Clark County, which lost to Trinity in the King of the Bluegrass last week, was hoping for a rematch with the Shamrocks in the semifinals of the Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they first had a rematch with Male in the quarterfinals, and that didn't turn out so well.
Male, which lost at Clark County 72-63 earlier this month, got its revenge by dealing the Cards a 68-62 defeat Monday night.
D'Carlo Hayes was the Bulldogs' star. The 5-foot-11 senior point guard had 25 points (including 15 of 18 free throws), nine rebounds, five assists and two steals.
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"He's the man," Coach Tom Crews said.
Clark County Coach Scott Humphrey agreed.
"Male goes as (Hayes) goes," he said. "He's a tremendous player, and he was outstanding tonight."
Male used its quickness and speed to build a 16-point lead in the first half.
Clark County battled back in the second half and had a chance to tie it with two minutes left. But the Bulldogs came up with a steal and put away the game at the free-throw line. Hayes couldn't be contained as he drove the lane.
"Late in the game it's nice to have a point guard who can handle it and hit free throws," Crews said.
Hayes said he thought Male should've beaten Clark County the first time they played.
"But everybody stepped up today," he said. "We've been working hard on defense."
Crews began the season planning to use mostly zone defenses, but after the Bulldogs lost their first three games, he "went back to putting a major emphasis on man-to-man, the way I've made my living."
Humphrey said he thought the difference in the rematch was that "Male was the aggressor in the first half. They really got after us. I thought we matched their aggressiveness the second half, but it wasn't enough to get the job done."
Male, which plays 7th Region rival Trinity in the semifinals, also got solid play from Kevin Glenn (13 points, seven rebounds), Tony Horne (10 points) and James Pillischafske (nine points, four rebounds, three assists).
Vinny Zollo, a 6-8 junior, led Clark County with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Robbie Stenzel had 18 points. Corey Rogers added nine points and seven rebounds.
Male, which was rated 25th in the state in the pre-season, out-rebounded the bigger Cards 29-28.
Clark County, rated fifth in the pre-season, is 9-3. All of its losses have been to 7th Region teams — Male, Trinity and Eastern.
MALE (6-4) — Hayes 25, Horne 10, Glenn 13, Pillischafske 9, Moore 4, Logan 7.
CLARK CO. (9-3) — Stenzel 18, Zollo 19, Rogers 9, Daniel 8, Kindred 8.
Male 20 16 14 18—68
Clark Co. 13 10 19 20—62