Monroe County falls short to Hopkinsville in OIT
OWENSBORO – Monroe County put up a good fight, but just didn’t have enough left in the tank.
Taking on an athletic, physical Hopkinsville team on Friday afternoon in the Owensboro Invitational Tournament, the Falcons battled and did everything they could to limit the Tigers but ultimately fell short 63-52 at the Owensboro Sportscenter.
Monroe County (6-4 overall) trailed 15-10 after the opening quarter and only by two at 27-25 at halftime. Hopkinsville stepped up its game in the second half, held a 45-39 advantage after three and outplayed the Falcons throughout the final eight minutes to hand them a second straight loss.
Chandler Clements led the way for Monroe County with a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Grayson Rich finished with nine points and Jamison Geralds added seven.
Hopkinsville (7-2) finished with three different players in double figures, as Don Victor scored 17, Jacarius Burks tallied 15 and Jamarion Sharp finished with a triple-double of 12 points, 12 blocks and 16 rebounds.
The two sides played a competitive opening half.
Monroe County jumped out to an 8-5 lead at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter, but Hopkinsville stormed back with a 10-2 run to jump in front 15-10 after eight minutes of action.
Hopkinsville carried its momentum over to the second, as Burks knocked down a left-corner three to put the Tigers up 26-17 midway through the period. Clements netted a pair of free throws – followed by a jumper from Rich – to bring Monroe County within 26-21 at the 2:54 mark.
Wade Thompson’s strong bucket inside cut the Falcons’ deficit to 27-24 with under a minute left in the half, and they were soon down just two at 27-25 at the break. Clements was already up to 11 points and eight rebounds, while Rich had tallied eight points.
Hopkinsville was the aggressor in the ensuing half.
A quick jumper from Clements, followed by a pair of Geralds free throws gave Monroe County a 29-27 lead early into the third quarter. Hoptown responded with a 6-0 run to get back in front at 33-29 and trigger a Falcons timeout at the five-minute mark.
The Falcons fired back and knotted the scoreboard at 37-all with just over a minute left in the third, but an 8-2 run by Tigers – with all eight points coming from Victor – gave them a 45-39 lead entering the final quarter.
Back-to-back scores from Sharp pushed Hopkinsville’s advantage to 49-39 at the 6:18 mark of the fourth. The Tigers extended their lead to 58-45 with 1:39 left and were able to seal it.
Monroe County will be back in action Saturday in the third and final day of the OIT against Owensboro. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the Sportscenter.
Hopkinsville – 15 12 18 18 – 63
Monroe Co. – 10 15 14 13 – 52
HHS – Don Victor 17, Jacarius Burks 15, Jamarion Sharp 12, Reece Jesse 9, Arthur McKnight 5, James Nicholas 5.
MCHS – Chandler Clements 20, Grayson Rich 9, Jamison Geralds 7, Wade Thompson 6, Kale Hagan 6, Jholdi Brooks 4.