Scott High School’s Jake Ohmer put on one of the best Sweet Sixteen performances in years Wednesday night, going for 41 points and 17 rebounds in the highest-scoring individual game in the state tournament since Antwain Barbour scored 42 points for Elizabethtown in 2000.
That’s become the norm for Ohmer, who averaged 27.1 points coming into the week and scored a total of 104 points in three 10th Region Tournament victories, including 46 against Paris in the semifinals.
Ohmer also hit a game-winning three-pointer against Campbell County to claim a spot in the Sweet Sixteen for Scott, its first state tournament berth since 1989.
But Eagles Coach Steve Fromeyer has stressed it’s not simply the “Jake Ohmer Show,” and there was evidence of that early in Scott’s first-round victory over Harlan County.
Senior guard Vincent Dumlao — a bench player averaging 6.8 points — made two three-pointers and scored nine points in the first quarter of Scott’s first-ever Sweet Sixteen victory, helping the Eagles get out to an early lead Wednesday.
“It was incredible. That was huge for our team,” Fromeyer said. “Here’s the thing. It’s not Jake Ohmer and the four misfits. That’s not what this team is, and it’s not been that way. We have good pieces around him to fill the whole pie. … That’s just the way it is.”
Scott will play Perry County Central at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
In the final seconds of Fern Creek’s 81-64 victory over Hopkinsville on Thursday, Hoptown Coach Tim Haworth started screaming at his counterpart, James Schooler.
“Coach! Coach! Coach!” Haworth bellowed over the noise of the Rupp Arena crowd.
This wasn’t a Steve Alford-Sean Miller moment.
Haworth was trying to get Schooler’s attention because he wanted Fern Creek, which had the ball and was running out the clock, to call a timeout so he could get some of his bench players on the court in a state tournament game.
As soon as Schooler figured out what Haworth was doing, he quickly got the referee’s attention and signaled for a timeout. As a result, several more players can say they played in the 100th edition of the Sweet Sixteen.
Haworth and Schooler are good friends off the court, and they spoke before this tournament of their mutual respect and admiration for each other.
“He’s like a brother to me,” Schooler said last week. “He’s just a genuine guy.”
Last year’s Sweet Sixteen MVP — Paul Laurence Dunbar star Taveion Hollingsworth — has been selected to play in next month’s Derby Festival Classic showcase in Louisville.
The annual game features some of the top high school seniors from around the country, and this year’s event will include UK signee Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and all four of Louisville’s signees: Jordan Nwora, Darius Perry, Lance Thomas and Malik Williams.
Hollingsworth, who was named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball this week, has signed with Western Kentucky.
Friday evening will be the first time Owen County Coach Devin Duvall won’t be rooting for the University of Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.
Carson Williams, last year’s Mr. Basketball winner out of Owen County, is now a freshman at NKU who’s started in 33 of 34 games for the Norse. He’s averaged 10.5 points and 5.8 rebounds.
“I called him before the selection show and said, ‘Well, who do ya want?” Duvall said. “He said, ‘Well Coach, we’re pretty much hearing it’s gonna be either Kentucky or Louisville, so we might as well get the Cats.’ Most kids in Kentucky grow up wanting to be a UK Wildcat, so it’s kind of a consolation prize to be able to play ’em in their first appearance ever. It’s like a perfect storm.”
All of Owen County has “really, really been abuzz,” Duvall said. Williams was able to return to his roots a few times during the college season, getting to drop in to some Owen County practices and visit elementary and middle schools in the area.
The younger kids “all think he’s a god,” said Duvall, who will make the drive to Indianapolis on Friday to watch UK and NKU play in person.
In the crowd
Scott County sophomore Michael Moreno is already drawing attention from college recruiters, and one of the state’s biggest names was in Rupp to see him play Wednesday night.
Western Kentucky Coach Rick Stansbury evaluated Moreno in the Cardinals’ 83-54 victory over Pulaski County in the first round of the Sweet Sixteen.
Moreno — a 6-foot-6 guard/forward — had 15 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers, going 7-for-12 from the floor.