Bardstown is one of the smallest schools in the Republic Bank Holiday Classic, and the Tigers have one of the smallest point guards — 5-foot-8 Anthony "Smurf" Myrks — in the tournament.
But size doesn't always matter in basketball as Bardstown and Myrks are proving again at Lexington Catholic.
On Monday, the Tigers ripped Houston, Tenn., 78-65 as Myrks contributed 16 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
On Tuesday, Myrks scored all of his 13 points in the last 12 minutes as No. 23 Bards town rallied to beat No. 22 Central 59-52. Myrks also had six assists and three rebounds as the Tigers advanced to face St. Xavier in Wednesday's quarterfinals.
Never miss a local story.
Bardstown's success isn't a surprise. Coach James "Boo" Brewer returned several key players from last season's 5th Region championship team, including Myrks (the coach's adopted son) and Jordan Brewer (the coach's son).
The Tigers also start Devonte Grundy and Cody Ramos, who logged a lot of minutes last winter.
"We're very athletic, we play hard-nosed defense and we've got a great bench," Coach Brewer said. "If we play together, the sky's the limit for this team."
The Tigers don't venture much outside the 5th Region, so when they were invited to Lexington Catholic's tournament, Brewer said they jumped at the chance, "not only for my kids, but for our community. We're a small town and a small Class A school, but we love the game of basketball and can play it with the best of them."
Bardstown showed its stuff when it outscored Central 19-4 to start the fourth quarter, turning a 42-37 deficit into a 56-46 lead.
Jordan Brewer's three-pointer from the right corner provided the big spark. "Jordan hit that shot, and it put a little more pep in our step. We turned up our defense and that gave us a little momentum," Coach Brewer said.
Myrks, who didn't score until midway through the third quarter, started doing his thing — penetrating and either scoring or passing off.
"Smurf was having a rough, rough night. They were really keying on him," Brewer said. "For us to be successful, he's got to get into the lane and finish or pass. He finally did that in the second half."
Brewer finished with 15 points and three steals. Ramos had 10 points and eight rebounds. Grundy added nine points and five rebounds.
Central was led by Stuart Jackson's 15 points and five rebounds.
Smurf's take on Bardstown making it to the tournament quarterfinals: "It shows that little schools can come up to big tournaments and play with the biggest and best teams around," Myrks said.
BARDSTOWN (6-3) — Brewer 15, Myrks 13, Ramos 10, Starks 6, Grundy 9. Hubbard 1, Schooling 3, Gordon 2.
CENTRAL (6-3) — Jackson 15, Chandler 12, Logan 7, Johnson 3, Knox 5, Maxey 4, Russell 1, Daniels 5.
Bardstown 8 15 14 22—59
Central 12 12 18 10—52