GEORGETOWN — Scott County whipped Paul Laurence Dunbar 74-64 in a regular-season finale between top 20 boys' basketball teams on Friday night, and Quin Richardson's fingerprints were all over the Cardinals' victory.
The 6-foot-1 senior guard had 31 points, including 5-for-7 three-point shooting, six assists, five rebounds and two steals to lead No. 14 Scott County.
Dunbar Coach Scott Chalk praised Richardson's knack for making the right moves.
"He plays under control, and when he sees opportunities he's ready for them," Chalk said. "Even if you're a little bit lax, he recognizes it and takes advantage not only for himself but for his team.
"The best way to describe him is 'opportunistic.' That's a great quality for a player."
Richardson, who signed with Campbellsville University a couple of weeks ago, deflected any personal credit.
"Everyone played their hearts out tonight, and that takes a lot of pressure off me and Trent (Gilbert) to score the basketball," he said.
"This was definitely a team effort."
Gilbert, a junior sharpshooter, had 16 points, including 4-for-7 on threes.
On Thursday night, Richardson and Gilbert were a combined 2-for-12 from long range in a 60-47 loss at Covington Holy Cross.
It's no secret that if they've got their three-point radar locked in, Scott County is hard to beat.
"It seems like it's been that way all year," Gilbert said. "Quin hits a shot, then I hit a shot and we start looking for each other. That's just the way it is."
Cards Coach Billy Hicks liked the toughness Richardson showed against Holy Cross and Dunbar.
"Quin really showed me something tonight, coming back (after Holy Cross) and got tougher again in a physical game against a really good Dunbar team."
Richardson and Gilbert got good support from Jalen Haddix (13 points) and Dylan Portwood (six points), and valuable inside play from Andrew Short and Jordan Tribble (eight points, nine rebounds between them).
Scott County also outrebounded the bigger Bulldogs 44-32.
"This may be as good as we've played as a team all year," Hicks said.
Chalk wasn't too discouraged by the Bulldogs' loss. He liked their "recovery effort."
When they fell behind by 15 points (47-32) midway through the third quarter, they rallied to 47-39.After Scott County extended its lead back to 14 (55-41) going into the fourth quarter, Dunbar cut the gap to 57-51.
Chalk thought his team lost the game in the second quarter: "We got in a little foul trouble, lost a little gas and gave up eight offensive rebounds. That's how they got that (28-20) halftime lead, and from that point on we were playing from behind."
Mike Smith and William Gary had 15 points each to lead No. 13 Dunbar. E.J. Floreal had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Both teams face challenging district semifinal games on Tuesday. Scott County hosts Bryan Station in the 42nd, while Dunbar faces No. 14 Lafayette in the 43rd at Lexington Christian.
Scott Co. 74, Paul Dunbar 64
PAUL DUNBAR (17-9) — Floreal 9, Smith 15, Gary 15, King 3, Peasah 2, Lewis 10, Trigg 8, Black 2.
SCOTT COUNTY (21-7) — Gilbert 16, Richardson 31, Haddix 13, Short 6, Tribble 2, Portwood 6.
Paul Dunbar 8 12 21 23—64
Scott County 6 22 27 19—74
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337 Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com