GEORGETOWN — Trent Gilbert and Quin Richardson combined for 54 points Thursday, stoking Scott County's 83-64 rout of Henry Clay in the finals of the boys' 42nd District high school basketball tournament.
Both the 15th-rated Cardinals (23-7) and No. 18 Blue Devils (22-9) advance to the 11th Region Tournament, beginning Monday at Eastern Kentucky University.
"We've been getting better," Scott County Coach Billy Hicks said. "I thought Friday against Dunbar we played better than we've played all year. I thought (Tuesday) night against Bryan Station we played really good, and Bryan Station did. And tonight, against Henry Clay, everything clicked for us.
"We rebounded. We defended. We shot the ball good. Everything just fell in place, and that's what you work for. Henry Clay's a great basketball team and somebody's going to draw them in the first round down there. I'd hate to have that draw. I'm glad we're opposite them in the brackets."
Gilbert drilled 10 of 14 shots, including six of seven three-pointers, to finish with 29 points.
"We just came out early and shots were falling. (Played tough) on D," said Gilbert, a 6-foot-1 junior who hopes to play college ball for Butler. "Everybody was just playing good."
Richardson, a 6-1 senior who has committed to Campbellsville, shot 9-for-14, including two of three treys, and got 25 points and nine assists.
Early in the second quarter, Richardson slid across the free-throw line and hit a fall-away jumper. He responded with a Michael Jordan-like shrug and uplifted palms.
"I jumped off one foot from 18 feet out. I was just feeling it tonight," he said. "I just wanted a win more than anything."
Jalen Haddix added a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Jordan Green topped Henry Clay with 19 points, one more than Trey Grundy. Green added four assists and three blocks.
Christen Cunningham added 10 points and six assists. Darien Tichenor led the Blue Devils in rebounds with 10, adding two points.
"I'm proud of these guys. They gave the effort," Devils Coach Daniel Brown said. "But sometimes it just doesn't work out. I'm proud of my team. We'll regroup and hopefully next week we'll play three good games."
Henry Clay led early, the last time at 10-9.
Scott County outscored the Devils 19-6 the rest of the quarter and never let up.
"They've been killing us on transition, and I thought we took a lot of transition baskets from them," said Hicks, whose team lost two of three regular-season meetings to the Devils. "We got back better on defense tonight. And we rebounded. It helps when you rebound."
Scott County scored 31 points off turnovers, to Henry Clay's 16. The Cards also finished with a 39-30 edge in rebounds.
The home team led 48-33 at halftime, 71-44 through three quarters. At that point, Gilbert and Richardson were outscoring the Devils 49-44.
"I wanted this win bad. ... Last time playing here," Richardson said. "It's definitely memorable for me."
SCOTT CO. 83, HENRY CLAY 64
SCOTT CO. (23-7) — Haddix 17, Portwood 2, Doss 2, Richardson 25, Gilbert 29, Martini 4, Short 4. Totals 31-61 13-18 83.
HENRY CLAY (22-9) — Grundy 18, Green 19, Tichenor 2, Cunningham 10, Ware 2, Tisdale 8, Newby 2, Barnes 3. Totals 24-53 16-26 64.
Scott County 28 20 23 12 — 83
Henry Clay 16 17 11 20 — 64
Three-point goals — SC 8-10, HC 0-5.
All-tournament — Jalen Haddix, Trent Gilbert and Quin Richardson (Scott Co.), Trey Grundy and Jordan Green (Henry Clay), Daquice Allen (Bryan Station, Ray Brewer (Sayre). MVP — Richardson.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229 Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com