Semifinals: Rowan Co. 51, Bullitt East 49

Sweet Sixteen: Wing shakes off injury to lead Rowan into finals

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMarch 20, 2011 

Bullitt East Rowan Co Basketball

Rowan County's Tyler Thacker, left, lost the ball while guarded by Bullitt East's Rusty Troutman.

JAMES CRISP — AP

Adam Wing, whose ability to play was called "a game-time decision" the night before, was nearly perfect in leading Rowan County to a 51-49 victory over Bullitt East in the PNC/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen semifinals Saturday afternoon.

Wing shot 7-for-7 from the Rupp Arena floor, making five three-pointers, to lead the Vikings into Saturday night's finals against Christian County.

Wing finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.

The 6-foot-4 junior tweaked his knee during the third quarter of Friday's win over Wayne County.

Coach Shawn Thacker credited Rowan's trainer, Ryan Alderman, with getting Wing ready to go Saturday.

"I wasn't going to let these guys down," Wing said. "We worked too hard all year."

During warm-ups, Wing stayed away from dunks and shot jumpers. Shot them well.

Said Wing: "I looked at D.J. (Townsend) and I said, 'It's gonna be a good day.' "

Neither team scored any points off the bench.

Townsend added nine points and nine assists for Rowan. Jason Egan also scored nine, all on three-pointers, and Darrell Cross hit a pair of treys en route to eight points. Corey Hunter had six fourth-quarter points.

Each team shot 20 three-pointers, but Rowan made 10 to East's six. A pair of three-pointers each for Wing and Egan gave the Vikings an early 12-5 lead and set the tone.

"I was thinking, 'I made a poor judgment in the (zone) defense we were in,' " Bullitt East Coach Troy Barr said. "But I looked at their shooting stats and they hadn't hit many threes in the first two games. ... Just probably a mistake on our part.

"Man-to-man defense has been a staple for us the two games up here. ... I should have stuck with it, and that's on me."

Corey Washburn led Bullitt East (30-6) with 16 points, one more than Hayden Sweat. Derek Willis was held to four — 10 below his average. He led the Chargers with eight rebounds and five blocks.

Rowan never trailed and had a 48-33 lead with just less than five minutes left.

East turned up the pressure and ran off eight straight points with threes by Sweat and Trey Rakes, followed by a pair of Rakes free throws.

Hunter's layup gave Rowan a 50-41 lead, but Bullitt came back with a Rusty Troutman three and a Washburn rebound basket to pull to within 50-46 with 45 seconds left.

Wing twice missed the front end of a one-and-one in the last minute, but Bullitt East turned the ball over and missed a shot.

Finally, Townsend made it a five-point bulge, making one of two free throws at :07.

Sweat hit an uncontested trey as the game ended.

"Our defense was really good again today," Thacker said. "They knocked down some shots late on us. But fortunately enough we played well enough and had enough of a lead to take care and seal the deal."

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