Republic Bank Holiday Classic roundup: Cordia's Cunningham leads late comeback

mfields@herald-leader.comDecember 26, 2013 

  • Republic Bank Classic

    At Lexington Catholic

    Friday's winners' bracket games

    Noon — Manual vs. Bardstown

    1:30 — Male vs. Dixie Heights

    3 — Newport Catholic vs. Cordia

    4:30 — PRP vs. Apollo/Bryan Station winner

    6 —Lafayette vs. Augusta

    7:30 — Hazard vs. Scott Co., 7:30

Christen Cunningham is settling into his new basketball home at Cordia, and Coach Rodrick Rhodes said that's one of the reasons the Lions are looking like one of the top teams in the state.

Cunningham, a senior transfer from Henry Clay, had 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists as Cordia, rated No. 13 in the pre-season, rallied past No. 8 Warren Central 60-54 in the first round of the Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic Thursday afternoon.

Cordia trailed 50-44 midway through the fourth quarter before outscoring Warren Central 16-4 to close it out.

"The tighter the game, the more relaxed we get, and that has a lot to do with Christen and his personality and the way he approaches the game," Rhodes said. "I might be biased, but I think he's the best point guard in the state."

Cunningham, who had a triple-double (19 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds) in a win over Covington Scott last weekend, said "Whatever my team needs me to do — score, rebound or facilitate — I try to do it."

Cordia also got a big lift from Felix Frimpong, a 5-foot-10 senior from Canada, who had 19 points, including nine straight that gave the Lions a 53-50 lead.

"When he's playing with high energy, he's a special player," Rhodes said,. "It took him until the fourth quarter to get that energy right."

Defending 4th Region champion Warren Central was led by Chris Porter-Bunton's 15 points and seven rebounds. Jared Savage hit four threes and had 14 points.

Rhodes watched Warren Central in last year's Sweet Sixteen and knew his team faced a challenge Thursday.

"We want to be considered one of the top high school teams in the state, too, and we're working towards that," he said. "This was a good win for us."

CORDIA 60, WARREN CENTRAL 54

Cordia (6-2) — Cunningham 15, Frimpong 17, Tagaloa 7, Lucien 6, Chisolm 7, Combs 7, Catchings 1.

Warren Central (5-2) — Carver 8, Porter-Bunton 15, Savage 14, Green 2, Baird 2, Moore 4, Caldwell 4, Edwards 5.

Cordia 13 14 13 20—60

Warren Central 12 16 13 13—54

Lexington Catholic 66, Harrison County 61: The host Knights had a battle on their hands, and had to hit their free throws down the stretch to survive.

Tanner Johnson's 26 points led Lexington Catholic. He and Reese Ryan combined to make five of six foul shots in the last 24 seconds to hold off the Thorobreds. Ryan finished with 14 points and six rebounds.

Robert Dence had 12 points, and Jarod Griffin added nine points and five assists for the winners. Griffin's three-pointer and a layup off a steal in the closing seconds of the third quarter helped the Knights open up a 47-39 lead.

D.J. Jenkins had 16 points and five assists for Harrison County. Trent Thompson had 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC 66, HARRISON COUNTY 61

Harrison County (4-5) — Thompson 15, D.Pulliam 11, Ritchie 10, Jenkins 16, Carr 7, Palmer 2.

Lexington Catholic (7-2) — Johnson 26, Dence 12, Ryan 14, Griffin 9, Morris 4, Boothe 1.

Harrison County 17 13 10 21—61

Lexington Catholic 16 15 16 19—66

Scott County 75, Butler 61: Scott County and star Trent Gilbert got off to slow starts, but once the Cardinals got rolling they led by as many as 21 points on the way to their seventh consecutive victory since losing their season opener to No. 1 Ballard.

Gilbert finished with 24 points and six rebounds. Austin Kindred had 10 points off the bench. Raekwon Long, a 7-foot sophomore, had six points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Butler, without several of its top players who were suspended, was led by Jalen Bradley's 15 points and Joshua Whetstone's 14.

