High School Basketball

100th boys’ Sweet Sixteen preview: Scott vs. Harlan County

Senior Cameron Carmical, left, is Harlan County’s leading scorer. Scott’s Jake Ohmer, right, is coming off an epic 10th Region Tournament.
Senior Cameron Carmical, left, is Harlan County’s leading scorer. Scott’s Jake Ohmer, right, is coming off an epic 10th Region Tournament.


Region: 10th

Record: 21-12

Enrollment: 966

Coach’s résumé

Steven Fromeyer is in his first season with the Eagles as head basketball coach but has served at the school in various roles the previous 11 years, most recently as freshman basketball coach and a varsity baseball assistant.

Probable starters

00) Chad Ohmer, 5-9, So., 8.9 ppg

2) Jake Ohmer, 5-11, Sr., 27.1 ppg

3) Timmy Jolley, 6-0, Sr., 7.4 ppg

5) Nelson Perrin, 5-8, Jr., 8.5 ppg

20) Jaycob Pouncy, 5-11, Jr., 6.1 ppg

How they got here

Jake Ohmer put on a performance for the ages in the 10th Region Tournament, scoring 46 points in the semifinals to upend Paris before dropping 30 in the championship game against tournament-favorite Campbell County, including a game-winning three-pointer as time expired.

At one point in the middle of January, Scott lost six of eight games. The Eagles were 5-8 in their previous 13 games heading into region, the last loss being to Campbell County in the 37th District finals. It was the second time this season the Camels beat Scott at the horn.

Scott led by as many as 20 points in the 10th Region finals before the Camels stormed back to take a 77-75 lead with 13 seconds left. Ohmer tracked down a rebound off a teammate’s miss and let loose another trey over the arms of a defender. It popped off the front of the rim before banking through the net.

“The ball bounced our way Tuesday night,” Fromeyer said. “We were pretty lucky.”

Little Eagles

Scott’s six seniors were once part of a group called the “Little Eagles,” of which Fromeyer was a big part during his first year at the school in the 2005-06 season. The club name has taken on a second meaning given the team’s overall lack of size. “We’re the 6-foot-and-under misfits. I’ve said that all year long. We’re just little guys.”

As a result, speed is essential to Scott’s cause.

“We need to get the ball out and get going before you bring those big donkeys down there and let them set up,” Fromeyer said.

Player to watch

Jake Ohmer is best at getting to the rim in transition but can score any number of ways in the half court. He makes about eight free throws a game and is an 86 percent shooter from the line.

“The other night one of the guys said something about him having 46 and without making a face I thought, ‘Well that’s stupid, he didn’t have 46 points,’” Fromeyer said. “He gets ’em quietly, you know?”

Sweet history

Scott has played in the Sweet Sixteen only one time before, in 1989 when it was a member of the 9th Region.

Harlan County

Region: 13th

Record: 31-3

Enrollment: 1,055

Coach’s résumé

Michael Jones is in his fourth season as a head coach with the Black Bears. He succeeded his father, Mike Jones, under whom he previously served as an assistant.

Probable starters

3) Treyce Spurlock, 6-6, Sr., 15.5 ppg

4) Cameron Carmical, 5-11, Sr., 19.6 ppg

5) Andrew Creech, 5-9, Jr., 6.6 ppg

21) Tyrese Simmons, 6-2, Jr., 9.9 ppg

42) David Turner, 6-2, Sr., 5.5 ppg

How they got here

Two of Harlan County’s three losses this season were to Corbin, against whom it battled for the region crown. The third time was the charm for the Black Bears, who gritted out a 67-65 victory in Corbin Arena. “We knew we were gonna have our hands full with them,” Jones said. “… Our kids battled and felt like the first two times we played them they were just a little bit tougher than we were. We challenged our kids to step up to the challenge and they did.”

Turner’s numbers don’t pop off the page, but Jones said he’s the glue of the team. “You don’t see anything flashy with him in the box score, but we wouldn’t be where we’re at without David,” he said. Creech is a “warrior” who made the difference for Harlan County by locking down Corbin star Andrew Taylor in the finals. Jones called Simmons “the best athlete in the school.”

Tournament vet

Jones played under his dad at Harlan Independent, which reached the state tournament when he was a junior in 1993. Sayre girls’ basketball coach and former Mr. Basketball Charles Thomas was a sophomore on that team, which lost to state runner-up Paul Laurence Dunbar in the quarterfinals.

Jones got to coach in the state tournament as an assistant under his dad at Clay County in 2001. That team fell to Russellville in the quarterfinals.

Player to watch

Cameron Carmical has the highest basketball IQ that Jones has ever been around. “He’s as true a point guard as I think there is,” Jones said of the senior, who’s receiving interest from some smaller Division I schools as well as Transylvania and Centre College. Carmical scored a 32 on his ACT and has a 4.0 GPA.

Sweet history

This is the first state tournament trip for Harlan County, which opened in the 2008-09 school year.

“If Harlan County never gets back or if they get back 15 or 20 more times, nobody can ever take away the opportunity from this team that they got to be the first,” Jones said. “The buzz around here right now is unbelievable, like I’ve never seen before.”

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

Chris Ware | staff

Scott vs. Harlan County

What: First round of boys’ Sweet Sixteen basketball state tournament

Where: Rupp Arena

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

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