Garrard outlasts Pioneers

January 11, 2004|JILL ERWIN

HARRODSBURG - It was exactly the kind of game Harrodsburg wanted, but it was Garrard County that got the desired result.

For the fourth game in a row, the defensive-minded Pioneers didn't let their opponent past 50 points, but for the second game in a row, it wasn't enough. Garrard closed Friday's game with a 9-2 run to top Harrodsburg 49-47.

"It was an ugly game, but to get a win over here is a pretty big step for us," Garrard coach Cecil Combs said.

Garrard (7-5, 1-2 46th District) made its run based largely on a parade of trips to the free-throw line late in the game. The Golden Lions attempted 11 free throws in the final two minutes, hitting seven of them. That was a far cry from earlier in the game, as Garrard hit only four of 10 attempts in the first 30 minutes.


"A lot earlier in the game, we weren't really focused on what we had to do," said senior Sean Paul Leavell. "We came in thinking we were going to get an easy win, but when the game got close, we knew we had to go back to the hours in the gym working on the foul shots."

"Foul shooting has been a sore spot all year," Combs said. "If you're going to win close ballgames, those things have to go in."

Coach Spencer Tatum said Harrodsburg (3-8, 2-1) has a lot of sore spots. Tatum said the game might not have been pretty to watch, but those games are a necessity for the Pioneers.

"It was an ugly game, but that's the way we have to play," Tatum said. "I hate watching it, it makes me sick to watch it, but it's the only way possible we can win.

"We had three wide-open layups in the last four or five seconds of the third quarter and missed all three of them. That's just a microcosm of our first 11 games."

The game could also have served as a microcosm of Garrard's season. The Lions rely on their defense, and when push came to shove Friday, Garrard's defense stepped up.

Four free throws by Robbie Merriman gave Harrodsburg a 45-40 lead with 2:07 to play, but the Pioneers only got two more shot attempts the remainder of the game.

Leavell scored five of Garrard's last nine points, and finished with seven points and six rebounds.

The Lions were dominated on the boards by Harrodsburg, which held a 40-25 rebounding advantage. Mark Dunn had nine rebounds to lead the way while Justin Doolin and Shane Webb each grabbed six.

"We don't have guys that are 6-7 or 6-8, and not all of us can exactly jump out of the gym, so we're going to have to mark up and get a butt on somebody if we want to be successful," Leavell said.

Garrard was 18-for-45 from the field for 40 percent and was led by Coy Lucas with 10 points. Harrodsburg hit just 15 of 43 shots (35 percent) with Dunn scoring 17 and Merriman 10.

The game never favored either team too strongly, as the largest lead was only six points by Garrard at 19-13 in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, the lead was only above two points for a total of 1:49.

But it was that fourth quarter that Tatum said showed him just how far his team has to go.

"The frustrating part is we come down to the last two minutes of a ballgame and I'm totally clueless right now who to put in there," Tatum said. "It seems like once you think you've got that group to put in, then they go out and just falter in every phase of the game.

"Some of them are juniors and seniors and they can't run our basic offense. That's the frustrating part. It kind of leaves my hands tied. I've got a whole list of plays in my pocket and we can't run any of them."

GARRARD (7-5) - Coy Lucas 10, Jake Cool 3, Sean Paul Leavell 7, Dan Leavell 8, Spencer Crutchfield 7, Spencer Toler 6, Tyler Oliver 2, Brandon Sebastian 4, Zach Doan 2.

HARRODSBURG (3-8) - Robbie Merriman 10, Shane Webb 5, Jared Holt 3, Mariqus Brown 6, Mark Dunn 17, Travis White 4, Justin Doolin 2.

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