Corbin trailed the No. 1 team in the state by one point 31 seconds into the third quarter. Scott County was up 20 points five minutes later.
The Cardinals used a 21-2 run in the middle of the third to create a gap the Redhounds couldn’t overcome Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 101st Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen. Scott County left with a 73-62 win and a ticket to Saturday’s semifinals, where it will play Warren Central.
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Glenn Covington, a junior noted for his defensive prowess more than his offensive touch, had 20 points to lead Scott County. He was 7-of-13 from the field and 5-for-11 from beyond the three-point line.
“I’m a streaky shooter but once I get going it’s over with,” Covington said with a grin.
The game was tied at 17 after the first quarter. Scott County missed seven of its first nine three-point tries.
“We started the ball game just taking threes,” Cards Coach Billy Hicks said. “Threes, threes, threes. They got back in a zone and we didn’t attack it and we just settled for threes. We made a few, which was fool’s gold, and then we missed a bunch.”
The Cardinals finished 9-for-28 from the three-point line and shot 45.2 percent overall from the field (28-of-62). Bryce Long had 18 points for the Cardinals. Cooper Robb, a senior who’s signed with Charlotte, and Michael Moreno, the Cardinals’ star junior, each had 11 points. Moreno led Scott County with 11 rebounds.
Scott County had a significant size advantage over the Redhounds but finished with a slight edge on the glass, 38-36. The Cardinals also committed five more turnovers than Corbin (18-13).
“When a team out-hustles us and out-scraps us, we don’t look very good,” Hicks said.
Covington and Long combined for 15 of Scott County’s 21 points during the 21-2 run. The Cardinals had not gotten much offensive production outside of the Cobb-Moreno duo in their previous two games, tight wins over Lexington Christian in the 11th Region finals and against No. 3 Trinity in their Sweet Sixteen opener.
Hicks said Covington, who averages 6.1 points for the Cardinals, is “pound-for-pound the best athlete on our team.”
“I expect that out of Glenn every night,” Hicks said. “Honestly, I think Glenn’s capable of being a great defender and an outstanding offensive player, too. He’s got that kind of talent.”
Andrew Taylor, a Mr. Basketball finalist who finished his career as one of seven players in state history with 3,000 points and 1,100 rebounds, had a game-high 25 points, 12 rebounds and five assists to lead Corbin.
The Furman University signee finished third all-time in boys’ career scoring with 3,628 points, behind only Wayland’s “King” Kelly Coleman (4,337) and Flat Gap’s Charlie Osborne (3,647), both of whom played in the mid-1950s.
“Andrew has been with me since eighth grade,” Corbin Coach Tony Pietrowski said. “It’ll be tough to see him go. He’s been a special kid to me. And, when you start talking about the amount of points he’s scored and the amount of rebounds he’s had in this program, and where he ranks statistically in the state, it’s unbelievable.”
Boys’ Sweet Sixteen
When: Wednesday through Sunday
Where: Rupp Arena
At stake: Boys’ state high school basketball championship