A few moments before the Rupp Arena buzzer marking the end of the third quarter sounded, Jake Ohmer let loose with a running shot from about 70 feet away.
It rattled off the rim and bounced to the floor. By that point in the game, it was a surprise that it didn’t go in.
Ohmer scored 41 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and led Scott High School to a 77-65 victory over Harlan County in the first round of the tournament Thursday night, the school’s first victory in a state tournament game.
“Honestly, to me, it’s just another game,” Ohmer said. “I’m not being cocky or anything. Everyone in our city wanted us to come here. I’m happy that everybody got to come watch and experience what we all wanted to experience since I was a freshman.”
Box score: Scott 77, Harlan County 65
Ohmer became just the 20th player in the 100-year history of the Sweet Sixteen to score more than 40 points in a game. It was the highest individual scoring total since Elizabethtown’s Antwain Barbour dropped 42 points in the state tournament 17 years ago, and it put Ohmer on a list that also includes the likes of Cliff Hagan, Richie Farmer and King Kelly Coleman, the only Kentucky player to twice score more than 40 points in a Sweet Sixteen game.
The 5-foot-11 senior guard was averaging 27.1 points per game this season, more than any other player who made it to Lexington this week.
“I’ve watched Jake Ohmer score 40 points a game since he was in sixth grade,” deadpanned Scott Coach Steve Fromeyer. “I’m kind of numb to it.”
Ohmer was at his best in the third quarter, when he scored 17 and almost made it an even 20 with that three-quarters court heave at the buzzer. He scored 15 of those points over a span of 4 minutes and 30 seconds to close the period.
That run included a pull-up three-pointer from about 26 feet, another three a few seconds later and a play after that where Ohmer missed a long-range shot, followed it to get his own rebound and finished with a driving layup.
While Ohmer was going off, Harlan County refused to go away.
Though Scott (22-12) held a comfortable lead for most of the game, the Black Bears — led by senior guard Cameron Carmical’s 25 points — continued to fight, cutting the lead to eight points on a few occasions in the fourth quarter.
That’s as close as Harlan County (31-4) got, and its first-ever trip to the Sweet Sixteen ended with a loss on the first night.
“If you’re going to lose, you want to lose in the state tournament,” said Black Bears Coach Michael Jones. “You always hate to lose, but when you do it, this is the place you want to do it at. I’m proud of the team. We had a great run.”
Players with more than 40 points in Sweet Sixteen game
- 68 Kelly Coleman (Wayland) vs. Bell Co., 1956
- 51 Richie Farmer (Clay Co.) vs. Ballard, 1988
- 50 Kelly Coleman (Wayland) vs. Shelbyville, 1956
- 47 Linville Puckett (George Rogers Clark) vs. Somerset, 1952
- 47 Robert Brooks (Madison) vs. Breathitt Co., 1970
- 47 Manuel Forrest (Moore) vs. Simon Kenton, 1981
- 46 Don Ringstaff (Livingston Central) vs. Olive Hill, 1959
- 44 Ron King (Central) vs. Ohio Co., 1969
- 43 Dan Langhi (Marshall Co.) vs. Simon Kenton, 1995
- 43 Jeff Lamp (Ballard) vs. Owensboro, 1977
- 43 Russ Chadwell (Clay Co.) vs. Highlands, 1987
- 42 Antwain Barbour (Elizabethtown) vs. Russellville, 2000
- 42 Rick Hall (McDowell) vs. Ashland Blazer, 1966
- 42 Bo Roaden (Corbin) vs. Knott Co. Central, 1991
- 41 Jake Ohmer (Scott) vs. Harlan County, 2017
- 41 Michael Burd (Hart Co.) vs. Buckhorn, 1989
- 41 Cliff Hagan (Owensboro) vs. Lafayette, 1949
- 41 Mike Redd (Seneca) vs. Maysville, 1963
- 41 Terry Davis (Shelby Co.) vs. Meade Memorial, 1968
- 41 Jeff Tipton (Ashland Blazer) vs. Holmes, 1980
- 41 Jack Jennings (Holmes) vs. Ballard, 1988