Purples drop overtime battle to John Hardin in OIT
OWENSBORO – Bowling Green knew what to expect coming in, and it received exactly what it anticipated.
Taking on John Hardin – which entered with an undefeated record – on Friday evening in the Owensboro Invitational Tournament, the Purples earned the Bulldogs’ best game and had to battle with a physical opponent from start to finish. Bowling Green competed as hard as it could, but ultimately fell 58-55 in overtime at the Owensboro Sportscenter.
“I just thought we battled,” Bowling Green head coach Derrick Clubb said. “I’m really proud of the kids. I thought we did a great job on the defensive end. I thought we rebounded well, we took care of the ball – just a couple of possessions we’d like to have back – but I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win.”
The Purples (6-2 overall) trailed 17-9 after the opening quarter and 30-29 at halftime. Bowling Green jumped in front 40-39 after three, and a back-and-forth fourth period resulted in the scoreboard being knotted at 53-all and sent the contest into an overtime period.
Only seven total points were scored in the four-minute frame, but it was John Hardin that scored five compared to the Purples’ two and was able to come out on top.
Trevor Dennis led the way for Bowling Green with 14 points, while Jordan Dingle finished with 12 and Isaiah Mason scored 10. Alex Matthews scored a game-high 19 points for John Hardin (7-0) and was one of four Bulldogs in double figures.
“I’m really proud of ‘em,” Clubb said of his players. “This is a very good basketball team, and they oppose a lot of problems for anybody they play. They did some nice things tonight. I thought our older kids kind of led the way with effort and really having some grit about ‘em. I think our younger kids are getting better every chance they get.”
John Hardin started fast and jumped out to a 13-5 lead at the 2:34 mark of the first quarter. At that point, the Purples had already committed seven turnovers and were forced to call a timeout to talk things over.
Just over one minute later, the Bulldogs increased their advantage to double digits at 17-7 to trigger another Bowling Green timeout and soon led 17-9 after eight minutes of action.
John Hardin continued to execute in the second quarter and maintained a lead throughout but Bowling Green kept battling. Kolbe Gray’s layup brought the Purples within 25-15 at the 4:07 mark, just before a three from Dennis and a Mason pull-up jumper trimmed the deficit to 25-20.
The Bulldogs responded with a right-wing three by Jachai Walker to go up 30-22 with 1:07 left in the half, but Dennis scored five straight points – including a deep 3 just before the buzzer – to help Bowling Green trail by just one at 30-29 at the break.
Dennis was leading the Purples with 10 points, while Mason had scored seven and Dingle had six. Matthews and Walker were each up to eight points for John Hardin.
It remained a competitive affair throughout the ensuing half.
Opening the third quarter with back-to-back scores, Bowling Green took a 33-30 lead at the 7:04 mark and forced a John Hardin timeout. Another three from Dennis – this one off an offensive rebound – put the Purples up 36-34, but a pair of free throws from Aaron Scott helped the Bulldogs tie it at 36-all at the 3:46 mark.
Gray’s bucket at the 1:33 mark gave Bowling Green a 38-36 advantage, and a pair of Buttry free throws put the Purples up 40-39 entering the final quarter.
Leading 44-39 with 6:22 remaining, Trevon Harris completed an and-one to help John Hardin cut Bowling Green’s lead to just two. Matthews’ drive and score soon put the Bulldogs in front 48-46, but Conner Cooper quickly followed up with a score on the other end to even the scoreboard at 48-all with just over four minutes left.
“Our seniors – Trevor, Cobi (Huddleston), Davion Dice) and Jaylen (Wardlow) – always give us everything they have,” said Clubb. “Isaiah played well, Turner (Buttry), Conner (Cooper) and all of those guys had some good minutes tonight.”
Aaron Scott’s triple put John Hardin up 53-50 with 2:42 left and led to a Bowling Green timeout. Trailing 53-50 with 35 seconds to go, Dennis split a pair of free throws to knot things at 53-all. As neither side scored during that stretch, the two sides had to participate in an extra frame.
Up 56-54, Scott stepped to the line and made a pair of free throws to push John Hardin’s advantage to four with 38 seconds left. Buttry made a free throw to bring Bowling Green within 58-55 with four seconds left, and the Purples grabbed the offensive rebound off the second miss to give themselves another possession.
Despite having a nice look at the game-tying bucket, Dennis’ last second three just missed and the Purples suffered a hard-fought loss.
Bowling Green returns to action Saturday in the third and final day of the OIT against Apollo. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Apollo High School.
“We’ll come in tomorrow with a lot of kids excited about playing again and give it a go,” Clubb said.”
John Hardin – 17 13 9 14 5 – 58
Bowling Green – 9 20 11 13 2 – 55
JHHS – Alex Matthews 19, Jachai Walker 12, Aaron Scott 12, Trevon Harris 10, Devon Rogers 3.
BGHS – Trevor Dennis 14, Jordan Dingle 12, Isaiah Mason 10, Kolbe Gray 8, Turner Buttry 5, Conner Cooper 3, Cobi Huddleston 2, Davion Dice 1.