Mason carries Purples into Meijer Classic championship
It was Trevor Dennis on Thursday. It was Isaiah Mason on Friday.
Game-in and game-out, Bowling Green has a different player step up and lead the way.
Dennis scored a game-high 24 points in the Purples’ 78-51 win Thursday over Murray, and Mason took on the leadership role Friday and finished with a team-high 22 points to lead his squad to a 78-63 semifinal win over Owensboro in the Meijer Holiday Classic at Bowling Green High School.
“It’s very helpful,” Mason said regarding numerous people playing big roles. “We’ve always talked about how night-in and night-out it might be this person’s night or that person’s night. We all know that every night we’re not all going to have a game-high or a really good game, so we just try to play together.
“Whoever’s night (it is), we just get them the ball.”
With the Purples’ victory, they’ll now take on Graves County in Saturday’s championship game. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at BGHS.
Bowling Green (9-2 overall) – which has now won three straight – took control early and didn’t take its foot off the gas. The Purples led 20-8 after the first quarter, 40-26 at halftime and were later up 60-46 entering the final quarter. BG was able to hold off Owensboro in the fourth and earn another big win.
While Mason led the way for the Purples, Jordan Dingle and Kolbe Gray each finished with 14 points. The Purples outrebounded the Red Devils 31-16 and forced 12 turnovers.
“I love Jordan Dingle,” Mason said of his teammate. “He’s one of my favorite centers that we have. He’s very helpful.”
Darrion Wimsatt carried Owensboro (7-5) with a game-high 26 points – one night after dropping 34 against Madisonville-North Hopkins.
Bowling Green controlled the opening quarter.
The Purples jumped out to a 13-5 lead at the 3:05 mark, and Gray’s transition layup soon after made it 15-5 and forced an Owensboro timeout. Bowling Green went on to record two more field goals in the first – one coming from Mason to give him 11 points – and held a 20-8 advantage after eight minutes of action.
Owensboro found a bit of an offensive rhythm in the second – led by the sharpshooting guard Wimsatt – but Bowling Green still held a double-digit lead of 31-20 with 1:43 remaining in the half. The Red Devils continued to battle, and back-to-back baskets from Jaiden Greathouse and Amari Wales brought them to within 31-24.
“They’re a really good basketball team,” Mason said of Owensboro. “They’ve got a lot of good players. We’ve been watching ‘em – and they’ve been beating up on a lot of people – so our game plan was to just come out, have fun and just do what we do and see how we did.”
The Purples responded with a quick 6-0 run – sparked by four straight points from Dingle – to lead 40-26 at the break. Mason was leading the way with 11 points, while Gray had scored nine and Dingle had six.
Owensboro kept battling, but Bowling Green continued to hold the edge throughout the ensuing half.
Wimsatt opened the third quarter with a quick three, and Isaac Humphrey followed up with one of his own to bring the Red Devils within eight. Dingle answered with back-to-back scores from inside the paint to put the Purples up 48-36 at the 5:52 mark.
Five straight points from Mason stretched Bowling Green’s lead to 55-42 with 1:30 remaining in the quarter. Gray’s right-corner triple just over a minute later made it 60-46 – and the Purples took that same advantage into the fourth.
Wimsatt scored on two straight possessions to cut Bowling Green’s lead to 66-55 with just over four minutes remaining, but Dingle fired back with a strong bucket on the other end to make it a 13-point contest. The Purples were able to stretch their advantage to 78-63 with 56.4 seconds left and seal the win.
“We took a loss against McCracken (County) and John Hardin, so it feels good to be back home and get big wins for the city. We’re hoping we can take home this championship this weekend.”
Owensboro – 8 18 20 17 – 63
Bowling Green – 20 20 20 18 – 78
OHS – Darrion Wimsatt 26, Jaiden Greathouse 12, Isaac Humphrey 11, Amari Wales 4, Imonte Owsley 3, Gavin Wimsatt 3, Aieron Phillips 3.
BGHS – Isaiah Mason 22, Kolbe Gray 14, Jordan Dingle 14, Cobi Huddleston 7, Conner Cooper 6, Davion Dice 4, Trevor Dennis 4, Jaylen Wardlow 2.