Oldham County trailed by 11 points near the end of the third quarter but overcame that deficit to punch its ticket to the semifinals with a 56-55 victory over Campbell County in the quarterfinals of the 101st Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen basketball state tournament Friday night in Rupp Arena.
Travis Henderson knocked in a three-pointer off an assist from Jackson Gibson with 1.9 seconds remaining to decide the game in Oldham County’s favor. A mid-court heave by Campbell County senior Tanner Clos fell short of the rim as time expired.
“What a shot. What a big shot,” Oldham County Coach Coy Zerhusen said. “I’d like to say that we were trying to get down 11, that that was part of the game plan. … I don’t know what to say about that, but we just kept grinding.”
Campbell County led 45-37 with 6:41 to play. Oldham County used a 10-4 run to pull within two midway through the quarter. The Colonels narrowed the gap to one with 2:51 left before Campbell County push it back to four with 1:36 to play. A pair of free throws by Henderson and a Zach Larimore jumper off a Camels turnover allowed Oldham to even things at 53-all with 44 seconds left.
Camels senior Reid Jolly connected on a go-ahead bucket off the glass with 29 seconds left. Oldham quickly inbounded, got the ball across half-court, dribbled the clock down and called a timeout with 8.8 seconds left.
The Colonels met a 2-3 zone out when they left the break; Campbell County had played man defense most of the evening.
“I made a call to go to 2-3 to try and keep them from driving to the basket on us,” Camels Coach Aric Russell said. “I decided they had to make a big shot and they did. The call I made is what affected that.”
It was the third straight season that Campbell County’s season ended on a decisive shot in the final seconds. Scott star Jake Ohmer ended Campbell’s season with a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in last year’s 10th Region finals; Antwavon “Pig” Williams drilled a buzzer-beating 25-foot three-pointer in the first round of the 2016 10th Region tournament to send the Camels home.
“I don’t feel snakebit at all,” Russell said. “When you put yourself in position to be in big games, it’s gonna happen. We’ll be in that position again. Sometimes you win ’em, sometimes you lose ’em.”
Henderson had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Colonels. Larimore was 10-for-11 from the field and finished with a game-high 23 points. Gibson had a game-high seven assists.
Drew Wilson led Campbell County with 16 points. Jolly had 14 points and 12 rebounds.