the state and got to play in some great events against some really good teams. It’s nice to sleep in your bed and come to your gym and your locker room. It was nice tonight.
“When you go play really good teams that are seasoned and are really good at what they do, the weaknesses you have, there’s a big spotlight on those. We’ve tried to be real honest with ourselves. We’re just gonna try to continue to work on those things.”
Bowling Green (7-5 overall) fired on all cylinders from start to finish and proved to be too much for the Storm to handle. Jarius Key led the way for the Purples with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds while Eli Thurman scored 12 points. Additionally, Jay Buser and Trevor Dennis each finished with 8.
Bowling Green jumped out to an 8-2 start to open the game and quickly pushed its advantage to 19-4 after the first quarter, closing the opening period on an 11-2 run. After one, Key was already up to six points and three rebounds for the Purples while six different BG players had already scored.
“It was great to be home in front of our fans and put on a show for them,” Key said. “I just tried to play hard as much as I could. We got up by a lot and I just tried to make due of the time I had in the game and just play.”
A basket by Key at the three-minute mark of the second put Bowling Green up by 20 at 32-12. The Purples went on to outscore Hopkins County Central 8-2 throughout the remainder of the quarter to carry a 40-14 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
At the break, Key was leading all scorers with 16 points to go along with seven rebounds. Ziyon Kenner was up to eight points while Jay Buser had scored six.
“It’s great,” Key said of the all-around production from multiple Purples. “As much help as I can get, the better we’re gonna flow together, play as a team and get wins.”
The Purples’ hot play continued in the second half.
With 4:23 remaining in the third quarter, Bowling Green had built a 55-17 lead following a right-wing three by Thurman, who knocked down his second of the period. An and-one by Keyairreon Hobgood ended Hopkins County Central’s scoring drought, but it still trailed by 37 points.
Bowling Green, which took a 59-20 lead into the fourth, used its bench throughout the final quarter and cruised to a lopsided victory on its home court.
“When this team reverses the basketball and whoever’s open gets a shot, I think we’re gonna shoot a pretty good percentage. When we get in a hurry and play on one side of the floor and someone takes a challenged shot, then our percentage goes down,” said Clubb. “I thought we passed the ball well tonight.”
The Purples will now face Muhlenberg County on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. in the semifinals of the Meijer Holiday Classic.