Patriots hold off Barren County, move to 6-0
GLASGOW – Allen County-Scottsville’s train keeps on rolling.
Already off to their best start to a season since 2008-09, the Patriots added another win to their impressive resume on Friday evening – holding off a physical Barren County team for a hard-fought 58-56 victory at Trojan Gym.
With the win, Allen County-Scottsville improves to 6-0 overall, 1-0 in District 15 play and has now defeated Barren County for the first time since winning 53-52 on Jan. 24, 2014. Entering Friday’s contest, the Trojans had won 12 straight meetings against the Patriots – including 18 out of the last 19.
“That’s who this team is. So far, they’ve done whatever they’ve had to do to win a basketball game,” Allen County-Scottsville head coach Brad Bonds said. “We still make silly mistakes, but the kids are having fun, they’re learning, they’re growing in the game and they’re finding ways to win.
“For a team that has struggled to win basketball games for many years now, this is a very positive thing. Positive for the community, and positive for these young men.”
ACS and Barren went head-to-head from start to finish. Barren County held a tight 12-10 lead after the opening quarter and was later up 25-21 at halftime. The two sides were knotted up at 40-all after three before the Patriots were able to make big plays down the stretch and come out on top.
Brett Rippy led Allen County-Scottsville with 20 points and was one of three Patriots in double figures, as Owen Stamper finished with 14 points and Mason Shirley added 11. Defensively, ACS forced 18 turnovers and limited Barren County to 39.6 percent (21-of-53) shooting from the field.
Aden Nyekan led the Trojans (3-4, 0-1) with a game-high 21 points. Will Bandy scored 14 and Gavin Withrow tallied 11.
“It’s a big district win,” Rippy said. “Coming in here and getting a close victory, it’s a big win. It’s definitely a confidence booster for us.”
The two sides participated in a back-and-forth opening half.
While the scoreboard was even at 10-all for the final couple of minutes, Barren County used a late score to hold a tight 12-10 lead after the opening quarter – and the two sides continued to exchange baskets in the ensuing period.
An and-one from Rippy and a pair of Cayden Ross free throws gave Allen County-Scottsville a 5-0 run – and a 15-12 lead – to open the second. Just when the Patriots had momentum on their side, Barren County fired back with a 5-0 run of its own – highlighted by a Withrow three-pointer – to go up 17-15 at the 4:07 mark.
Bandy’s left-corner three made it 20-17, and the Trojans soon took a slim 25-21 advantage into the locker room at the break.
Nyekan was already up to 12 points for Barren County after 16 minutes of action, while Rippy was pacing ACS with nine. The Trojans and Patriots were a combined 15-of-51 from the floor and had committed 17 total turnovers.
Things remained close throughout the second half.
“We executed – we just didn’t finish the plays,” Barren County head coach Warren Cunningham said. “It’s a step in the right direction. They’re really good offensively – give them credit. We’re just not as good offensively, yet, as I think we can be. They made some plays there in the second half.”
Barren County opened the third quarter with two quick baskets to push its lead to 30-21 and trigger an Allen County-Scottsville timeout. Rippy responded with a three on the other end to make it 30-24, but Landon Key immediately followed up with one of his own to put the Trojans up 33-24 at the 5:24 mark.
“We were down nine at one point in this game,” Rippy said. “We can fight back. We don’t’ fall under pressure. We find ways to win games – and that’s something we struggled with last year. Different guys are making the big plays – and that’s what’s helping us.”
Stamper’s triple at the 3:45 mark brought ACS within 35-31, and another bucket from the Patriots on the next possession made it 36-33. Shortly after, a tough layup from Shirley changed the score to 36-35 with just over two minutes left in the period.
Allen County-Scottsville kept battling – and another three from Stamper gave the Patriots a 40-38 lead. A pair of free throws for the Trojans sent the game into the final frame knotted up at 40-all.
Behind a right-wing three from Rippy, ACS built a four-point advantage of 46-42 at the 6:43 mark of the fourth. Tyler Bush’s transition layup – followed by a pair of Nyekan free throws – put Barren County back in front at 48-47 with 4:32 remaining.
Keeping the same rhythm alive, Shirley completed an and-one at the 3:38 mark to give Allen County-Scottsville a 52-48 lead. Nyekan’s bucket with just over a minute left made it 55-56 in ACS’ favor as it went down to the wire.
Trailing 58-56 with just one second left, Barren County’s three at the buzzer fell short and the Patriot held on for another victory.
“Nail-biting,” said Rippy when asked what he thought of the finish. “Nervousness – but there’s nothing you can do about it. I trusted that we were gonna play good enough defense and win that game.
“We’ve just gotta keep playing Patriot basketball.”
The Patriots face a quick turnaround as they host Franklin-Simpson at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Trojans will return to action next Wednesday against Elizabethtown in their own Barren Hoops Classic. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
ACSHS – 10 11 19 18 –58
BCHS – 12 13 15 16 –56
ACS – Brett Rippy 20, Owen Stamper 14, Mason Shirley 11, Bryce Carter 7, Cayden Ross 2, Camden Carver 2, Jax Cooper 2.
BC – Aden Nyekan 21, Will Bandy 14, Gavin Withrow 11, Landon Key 6, Tyler Bush 2, Mason Griggs 2.