Hot second-half shooting leads Barren past Russell County on senior night
GLASGOW—Barren County got off to a bit of a rusty start offensively against Russell County on Tuesday night at home, shooting just 12-of-33 from the field and 1-of-11 from long range to cling to a 27-22 lead at the break.
It wouldn’t take long for the Trojans to shake the cobwebs off.
Barren County came out of the locker room on a 12-2 run to quickly take control of the game and build up a double-digit lead, and the Trojans shot a blazing 16-of-23 from the field and 4-of-4 from three-point range to pull away for a 70-57 victory over the Lakers on senior night.
“I thought we got a lot better shots in the second half,” Barren County coach Warren Cunningham said. “I thought we got to the rim and our decision-making offensively was a lot better. That helped us stretch out the lead a little bit.”
The Trojans (17-9) were tied at 9-9 with the Lakers toward the end of the first quarter before rattling of nine unanswered points—the scoring monopoly finally halted with a basket by Russell County senior Ben Walters. Barren County went up 21-13 on a 3-pointer by Parker Stephens with 2:57 left in the half before the Lakers outscored the Trojans 9-6 in the final three minutes to whittle the deficit down to five.
Russell County (9-17) then endured the wrath of the Trojans’ hot shooting performance from the field in the second half—Barren County building its lead up to as large as 18 after a three-point play by senior Tyler Smith with 29.4 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Lakers were able to cut the deficit down to 63-50 after a basket by Brayton Scales with 3:35 left in regulation, but Russell County was unable to get the margin back down to single digits the rest of the way.
Will Bandy led Barren County in the win with 17 points while Parker Stephens and Jared Coomer added 10 and 11 points, respectively.
Coomer also added 20 rebounds, six blocks and four assists, and the number of blocks the 6-8 senior generated played a major part for the Trojans defensively in the win.
“It’s huge for our team,” Cunningham said. “When you block a couple in there it stops those guys from going in there more. It really kept them from making a lot of easy baskets through three quarters. I thought they got some there in the fourth, but for the most part thought it kept them for making easy ones and becoming perimeter-oriented. It’s a huge factor for our team.”
Russell County was forced to settle for outside shots—a strategy that worked well in the first half when the Lakers netted 3-of-6 attempts from deep but quickly became ineffective in the second half due to just 1-of-10 shooting from long range.
Tate Richardson topped all Laker scorers with 19—including 14 in the second half—while Brayton Scales tallied 12 points in the loss.
Barren County will continue its strand of competition against 16th District opponents on Friday night when the Trojans travel to Cumberland County for a girl-boy doubleheader—marking the first of the final three regular season games for Barren County.
“We just have to keep rolling,” Cunningham said. “Keep our focus, don’t take anything for granted and remember why we’re playing well. Just keep our focus and keep working at it.”
Meanwhile Russell County will host Adair County for a girl-boy doubleheader.