With Scott County's starters on the bench to start the fourth quarter, Butler pulled to within seven points. Cards Coach Billy Hicks put his starters back in and they pushed the lead back to 14.

SCOTT COUNTY 75, BUTLER 61

Butler (4-5) — Blanks 9, Williams 6, Whetstone 14, Bradley 15, Boyd 2, Wise 8, Wardrip 6, French 1.

Scott County (7-1) — Gilbert 24, Kindred 10, Long 6, Ware 5, Murray 9, Martini 5, Watts 1, Crank 2, Guyn 4, Washington 2, Banks 1, Jones 6.

Butler 14 12 15 20—61

Scott County 16 23 21 15—75

Bardstown 60, Clinton County 51: Seivon Schooling, a 6-6 senior, had 15 points, and 13 rebounds for unbeaten Bardstown (7-0). Keanu Young added 12 points, four rebouds and four assists.

Clinton County led 46-44 early in the fourth quarter, and trailed by only 52-50 with two minutes left. But Bardstown pulled away from there, sparked by Quindon Litsey's three-pointer.

Junior point guard Keifer Dalton led Clinton County with 18 points. Colby Langford had 15 and Lance Claywell added 12 as the Bulldogs lost their third game in a row after starting the season 9-0.

BARDSTOWN 60, CLINTON COUNTY 51

Bardstown (7-0) — Schooling 15, Young 12, Cowherd 8, Johnson 6, DeVillalobos 6, Stone 3, Litsey 7, Smith 2, Goldring 1.

Clinton County: (9-3) — Dalton 18, Langford 15, Claywell 12, Choate 2, Nelson 2, Anderson 2.

Bardstown 9 17 13 21 —60

Clinton County 14 10 16 11—51

Dixie Heights 66, Henderson County 61: Brandon Hatton hit 17 of 18 free throws, including four in the final minute to help Dixie Heights hold off Henderson County.

Hatton, a 6-3 senior guard who has signed with Vermont, finished with 34 points. He was 3-for-5 on three-pointers. Liam Rabe had 10 points, including three free throws with :29 left.

Henderson County trailed by 14 but pulled to within three in the closing minutes. The Colonels were led by David Simmons' 23 points. Brady Norman had 13.

DIXIE HEIGHTS 66, HENDERSON COUNTY 61

Dixie Heights (5-3) — Hatton 34, Rabe 10, Schreck 8, Moore 4, Hedger 8, Niehaus 2.

Henderson County (4-3) — Simmons 23, Duckworth 10, Norman 13, Smith 5, Cooper 8, Mattingly 2.

Dixie Heights 23 11 10 22—66

Henderson County 11  9 19 22—61

Bryan Station 69, Apollo 62: The Defenders warmed up from three-point range in the second half and pulled away to beat Apollo. After going 0-for-9 from long range in the first half, Bryan Station hit five threes, including three in a 17-6 run to start the fourth quarter.

C.J. Walker had two of those threes and finished with 10 points. Marcellous Washington also had two threes in the second half on his way to 13 points. Jordan Henry also had 13 points, and DeAndre Bradford had 10 for the Defenders, who shot 59 percent (13 of 22) in the second half.

Eli Wright, a 6-4 sophomore, led Apollo with 23 points. Sam Sergeant had 17, and Caleb Coomes added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

BRYAN STATION 69, APOLLO 62

Bryan Station (6-2) — Claitt 6, Henry 13, Washington 13, Allen 7, Walker 10, Bradford 10, Reynolds 4, Davis 2, Owsley 4.

Apollo (7-2) — Sergeant 17, Wright 23, Taylor 4, Coomes 11, Survant 3, Smith 2, Sutherland 2.

Bryan Station 18 12 15 24—69

Apollo 15 17 14 16—62


Republic Bank Classic at Lexington Catholic

Friday's winners' bracket games

Noon — Manual vs. Bardstown

1:30 — Male vs. Dixie Heights

3 — Newport Catholic vs. Cordia

4:30 — PRP vs. Bryan Station

6 —Lafayette vs. Augusta

7:30 — Hazard vs. Scott Co.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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