Scott County defeated Madison Southern, 80-22 … in the first half.
The final score of the 11th Region first-round matchup was 114-37, but the game was decided after the Cardinals stormed out to a 38-3 in the first quarter at Eastern Kentucky University’s McBrayer Arena.
Eighty points is the most ever scored by an 11th Region team in one half in KHSAA history. It is the seventh-highest one-half total ever and the most in any game since Marshall County scored 82 against Christian Fellowship in the first half of a 2003 matchup.
Scott County’s 114 points were a tournament record, passing the 106 scored by Henry Clay against Madison Central in 1982. The 77-point margin of victory was also a new record, topping Bryan Station’s 104-43 win over Harrodsburg in 1972.
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“I guess if you live to coach long enough you’ll see it all,” said Scott County Coach Billy Hicks, who leads the state with 973 career wins. The Cardinals improved to 32-1 and kept alive their unbeaten streak against in-state competition this season.
The Cardinals finished with 31 assists on 46 made baskets, 25 dimes coming on 33 first-half makes. They finished 46-for-77 (59.7 percent) from the field.
Scott County had 48 points off 28 turnovers by the Eagles and out -cored them 52-12 in the paint. Scott County’s bench scored 45 points.
Star junior Michael Moreno nearly recorded a double-double — 29 points and eight rebounds — in 16 minutes of action before sitting for the remainder of the contest.
“Michael had a pretty good half,” Hicks said with a laugh. “That’d be good stats for a whole game.
Four of the six Cardinals who played in the first half reached double-digit scoring. None of Scott County’s regular starters – Moreno, Glenn Covington, Bryce Long, Cooper Robb and Diablo Stewart – played in the second half.
“I guess everybody was probably thinking, ‘Gosh, when is Billy gonna sub?’ but we wanted to play our starters, get ’em sweaty and hot and get a workout in and not play in the second half,” Hicks said.
Cam Fluker, the only non-starter to see the floor for Scott County in the first half, finished with 11 points and five assists before taking a seat after the third quarter. Robb had seven points, eight assists, four rebounds and five steals in 14 minutes.
Terrin Hamilton, a lengthy reserve who hasn’t seen much varsity playing time this season, had 16 points on 6-for-6 shooting in the second half for Scott County. He was 4-for-4 from three-point range.
“Terrin Hamilton’s coming on, and somebody has to,” Hicks said. “We need two or three of those young guys to really step it up and it looks like Terrin, in the last few weeks here, is one that’s really gonna do that. The way he’s shooting and playing, he’s gonna be a really good player for us next year.”
Scott County will meet either Lafayette or Woodford County, who played late Thursday, in Saturday’s semifinals.
Madison Southern head coach Shane Buttry suspected that the Eagles would have a difficult time against the Cardinals, who are ranked second in the state.
“I don’t remember them missing but two or three shots, but I know they missed more than that,” Buttry said. “But even those guys they put in at the end of the game were strokin’ it. In the first half when they missed a couple they just went back and put it back in. If they shoot like that they’ll be hard to beat, anybody in the the state tournament or in the region or anything like that.”