High school basketball: Bryan Station outlasts Henry Clay 55-49

mfields@herald-leader.comJanuary 14, 2014 

  • Bryan Station retires Jack Givens' jersey

    Jack Givens was back at his basketball home Tuesday night as Bryan Station retired his jersey before its game with Henry Clay.

    Givens was one of the brightest high school stars ever to shine in Lexington. He led the Defenders to two Sweet Sixteen appearances, set a school scoring record of 1,768 points, and was voted Mr. Basketball in 1974.

    Givens went on to star at Kentucky, too, leading the Cats to the 1978 NCAA title.

    Forty years after graduating from Bryan Station, Givens said, "It feels great to be back where it all got started. Things have changed, with a new building and everything, but it still brings back a lot of special memories."

    Bob Barlow, Givens' high school coach, was on hand, along with some former Bryan Station teammates, including Buck Clay, Norman Jackson and Ted Hundley.

    "We had so many great players and great teams at that time," Givens said.

    Also in attendance was Joe B. Hall, Givens' coach at Kentucky.

    With Bryan Station taking on Henry Clay Tuesday night, it prompted Givens to remember his days of battling Blue Devils' star James Lee, who was his teammate at UK. Givens recalled the last time he played against Lee in Bryan Station's gym when they were both seniors.

    "I think I had something like 45 points and 26 rebounds, and James had 35 points. It was one of those kind of games.

    "We beat them. The good guys won, of course," Givens said with a smile.

    Mike Fields

Maybe it was the good vibes generated by the presence of Bryan Station great Jack Givens, who had his jersey retired in a pre-game ceremony.

Maybe it was the Defenders wanting to avenge a 78-55 loss to Henry Clay earlier this season.

Maybe it was a simply a case of Bryan Station finally learning how to finish off a close game.

Whatever it was, the Defenders knocked off the No. 12 Blue Devils 55-49 in a district boys' high school basketball game Tuesday night.

Daquice Allen, a 6-foot senior guard who led the winners with 12 points, said it was all of the above.

"We had to impress (Jack Givens)," Allen said. "We played better defense, didn't let anything go, didn't let things get caught up in our head, and just kept playing hard.

"I think we got over the hump tonight."

Bryan Station Coach Mike Allen wasn't ready to declare it a season-changing victory, but he was happy with what he saw from his team.

"The kids showed a lot of poise and character by finishing out the game," he said.

"We got over the hump in terms of winning a close city game, but there's still a lot of basketball to be played, and we've still got to get better."

Bryan Station was ahead most of the game. Neither team led by more than six points until the Defenders opened a 46-39 gap midway through the fourth quarter.

Henry Clay star Jordan Green tried to rally his team, and they cut the deficit to 53-49 with 1:10 left. But the comeback ended there.

Allen was the only Defender in double figures, but Jordan Henry, Tequan Claitt and Marcellous Washington had seven points each. C.J. Walker, Josh Owsley and Isaiah Barnes had six apiece.

Claitt and Barnes grabbed 15 rebounds between them and helped Bryan Station beat the taller Devils 32-23 on the boards.

Green got off to a slow start — he didn't score for the first nine minutes — but he wound up with 23 points and six rebounds.

The Defenders made him work for what he got. "We don't have anybody to match up with Green, but I thought our zone coverage was pretty good," Coach Allen said.

"We did a better job communicating, and when we're doing that, everybody gets on the same page."

Jeremiah Tisdale had eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Henry Clay.

Devils Coach Daniel Brown said he thought "Bryan Station wanted it a little more than we did. They beat us on the backboards, and until we learn to make free throws . . ."

In a loss to Scott County last week, Henry Clay missed 19 foul shots (27 of 46). Against Bryan Station, the Devils were 0-for-6 from the line in the first half, and were 7-for-15 for the game.

"It's been our Achilles heel all year, maybe a carry-over from last season," Brown said.

HENRY CLAY (9-8)— Green 23, J.Tisdale 8, Setzer 3, Barnes 7, I.Tisdale 3, Houston 2, Campbell 3.

BRYAN STATION (9-6) — Allen 12, Henry 7, Walker 6, Claitt 7, Washington 7, Owsley 6, Bradford 4, Barnes 6.

Henry Clay 7 12 18 12 -- 49

Bryan Station 9 14 19 13 -- 55

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

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

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