Garrard defeats Pioneers

February 11, 2004|JILL ERWIN

LANCASTER - Tuesday night's game with Harrodsburg didn't have any long-term consequences for Garrard County.

Win or lose, Garrard was going to face the Pioneers in the 46th District Tournament semifinals. But Garrard senior Sean Paul Leavell said the 46-40 win gave the Lions (9-10, 3-3 46th District) the second seed in the district, a chance to scout Harrodsburg one more time, get back on the winning track and increase their confidence.

"This game was big in many ways," Leavell said. "We got an idea of what they're going to do, who they're going to play and how it could turn out. I think the way we played tonight and shot from the foul line, we can play with anybody."

Garrard coach Cecil Combs was pleased with the win, but said both he and Harrodsburg coach Spencer Tatum will be watching the film for their upcoming district tournament meeting.


"Spencer knows us as well as anybody," Combs said. "We've been looking at each other for seven years. Trust me, we know each other. Tonight was probably a chess game that we'll be looking at on down the road. It's always good to get the win."

But perhaps the one thing that gave Garrard the win wasn't anything within the Lions' control. Harrodsburg (8-13, 3-3) hit just five of 22 free throws, including 2-for-9 in the fourth quarter.

Harrodsburg coach Spencer Tatum knows his team isn't a solid free-throw shooting team (the Pioneers are shooting 54 percent for the year from the line), but he said a night like this was more than he could handle.

"I don't know how we can play within six points of them and miss that many free throws," Tatum said. "It's inexcusable."

Harrodsburg trailed 24-15 at the half, and had missed six of nine free throw attempts. Garrard hit all five of its attempts from the free-throw line, and Combs was pleased with his team's 13-for-17 showing.

"We hit our free throws, which is something we haven't been doing," Combs said.

Five was as close as Harrodsburg could get

Garrard never led by more than 11 in the second half, but Harrodsburg never got closer than five points, either. A 3-pointer from Justin Doolin drew Harrodsburg within five at 30-25 with 1:47 to play in the third quarter, but Garrard went on a 7-2 run to take a 37-27 lead with 7:14 left in the game.

Leavell scored eight of Garrard's 11 points in the third quarter and finished with a game-high 20 points. He also had nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

"Sean Paul just does it so quietly," Combs said. "I look at the scorebook after the game, he's got 20 points and I'm wondering, 'Where did he get them at?' He's not a flair player, he's not out there showboating, but he's solid and he's so quiet you don't even know he's got them."

Harrodsburg got within six at 41-35 with 1:27 to play, but Jake Cool hit four free throws and Spencer Toler one to push the lead back out to 11.

Tatum said he was disappointed with the loss, but his players are not showing him any inclination that they plan to change the way things are going.

"Intramurals is all this is right here," Tatum said. "It's just something to do in their spare time. And until some of them change their attitudes as far as making a more serious approach, then we're not going to get any better.

"I know there's things more important in life than basketball, and I'm not saying that. But all I ask for is for an hour and a half during the game for them to focus their undivided attention on basketball and I can't get that right now. It's really frustrating as a coach because I don't know what to do."

The two teams were almost identical in statistical categories outside of free-throw shooting. Garrard hit 16 of 41 shots (39 percent) while Harrodsburg was 16-for-42 (38 percent). The Pioneers had 13 turnovers to Garrard's 12 and the Lions won the rebounding battle 30-27.

Justin Doolin led Harrodsburg with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Mark Dunn had 10 points.

HARRODSBURG (8-13) - Robbie Merriman 4, Shane Webb 4, Mariqus Brown 2, Mark Dunn 10, Travis White 5, Justin Doolin 15.

GARRARD (9-10) - Spencer Crutchfield 6, Jake Cool 4, Sean Paul Leavell 20, Spencer Toler 5, Brandon Sebastian 2, Dan Leavell 5, Zach Doan 2, Corey Horn 2.

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