LEXINGTON, Ky. – Two single-point quarters coupled with just a 36.7 percent shooting performance saw Oldham County fall to George Rogers Clark 54-47 in the KHSAA Boys Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena.
GRC (20-4) jumped out to a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter despite shooting just 4-for-11 in the quarter but forced five turnovers by the Colonels.
Aden Slone paced the Cardinals with eight points in the opening stanza and would finish the game with 12 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Oldham County (14-5) was stifled by the interior defensive presence by GRC despite being the taller team.
GRC led by 11 on three different occasions in the second quarter, but Oldham County was able to put together a stretch that saw a 25-14 deficit cut down to 27-22 with 1:44 to go in the half.
Slone’s jumper with 30 seconds to go in the quarter and Jerone Morton’s dunk at the buzzer would put the Cardinals up 31-22 at the half.
Morton, who was held scoreless in the first quarter, keyed the offensive output for GRC by scoring 12 of the team’s 18 points in the second period.
Oldham County would see possibly its worst quarter of shooting all season at the worst possible time when the Colonels tallied a mere six points in the third quarter on 3-for-17 shooting (17.6 percent).
GRC, however, was not able to capitalize on the lackluster shooting from the Colonels and only increased its halftime lead by four at the end of the third, 41-28.
Oldham County was able to make things interesting in the fourth quarter by outrebounding GRC 11-7 and Samuel Campbell scoring nine of his team-high 16 points in the final period.
Jeremiah Mundy’s basket in the paint with 6:58 to go in the game increased GRC’s lead to 43-30, but the Cardinals would not score again until Stanley Smothers made a layup 2:38 later.
During that 2:38 of game clock, Oldham County was able to score just four points.
Too many wasted possessions that ended in either turnovers or missed shots almost seemed to draw all the energy out of the Colonels, yet they continued to have a chance due to Slone missing three consecutive front ends of a single-bonus free throw situation.
Campbell would make things interesting late with a pair of long-range shots to whittle the deficit to 51-47 with 0:35 to go in the game but could not make it any closer before the final horn sounded.
Jared Wellman pitched in 10 points for the Cardinals, who advance to Friday’s first quarterfinal game to take on Elizabethtown at 11 a.m.
Tyler Slone tallied 15 points and seven rebounds for Oldham County while Grant Gibson added 10.
Xander Wagner-Rose hauled in a game-time 11 rebounds for the Colonels.
GRC edged Oldham County 30-20 in the paint and 15-8 off turnovers.
If the Cardinals can get past Elizabethtown, they have to do a better job of crashing the boards after Oldham County won the rebounding battle 33-24.