Scott County defeated Lexington Christian, 68-59, in an early meeting between the top ranked 11th Region boys’ basketball teams on Thursday night.
Bryce Long led the Cardinals with 19 points on 6-for-7 shooting. He was 3-for-4 from three-point territory and was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Michael Moreno, the Cards’ star junior who has several Division I offers, had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Carter Hendricken, a North Florida signee, had a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles. He was 5-for-10 from behind the three-point line.
LCA was without its own star junior, Kyle Rode, for much of the second half. Rode landed on the foot of another player and had trouble getting back up off the floor with about a minute left in the third quarter. He walked off under his own power but did not return to the game. Rode after the game had ice around his left foot and said he suffered an ankle sprain, the severity of which would be determined Friday morning.
Rode’s injury was pivotal. The game was tied, 28-28, after one half, and Scott County led 39-38 after three quarters. Before exiting he had 11 points (5-for-10 shooting) and nine rebounds.
“I would’ve liked to played that fourth quarter with Kyle Rode one time and see how it shakes out, but hopefully we’ll see ’em again,” said LCA Coach Nate Valentine.
Cardinals Coach Billy Hicks said he hated that Rode went down. “The biggest play of the game was when he hurt his ankle,” he said.
Moreno is a good friend to and AAU teammate of Rode.
“I just don’t feel like we get the good feeling of beating those guys if he’s out because he’s a pretty big piece,” Moreno said. “ ... He had ankle problems last year, so it got to me a little bit.”
Scott County (3-0) was the No. 1 ranked team statewide and in the 11th Region in the Herald-Leader’s preseason poll of coaches. Lexington Christian (2-2) was ranked sixth statewide and second in the region.
The Cardinals travel to Frederick Douglass (2-1) on Friday before hosting No. 11 Lexington Catholic (3-1) on Tuesday.
LCA’s next game is against Pendleton County (3-0) Saturday night at Robertson County. After that the Eagles will host Paul Laurence Dunbar (0-3) on Tuesday.