The Cards can count on their ace.
Tamron Manning pumped in 27 points as Scott County's third-rated Cardinals claimed the boys' 42nd District title Friday night with a 71-49 victory over Bryan Station in a game played at Henry Clay.
"I'm a senior leader, so they look to me to carry them," said the 6-foot-5 Manning, who also had 10 rebounds and four steals. "So I just try to be there for my teammates."
Both the district champ and runner-up advance to the 11th Region Tournament.
"It means a lot to me just to be in this position," Manning said. "But we've got way bigger goals than this. Way bigger goals."
The Cardinals (29-4) won for the seventh game in a row and 21st time in 22 games. They also whipped Bryan Station 84-47 in January and 76-52 on Feb. 1.
The Defenders didn't go down easily Friday.
"It was a tough basketball game," Scott County Coach Billy Hicks said. "The score is not indicative of how hard ... it was. I thought Bryan Station played as hard as any team we've played all year. Boy, they got after us! ... We're a good rebounding team, and we got outrebounded 20-11 the first half."
Still, Scott County led 34-24 at intermission.
Then the Cardinals went out and outrebounded Bryan Station 22-15 while steadily pulling away in the second half.
The Defenders came as close as six points early in the third quarter, but trailed 50-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
"We played hard," Bryan Station Coach Michael Allen said. "I just would have liked to shoot a little higher percentage from the field, though."
The Defenders finished 16-for-56 from the field (28.6 percent) and 12-for-17 at the free-throw line.
Scott County went 21-for-45 from the floor (46.7 percent) and sank 25 of 32 free throws.
"Scott County's one of the most physical teams in the 11th Region, and I thought their physicality was the difference-maker in the game because we fouled a lot, and a lot of their points that came in the second half were from the charity stripe," Allen said. "You put a team like that in a bonus, double-bonus, it's going to be a long night for you."
Manning, 8-for-17 from the field, went 10-for-14 at the foul line. Ivey made eight of nine free throws and Gilbert was 4-for-4.
In addition, Scott County finished with 10-point advantages in points off turnovers (21-11) and points in the paint (28-18).
BRYAN STATION (12-20) — Williams 15, Henry 0, Beckham 16, Smith 5, Harris 4, Allen 5, Sweat 4. Totals 16-56 12-17 49.
SCOTT CO. (28-4) — Harris 2, Richardson 2, Gilbert 12, Ivey 21, Manning 27, Haddix 5, Petterson 2. Totals 21-45 25-32 71.
Bryan Station 9 15 13 12—49
Scott County 11 23 16 21—71
Three-point goals — BS: 5-18; SC: 4-9.
All-tournament team — Wes Kimball (Henry Clay); Reid Freeman (Sayre); Marcus Williams and Kalahari Harris (Bryan Station); Tamron Manning, Isaiah Ivey and Trenton Gilbert (Scott Co.).