Boys' basketball: Blevins dials in as Wayne County stays perfect

mfields@herald-leader.comJanuary 17, 2014 

NICHOLASVILLE — Wayne County sophomore Trey Blevins had been in a shooting slump, but you couldn't tell it by the way he lit up East Jessamine Friday night.

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Blevins was 5-for-8 from three-point range in the first half and finished with a career-high 33 points — double his average — as the No. 16 Cardinals stayed undefeated with a 94-80 victory.

Blevins said he had missed 18 of his last 20 three-point attempts coming into the game, "so I put in a lot of work the last couple of days trying to get it worked out. That helped, obviously."

Coach Rodney Woods was happy to see Blevins locked in. "When Trey's shooting good, we're pretty good."

Peyton Woods, a 6-foot-3 junior and Rodney's son, had 27 points. Corey Stearns added 17 as Wayne County ran its record to 17-0.

Even though the Cards won with relative ease, Rodney Woods wasn't thrilled by their performance.

"Two things we do better than anybody is shoot free throws and take care of the ball, and we didn't do either one well tonight," he said.

Wayne County leads the state in free throw accuracy (76 percent). It made 18 of 27 (67 percent) Friday night.

The Cards average only nine turnovers, but they had almost double that number against East Jessamine.

"We gotta do things a whole lot better," Woods said. "We've not been sharp for about the last four games."

Could it just be a case of the January blues?

"I hope that's what it is," Woods said.

Or could Wayne County's unbeaten streak be weighing on the players?

"I think so," Woods said. "The coaches as adults look at it as fun. I don't think the (players) look at it like that."

Blevins said the defending 12th Region champs aren't affected by the streak, although "we know we're going to get everybody's best shot. But we're a tough team, a veteran team, and we can handle it. It's a pride thing."

East Jessamine relied almost exclusively on Ronnie Carson and Camryn Jones in the early going. They combined to score 28 of the Jaguars' first 31 points. Jones had 17 points and Carson had 16 at halftime.

But Wayne County still led 51-42 at the break.

Carson, a 6-3 junior who's averaging 28 points, picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter. He went to the bench, and Wayne County stretched its lead to 78-59 by the end of the quarter.

Jones, a 6-0 sophomore, led East with 29 points. Carson had 28.

Coach Chris O'Bryan was upbeat, even though his Jaguars had a seven-game winning streak halted.

"To lose by 14 to the defending region champs with our best player in foul trouble, I'm proud of my kids," he said. "We could've lost by 30 or 40 points, and at the beginning of the year we probably would have. So I'm proud of the steps we've made."

O'Bryan said Wayne County is "the standard for our region" and "that's the level we've gotta get to."

Woods, meanwhile, doesn't expect his Cards to stay undefeated.

"It's not going to last," he said. "It might be gone tomorrow, or next week. We just want to try to make it last as long as we can."

Wayne County is back at East Jessamine on Saturday for a 12:30 game against Bryan Station in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wayne County 94, E. Jessamine 80

WAYNE COUNTY (17-0) — Woods 27, Blevins 33, Stearns 17, Perkins 4, Staples 2, Gardner 11.

EAST JESSAMINE (10-8) — Carson 28, Jones 29, Smith 11, Downey 8, Bruner 4.

Wayne County 27 24 27 16—94

East Jessamine 22 20 17 21—80

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

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