Ohio came away with a pair of victories in the Kentucky-Ohio All-Star series after trailing by double digits in both the boys’ and girls’ game. Judging from the level of recruits playing for both sides, Ohio was expected to win handily in each contest. But both Kentucky squads made life difficult for their northern neighbors.
Kentucky bolted out to a 13-0 lead but couldn’t sustain its early momentum as Ohio rallied for a 94-92 win at Thomas More on Saturday.
Carson Williams of Owen County was named Kentucky’s MVP after scoring 18 points, the first eight coming before the teams were forced to substitute their players at the 15-minute mark of the first half.
Williams, Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball and a Northern Kentucky signee, drew early “oohs” and “ahs” from the friendly crowd after finishing lobs at the rim on three of Kentucky’s first four possessions. The other time Kentucky had the ball in that stretch, Williams found Taylor County star Quentin Goodin, who scored the first two of his 10 points.
The two hadn’t played together much prior to this experience, but it was hard to tell. “We were just clicking from the beginning,” Williams said. “It just kind of happened.”
Goodin, a point guard who’s signed with Xavier, enjoyed getting to be more of a distributor in the setting. Playing with a big man like Williams made his life easier, he said.
“If he was at Taylor County we would’ve won state. I tell ya that right now,” Goodin said with a laugh. “ ... He’s a freak athlete. He does all the little stuff and has a great motor. Somebody like that and great size, it’s easy to play with.”
Ohio used a 16-0 run to seemingly bury Kentucky at 82-70 with a little more than five minutes to play. But the home team pulled witin 89-86 on a three-pointer by Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Darius Williams with 1:35 to play.
Ohio’s Jarron Cumberland, a Cincinnati signee who was named MVP for the winners, hit four free throws down the stretch to make it 93-89. Newport Central Catholic standout Ben Weyer, who’s headed to Bellarmine, drew contact on a three-point attempt and sunk all three freebies to get Kentucky within 93-92 with 8.7 seconds to play. Cumberland hit his first free throw but missed the second, leaving the door open for a three-point try to win by Caverna’s Mason Faulkner that fell short at the end.
Ohio rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to overcome Kentucky 76-71 in the girls’ game, which preceded the boys’ bout at Thomas More.
Bree Glover, a Mississippi signee who set several records at Glasgow, finished with a game-high 14 points to be named Kentucky’s MVP. Lakota East’s Samantha Rogers, a Cincinnati signee who hit a go-ahead three-pointer to put Ohio up 72-69 with less than three minutes to play, was named MVP for the winning team.
Glover enjoyed getting to meet new people with whom she’d never played basketball. She thought they performed well in limited practice time. They also had to deal with a head-coaching swap; Franklin County’s Joey Thacker was pegged to lead the team Saturday but had to go back home due to a family emergency. Holmes Coach Tony Perkins assumed the head coaching spot.
There was one girl in particular she was honored to share the court with.
“I was excited to play with Whitney Creech,” Glover said. “She’s gonna be history. Miss 5,000 points, you wanna play with somebody like that. It was a big honor to be able to play with her.”
Boys: Ohio 94, Kentucky 92
Ohio — Xavier Simpson 12, Trey McBride 6, Trey Landers 13, Gage Rhodes 0, Ky’Re Allison 4, Jarron Cumberland 15, Roderick Caldwell 2, Maishe Dailey 8, Jalen Tate 8, Chandler Vaudrin 0, Ibi Watson 2, Brian Rolfe 2, Trey Kelley 4, John Teske 4, Nick Ward 14.
Kentucky — Quentin Goodin 10, Chris Drabo 5, Tyrik Edwards 3, Jordan Perry 0, Malik Frank 2, Jaiveon Eaves 5, Darrius Williams 7, Mason Faulkner 13, James Boone 3, Alex Cook 4, Carson Williams 18, Jaalam Hill 4, Malik Dow 6, Ben Weyer 10, Matt Wilson 2.
Girls: Ohio 76, Kentucky 71
Ohio — Jailyn Mason 4, Kacie Hall 3, Julia Jenike 2, Danielle Wells 5, Nia Staples 12, Rylie Parkhurst 4, Samantha Rogers 12, Lexie Barrier 8, Allie Poole 4, Mariah Campbell 2, Leia Moore 2, Lexi Wasan 4, Sara Loomis 0, Kourtney Eisenman 4, Lauren Van Kleunen 10.
Kentucky — Breanna Glover 14, Tamiah Stanford 0, Katie Downey 9, T’Laya Lyvers 4, Whitney Creech 4, Bailey Cummins 3, Madison Faulkner 4, Sydney Anderson 6, Malaka Frank 2, Kaylee Cotton 4, Jynea Harris 2, Kayla Bruner 8, Samantha Fitzgerald 0, Sara Price 5, I’Layah Green 6.