Nearly a year after Paul Laurence Dunbar visited Georgetown and issued Scott County a 30-point beating to finish the regular seaosn, the Cardinals returned the favor with an 88-58 thrashing on the Bulldogs’ Senior Night in Lexington Thursday night.
Michael Moreno game highs with 33 points and 11 rebounds for Scott County, which won its 13th straight game and improved to 23-1 against Kentucky competition this season. The lone loss for the top-ranked team in the Cantrall Ratings came at Lexington Catholic, 59-55, on Dec. 13.
At that point, Cooper Robb was still getting into basketball shape following the end of football season. The junior had 21 points and three steals for the Cardinals versus Dunbar, rated fifth overall coming into the week.
“Everybody nows about Michael,” Scott County Coach Billy Hicks said. “I don’t think people realize that Cooper Robb’s a really good basketball player. I just think that he gets overlooked sometimes.”
Hicks said Robb handled Dunbar’s defensive pressure as well anybody he’s seen do it. His players were more loose than he would’ve guessed ahead of a much-anticipated matchup in front of a big crowd.
“(It was) the first time I’ve seen a packed gym in Lexington in a long time,” Hicks said. “That’s good. Maybe you just gotta get bigger games here or something, cause that was the first time I’ve seen the bleachers out here this year.”
Taveion Hollingsworth had 29 points, seven rebounds and four assists in his final performance in front of his home crowd. The Western Kentucky University signee, who on Tuesday became Lexington’s all-time leader in boys’ points, upped his career scoring total to 4,251. Hollingsworth was presented with a ball commemorating his achievement prior to tipoff.
No other Bulldogs finished in double digits against the Cardinals, who used a 28-15 edge in the second quarter to take a big halftime lead. Robb opened the game with a three-pointer and Dunbar never claimed an advantage.
Dunbar dropped its second straight after losing on a buzzer-beater at West Jessamine on Tuesday. The Bulldogs will take on Lexington Christian, which lost on a buzzer-beater against Bryan Station on Thursday, in the 43rd District semifinals on Tuesday.
Scott County opens 42nd District play against Station, whom it beat twice this season, on Tuesday night.
“We’re starting over,” Moreno said of Tuesday’s matchup. “We can lose this game and be done, y’know? Rankings don’t mean nothing right now.”
Scott County 88, Paul Laurence Dunbar 58
Scott County (25-5) — Fluker 3, Long 14, Allen 4, Robb 21, G. Covington 2, Davis 2, Easley 2, Moreno 33, Williams 5, Watts 2.
Dunbar (21-8) — Richardson 6, Yeast 5, JaQuice Gray 4, Hollingsworth 29, Gadd 8, Ifeacho 4, Whiteside 2.