Burgin scores rare win over Garrard, 67-61

December 10, 2003|JILL ERWIN

BURGIN - As the blood streamed down his face from the cut over his left eye, Sean Bottoms wasn't even thinking about going to the hospital.

"My mom wanted me to go to the hospital," the Burgin senior said. "But I just told them, 'Just give me a big Band-Aid, give me something, I'm ready.'"

Bottoms returned from the injury after missing less than two minutes of the fourth quarter to get it bandaged up. He hit six of eight free throws down the stretch to help Burgin ice a 67-61 win over Garrard County, the Bulldogs' first victory over Garrard since 1987.

Burgin (1-1) did it behind a huge first quarter and the ability to withstand the one big run Garrard (1-1) had in it.


The Bulldogs had struggled from the floor in their opener last week against Model, shooting just 34 percent. But Burgin started off well against Garrard, hitting eight of 13 shots (62 percent) in the first quarter in opening up a commanding 21-7 lead.

"You look good when your shots are falling," Irvine said. "They're the same shots we shot last week, they just went in tonight."

"It kind of got our confidence up and got us jump-started," guard Zack Gross said. "Our first game, it took us until the fourth quarter to get going. We knew we had to come out early or it would be a long night."

The night appeared to be a long one just getting started for Garrard, which hit just three of 18 shots for 17 percent in the first quarter. The Golden Lions were also outrebounded 14-6 in the quarter.

"The first quarter was really when the game was pretty much lost," Garrard coach Cecil Combs said. "We didn't do a very good job of running our offense in the first quarter. It was one pass and a shot, one pass and a shot.

"We had guys shooting shots I've never even seen them look at in practice. I want them to take good shots and right now they really don't know a good shot from a bad shot."

Garrard didn't have to worry too much about its offense in the second quarter as the Lions' defense shut down Burgin and made the game a lot closer. A basket by Bottoms made it a 23-7 game, but Garrard rattled off the next 13 points to make it 23-20.

Burgin had 14 turnovers in the quarter as Garrard held a 20-12 scoring advantage to make it 33-27 at the half. Irvine said he was pleased his team still had the lead.

"In the second quarter, we looked like we got a little fatigued, got a little flat after a good start," Irvine said. "We told them, as bad as we played in the second quarter, look up and we're still ahead. I thought we just started taking care of the ball better and we started attacking the basket some."

Garrard got within two in the third quarter, and trailed by only three points going into the fourth. Freshman Jordan Darland scored his first varsity basket with 5:35 to play to give Burgin a five-point lead at 50-45.

However, just seconds after that, Bottoms split his eye open after crashing into Darland's head while trying to pivot. He left the game with 5:28 to play and returned with 3:32 to play and Burgin still leading by five.

"I'm just glad we got him back so quick," Irvine said. "Somehow the game seemed to stretch out there for a while. Here comes Sean back out and you can just feel the adrenaline."

Burgin's lead eventually grew to 11 points at 61-50 on two free throws from Gross with :55 to play.

But Garrard kept hitting 3-pointers (two by Sean Paul Leavell and one by Dan Leavell) in the final minute to stay close. Dan Leavell's 3 with :17 to play got Garrard within seven at 66-59. Bottoms made one of two free throws and Spencer Crutchfield hit a jumper with three seconds left to close out the scoring.

Bottoms led Burgin with 22 points, Gross had 18 points and nine rebounds, Joe Harris had 14 points and 10 boards and Bobby Wylie added four points and seven rebounds.

Crutchfield led Garrard with 22 points and Sean Paul Leavell added 15 points. Spencer Toler had eight points and seven rebounds for the Lions.

Burgin finished the game 21-for-40 from the field for 53 percent, while Garrard was just 25-for-79, a 32 percent mark.

"We had 70-some shots, and you have to have more than 61 points from 70 shots," Combs said. "They shot it well; we did not. That was really the big difference.

"I don't want to fault my kids because the effort was there; we just have to make more shots."

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