Scott County is one game away from finishing the season where it started — on top.
The No. 1 Cardinals led wire-to-wire in a 75-46 victory over Warren Central in the semifinals of the 101st Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen basketball state tournament Saturday at Rupp Arena.
Scott County, the No. 1 team in the Herald-Leader’s preseason poll of coaches, improved to 37-1 and won their 29th straight game. The Cardinals, who will play No. 2 Covington Catholic in the finals, have not lost to a Kentucky opponent this season.
Scott County will play in the finals for the sixth time, all under head coach Billy Hicks. The Cardinals are 2-3 in championship appearances; they lost their most recent trip in 2014, when Covington Catholic claimed a 59-51 overtime victory.
Glenn Covington, the scoring leader in Scott County’s win over Corbin in the quarterfinals, picked up immediately where he left off. Warren Central won the tip but couldn’t control it near the baseline. Covington grabbed the ball as Skyelar Potter tried to save it from going out of play and put in a layup to get Scott County on the board just seven seconds into the contest.
The Dragons got to within one point early on a Potter layup but were never closer. Scott County used a 12-0 run spanning the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second to build a double-digit advantage.
Scott County led 37-17 at halftime. The Cardinals’ focus defensively seemed tighter in the first half than in their opening games, and that was no more evident than during a second-quarter sequence in which Michael Moreno swatted a ball from the hands of Dragons star Jordan Cousin, which was collected for a layup try by Cooper Robb; the attempt rolled out but Moreno got in position for a trio of rebounds, the last one falling through the net for his first field goal.
Moreno had seven of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and stuffed the box score elsewhere — he finished with eight rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals.
Robb, who’s signed with Charlotte, had a game-high seven assists. Scott County shared the ball well as a team, ending up with 24 assists on 30-for-51 shooting. Warren Central had 11 assists on 15-for-50 shooting.
Warren Central, the 4th Region champion, finished 31-6. Potter, a Wright State signee who scored the Dragons’ first nine points, had a game-high 20 points along with seven rebounds. Cousin scored 17 for the Dragons, who were in the semifinals for the first time since 2007.
Covington scored 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting and Diablo Stewart finished with 11 on a 5-for-7 clip to round out the double-digit scorers for Scott County. Covington was 3-for-5 from the three-point arc.