LANCASTER — Casey County coach Todd Carman liked how well his team shot the ball to build a big lead against host Garrard County on Tuesday.
But Carman liked the way his team passed the ball even more, as the Rebels shot 72 percent in the first half, led by 19 at the half and coasted by the Golden Lions 80-49.
“I was tickled with the way we shot the ball,” he said. “I was more tickled with the way we shared the ball and looked for each other. We attacked the rim the way we needed to and shared the ball. And we played hard.”
Brad Jeffries scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, James Burton had a double-double with 15 points and 14 boards, and four Rebels scored in double figures as they won their second straight game after dropping three in a row.
“Any win’s a good win, but they played together. That’s one of the positives, they played together and they play hard and shared the ball,” Carman said. ”We’ll take any win, but more importantly just getting better and looking for your teammates ...”
It did not take long for Casey (5-14) to take control of the game.
Garrard’s Cory Wilson hit two free throws to make it a 10-7 game with 3 minutes, 40 seconds left in the first quarter. Casey then scored the final 12 points of the quarter to blow the game open.
Tyler Johnson, who scored eight of his 11 points in the first quarter, hit a jumper and James Burton hit two free throws to make it 14-7. Jeffries had a steal and layup and connected on two straight 3-pointers as Casey led 22-7 after the first period.
The Rebels kept it up in the second quarter, going 8-for-12 from the floor and finished the first half 16 of 23 shooting, including a 5-for-8 mark from 3-point range.
Casey never led by less than 12 points in the second quarter, and that was at 33-21 with 2:45 left in the half. Garrard’s Josh Stull and Andrew Clark nailed 3-pointers to make it a 40-27 game before Jeffries hit two free throws, Burton scored on a putback and Andrew Clark made two free throws to open up a 46-27 halftime lead.
Burton had seven boards at the half and finished with six offensive boards to help Casey to a 29-21 rebounding edge.
“We’ve been competitive all year on the boards, and we’ve tried to just get our guards to dig in and contribute a little more on the boards,” Carman said.
Garrard shot 8-for-15 in the second quarter, but was just 10 of 26 in the first half and finished the game just 32 percent (17 of 53), hitting five of 24 3-pointers.
“I think they tried slow us down and look for a lot of easy layups,” Carman said. “We usually play man (defense), and tonight we played a little more zone and tried to mix it up a little in the first half.”
Garrard coach Brad Sizemore was unavailable for comment after the game.
The Lions (3-15) never got closer than 17 points in the third quarter as Casey went 6-for-12 and led 61-39 heading to the fourth quarter. Casey finished the game shooting 59 percent on 29 of 49 from the field.
Stull scored 12 points and grabbed six boards to lead Garrard and York added 10 points.
Casey Co. 22 46 61 80
Garrard Co. 7 27 39 49
CASEY (5-14) — Tyler Johnson 11, Brad Jeffries 22, Jordan Ellison 2, Luke Carman 17, James Burton 15, Andrew Clark 9, Clay Cannon 2, Micah Smith 2.
GARRARD (3-15) — Billy Abney 6, Andrew Clark 10, Cory Wilson 4, Josh Stull 12, Markell Hayes 5, Austin Sebastian 6, Jesse Ray 2, Nathan Smith 2, Davian Logan 2.