42nd District boys' finals: No. 24 Henry Clay 68, No. 5 Scott Co. 65

mmaloney@herald-leader.comFebruary 27, 2014 

The streak is over.

No. 24 Henry Clay pulled the plug on No. 5 Scott County's 21-game winning streak Thursday night, scoring a 68-65 home-floor victory in the finals of the boys' 42nd District tournament.

"Any time you can win the 42nd District, I'd say it is a big win," Henry Clay Coach Daniel Brown said. "That's the first time Henry Clay has won the 42nd District since the revamp. The first chance we've got to cut the nets down. So I'm excited for these seniors and I'm so excited for this team. They just played with so much heart."

Jordan Green propelled the Blue Devils with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Jeremiah Tisdale chipped in with 15 points and Felix Wilson had 12.

Both teams advance to next week's 11th Region tournament, but the district finals were anything but meaningless.

"This is the biggest game of my life," Green said. "More to come, hopefully. But this is definitely one of the biggest games in my life."

Henry Clay (17-12) avenged a pair of regular-season losses to the Cardinals, 82-69 on Jan. 10 and 82-70 on Feb. 7.

"We bought into playing every possession defensively," Brown said. "We had the game where we wanted, in the sixties, so I think our defense really stepped up."

Scott County (29-3) got a 30-point, eight-rebound effort out of Mr. Basketball finalist Trent Gilbert. Tony Martini had 15 points and eight boards. Teddy Ware, who transferred from Henry Clay, grabbed 11 rebounds and added seven points.

Gilbert had 17 points to help Scott County to a 32-31 halftime lead. Green had 14 first-half points for the Devils.

Henry Clay led 51-47 through three quarters and went up 56-49 early in the fourth.

The Cardinals weren't finished, though, coming back to take a 65-64 lead when Martini converted a three-point play with 2:25 left.

That was all Scott County would get, as Henry Clay scored the final four points.

Green sank two free throws with 1:45 left.

His fast-break feed to Tisdale resulted in the clinching bucket with 4.1 seconds left.

Scott County had a chance to tie, but Ware's last-second try from the right wing glanced off the backboard.

"Henry Clay made some shots," Scott County Coach Billy Hicks said. "I thought we got fouled the last two possessions, really hard, and no calls. ... But Henry Clay hit some big shots, they made some big plays. And we missed a lot of shots. We were in foul trouble from the get-go."

If there is a silver lining to Scott County's loss, it's that the Cardinals get to play on, and minus the pressure of a hefty winning streak.

"I hope this will motivate us," Hicks said. "Henry Clay had a good atmosphere here tonight on the home court. ... It wasn't no tournament game. This was 'on the road' tonight."

Henry Clay 68, Scott County 65

HENRY CLAY (17-12) — Barnes 2, Setzer 3, Green 27, J. Tisdale 15, Wilson 12, I. Tisdale 7, Campbell 2. Totals 25-58 15-22 68

SCOTT CO. (29-3) — Martini 15, Long 3, Gilbert 30, Ware 7, Murray 0, Crank 6, Banks 4. Totals 24-69 12-15 65.

Henry Clay 11 20 20 17 — 68

Scott County 13 19 15 18 — 65

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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