Pioneers keep winning

December 31, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

A winning streak was there for the taking, and the hungry Harrodsburg boys went after it with everything they had.

Losses in their first six games this season whetted the Pioneers' appetite, and they feasted Thursday night, harassing Henry County into 28 turnovers in a 56-37 victory in the Stuart Powell City of Firsts Classic at Danville for their first back-to-back wins since January.

"When we force turnovers like that with our defense, that's outstanding," Harrodsburg coach Chad Luhman said. "We're going to press all along but Henry County didn't handle it well, so we tried to keep up the harassment."

Harrodsburg won the first boys game in the City of Firsts Classic, which brings 12 girls teams and 17 boys teams to Danville for 16 games over three days.


Guard Cory Jackson, one of two Pioneers who scored 16 points, said it didn't take long to see that Henry couldn't handle the heat.

"They had a couple of good players, but when we got out on the court Coach saw they were slower than us, and he saw that we could really press 'em," Jackson said.

Harrodsburg (2-6) forced Henry (0-9) into 11 turnovers in the third period.

"We weren't putting forth the effort it took to put them away (in the first half)," Luhman said. "We went to our man-to-man full-court in the third quarter, and that allowed the coaching staff to see who was working and who wasn't."

The result was another injection of confidence for a Harrodsburg team that has built momentum in the last two weeks with a near-miss against archrival Mercer County and wins over McCreary Central and Henry.

"It's helped tremendously," Luhman said.

Harrodsburg still missing Doolin

The Pioneers are still missing one of their best players - Justin Doolin is recovering from a strained knee ligament and won't return for at least another week - but Luhman said other players such as Jackson and forwards DeMarkus Masterson and Chase Wofford are beginning to discover what they're capable of.

"Those guys are finding their identity as far as what they can do offensively," Luhman said. "We're asking them to stay within what they can do, but do it with confidence."

Jackson said the work that players like Masterson and Wofford are doing on the boards, where Harrodsburg outrebounded Henry 32-29, only adds to the Pioneers' confidence.

Masterson came off the bench to score 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting, while Jackson was 6-for-15 from the field. Overall, Harrodsburg shot 39 percent (23-for-59) and Henry shot 32 percent (10-for-31).

The Pioneers, who were 4-for-19 from 3-point range, began to pull away late in the first half, holding Henry to one point over the final 3:47 to take a 25-17 halftime lead. Jackson then scored nine points in a 13-4 run that gave them a 38-21 lead with 2:05 left in the third quarter.

Jackson scored 11 of his 16 points in the third quarter, and Masterson scored 10 of his 16 in the fourth period.

Chrys Jones added 10 points and five rebounds for Harrodsburg, and Kenton Masterson had a game-high seven rebounds.

Danville 84, Riverside Christian 26 - Danville (6-0) rolled to its second win over Riverside (1-13) in 12 days, but this time the Admirals did it without their six seniors.

They had beaten Riverside 97-33 on Dec. 18, so coach Craig Pippen decided not to dress the seniors for this game.

"It was a decision we all made together," Pippen said. "This was a good opportunity to play some JV guys who are on the bubble of playing varsity, and I saw some good things out of our younger kids.

"Our varsity players were very understanding of the situation, and that shows how team-oriented they are."

Eric Caldwell led the Admirals with 16 points, followed by Darius Baughman with 11. Freshman Dominique Alcorn had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Riverside committed 30 turnovers, and two of the Rams' starters failed to score.

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