FRANKFORT — Covington Holy Cross and Bardstown, two of the favorites in the boys' Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic, squashed the dreams of a couple of long shots in the semifinals of the small-school state basketball tournament Saturday night.
Holy Cross beat Collegiate 69-49, and Bardstown rallied past Heath 56-44 in the Frankfort Convention Center.
Holy Cross (21-2) will face Bardstown (18-6) in Sunday's 2:30 p.m. title game.
Bardstown has won an All "A" title (2006) and been runner-up twice (2007, 2009), while Holy Cross is in the finals for the first time in five appearances.
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"We came here this week to be in the game on Sunday and give ourselves an opportunity to take home the title," Indians Coach Erik Goetz said. "There's no guarantee what's going to happen, but we've put ourselves in position where we have a chance. That's all you can ask for."
Covington Holy Cross 69, Collegiate 49: Goetz said he warned his players, "Don't let (Collegiate) hang around because they're good enough to get you.
"We wanted to emphasize execution early, get to the paint and get to the line so we could get off to a good start."
Holy Cross did that not only early, but pretty much the entire game as was reflected in its terrific shooting. The Indians were 27-for-42 from the field (64 percent).
Antonio Campbell, a 6-foot-8 junior, had 16 points and eight rebounds. Jake Burger, a 6-2 senior guard, also had 16 points. Christian McClendon added 12 points.
Collegiate, rated 15th in the 16-team field, knocked off Bishop Brossart and Danville to reach the semifinals. But Holy Cross was too much.
Bryce Overstreet led the Titans with 17 points and five rebounds. Andrew Steggeman added 14 points.
Bardstown 56, Heath 44: After playing an erratic first half, Bardstown senior point guard Anthony "Smurf" Myrks got a few words of "encouragement" from his coach (and adoptive father) Tigers Coach James "Boo" Brewer.
"I didn't feel he was making the right decisions on offense or defense," Brewer said. "But we kinda got that straightened out."
Heath, rated 13th in the tournament, saw a 23-20 halftime lead turn into a 12-point loss. Brewer credited Myrks for leading the charge.
"He turned up the defense in the second half and controlled the ball, as well."
Myrks said Brewer "challenges me like that every game, and I accepted the challenge." His stat line showed it. Myrks finished with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Jordan Brewer and Cody Ramos each had 14 points and six rebounds for the Tigers, who prevailed even though they missed their first 16 three-point attempts and wound up 1-for-18.
Heath, specifically 6-foot-5, 240-pound senior Jacob Jett, gave Bardstown all kinds of trouble in the first half. He scored from everywhere, swishing a pair of threes, hitting an acrobatic driving layup, making pull-up baseline jumpers and posting up strong.
Jett wasn't as effective in the second half. Brewer credited Justin Hubbard, who took over the defensive assignment on Jett.
Jett finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Heath Coach Burlin Brower said his team's poor shooting (36 percent) doomed it.
"When you make an upset, you have to make those shots and we just didn't make 'em. The ball just didn't go in the hole on big possessions."