Scott used its speed and a stellar encore by star Jake Ohmer to trump Perry County Central’s size on Friday afternoon, as the Eagles cruised past the Commodores 74-52 in the quarterfinals of the 100th Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena.
Ohmer was once again electric two days after erupting for 41 points in Scott’s opening round victory over Harlan County, the 21st 40-plus point performance in Sweet Sixteen history.
Box score: Scott 74, Perry County Central 52
Against No. 8 Perry Central, Ohmer dropped a double-double, pouring in 32 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The senior, who’s committed to Cumberlands, knocked down six of 10 three-pointers, including four in the first half as the No. 10 Eagles built a 33-27 halftime lead. He led the Eagles with six assists.
“Last year I used to let people get into my head,” said Ohmer. “This year I just try to come out and play my game, and play with my teammates and share the ball.”
The Eagles, who will play in their first Sweet Sixteen semifinal in school history, dictated the tempo the entire game, getting out on the break and never allowing Perry Central to exploit its huge size advantage in the halfcourt. Scott forced 23 Perry Central turnovers leading to 28 points and outscored the Commodores 16-0 on fast-break points.
Nelson Perrin drew the assignment on Perry Central’s leading scorer, Damon Tobler, and the five-foot-seven junior showed off his defensive chops. Perrin held Tobler to 11 points and forced him into seven turnovers.
“I told them yesterday while watching film, ‘The thing about life is that big things don’t like little things running around their feet,’” said Scott first-year head coach Steve Fromeyer. “If (Tobler) was an elephant then Nelson needed to be the little lion running around after him trying to bite him.”
Ohmer’s younger brother gave the Scott faithful a glimpse of the future in the second half. After being held scoreless in the first two quarters, sophomore Chad Ohmer heated up for 14 second-half points, knocking down two of four attempts from behind the arc. When Jake sank his final shot with 4:22 left in the game, the Ohmer brothers had outscored the entire Commodores team 46-45.
Perry Central cut the deficit to 37-33 on a nasty drive and Eurostep finish at the rim from Tobler, but that was as close as the Commodores would get. Scott ripped off a 16-2 run that included seven straight points from Jake Ohmer and took a 56-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
“It just snowballed, it was 37-33 and then the next thing I know it’s 13 points like that,” said Perry Central Coach Shannon Hoskins. “They’ve got one of those teams that can get out and run on you, and they’re explosive, and with a guy like (Jake Ohmer) that can shoot the three that way, they’re dangerous.”
Perry Central’s starting frontcourt did its best to keep the Commodores in the game, as Princewill Anosike and Idris Akinyemi each contributed double-doubles. Akinyemi had a team-high 18 points and 11 rebounds while Anosike added 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Scott will take on Bowling Green in Saturday’s first semifinal matchup at 6:30 p.m. The Purples put away Scott County 68-53 in Friday’s first quarterfinal.
Fromeyer said Scott has a tough challenge ahead against the tournament’s highest-ranked remaining team, a Purples squad he called “really just incredible.”
But he said the Eagles are ready to keep leaving their mark on Sweet Sixteen history as they continue the program’s deepest-ever postseason run.
“We’ve had a lot of games where we’ve been up and we’ve let teams chip back in, but today the train was coming … We were due for that kind of game,” Fromeyer said. “Nobody knew who the Scott Eagles were, but I’ll tell you this, they know now.”