Commanders Win Battle Of The Boards, Take Down Knights (1/7/2018)
Marion County's John Adams scores two of his nine points in the second quarter.
The Marion County Knights were out-rebounded by the Washington County Commanders 36-30 and also came up short on the scoreboard to the Commanders Saturday night, 74-65, at Washington County High School. The Knights gave up 15 offensive rebounds that Washington County turned into 16 second-chance points -- the most given up by Marion County this season.
The Commanders offense seemed to be hitting on all cylinders in the first quarter, making four three-pointers on the outside while forward Jake Yates pounded the Knights on the inside for a 20-12 lead. Foul trouble began to mount for Washington County and the Knights managed to cut the lead down to four points at 22-18 on a three-point play by sophomore John Adams, who came off the bench to score all nine of his points in the second quarter. But Washington County's Cameron Willis and Drew Yates led the Commanders on a 10-3 run before Adams made a three-point field goal to keep the Knights within striking distance going into the half, 32-24.
The Commanders stretched their lead to 12 points early in the third quarter before Marion County's Tyshay Epps and Lez Means led a charge that pulled the Knights to within four points at the end of the period, then took their first lead of the game on a three-pointer by Means, 53-51, with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter. Josh Burkhead scored on a lay-up to pull the Commanders even before Luke Thomas hit his second three-pointer of the quarter to give the lead back to the Knights, 56-53. But from there Washington County went on a 9-0 run, aided by a pair of Marion County turnovers against the Commanders full-court press, to retake the lead at 62-56. Marion County pulled within three points with 2:01 left in the game, but Willis secured the win for the Commanders at the free-thow line down the stretch.
(Left) Tyshay Epps starts a drive against the Washington County defense. (Middle) Lez Means scores two of his 17 points. (Right) Luke Thomas hits one of his three 3-point FGs.
Epps finished the game with 22 points to lead all scorers while also pasing out five assists, and Means scored 17 points. Adams finished with nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds, and Thomas made three shots from behind the arc for all nine of his points. Willis shot 12-14 from the free-throw line and finished with 21 points for the Commanders. Drew Yates scored 18 and Jake Yates 15 for the Commanders. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights will try to get back in the win column Tuesday when they host the Green County Dragons at the Roby Dome in a JV/Varsity double-header. The Junior varsity game is scheduled to start at 6:30 PM Eastern time (5:30 PM Central) with the Varsity following at 8:00 PM Eastern time (7:00 PM Central).
Spartans Come-Back Falls Short; Knights Win 74-66 (1/6/2018)
Marion County's Conner Higdon (12) is fouled by Sayre's Jackson Foster on this basket that gave the Knights the lead for good.
The Marion County Knights gave up an 18-point lead in the second half to the Sayre Spartans and fell behind by two less than three minutes left in the game. But a three-point play by senior reserve Conner Higdon gave the Knights the lead for good and clutch free-throw shooting by sophomores Tyshay Epps and Mason Sullivan preserved a 74-66 win Friday night at the Roby Dome.
Marion County got three-point field goals from four different players in the second quarter and went into the half with a 30-17 lead. In the second half, both teams struggled with foul trouble as a combined 40 fouls were called on the two squads. The Knights claimed their largest lead of the game at 18 points when Epps scored with just over 3:00 left in the third quarter. The Spartans turned up the defensive pressure and responded with an 18-6 run that cut Marion County's lead to just six points at 49-43 when Lee Helmers put back a missed free throw with under 0:30 left in the third quarter. But the fouls were beginning to pile up on the Spartans as starters Jayden Blanton, Jackson Foster, and Marcus Bowie all picked up their fourth before the start of the fourth quarter. Marion County was dealing with their own foul trouble with starting center Jamison Epps and reserve John Adams picking up their third fouls, and Sullivan and Higdon picking up their fourth fouls early in the fourth quarter.
Marcus Yantis fights for a loose ball with Sayre's R.J. Smith. Yantis was seing his first action in three weeks afte rreturning from an injury.
The Spartans continued to chip away at the Knights' lead and finally pulled ahead on a three-point field goal by Trey Atkins, 63-62, with 3:22 left in the game. Sullivan was fouled and made one of two shots at the line to pull Marion County even before Atkins scored on a drive to give the lead back to Sayre, 65-63. A minute later a Spartan turnover led to a basket by Lez Means to tie the game again at 65-65. On Sayre's next possession, the Knights extended their half-court zone defense and Luke Thomas picked off an errant pass, then raced towards the other end of the floor. Thomas missed the lay-up attempt under heavy pressure from Helmers. But Higdon trailed the play and came down with the rebound, then scored while drawing a foul from Sayre's Jackson Foster. Higdon completed the three-point play at the free-throw line to put the Knights on top 68-65 with under 1:30 to play.
Atkins next went to the line for the Spartans but only hit one of two shots, leaving his team down by two with 0:42.9 left on the clock. However, Marion County would make the most of their opportunities at the line to close out the game with Sullivan and Tyshay Epps combining to make all six attempts in the final 36 seconds for the final margin.
Tyshay Epps finished the game with 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists for the Knights. Means led all scorers with 21 points to go with four rebounds and four assists, and Sullivan scored 11 points with five rebounds. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights don't have much time to celebrate the win since they have a game tonight at border rival Washington County at 7:30 PM. The Commanders are 8-9 on the season after their 64-53 win over Bethlehem. The Knights-Commanders contest is the second game of a girl/boy double-header with Washington County. The Lady Knights and Lady Commanders are scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM.
Notes: * The JV Knights only had six players in uniform against the JV Spartans as injuries and illness depleated their ranks. The JV Knights fell to Sayre 41-35.
* The Knights will be without starting center Jamison Epps for the next two games after he was called for a pair of technical fouls early in the fourth quarter.
* There were three former University of Kentucky All-Americans in the crowd at the game. Sam Bowie was in attendance to watch his son, Marcus, score 13 points before fouling out in the varsity game. Rex Chapman showed up to watch his son, Zeke, help coach the JV Spartans in their win. And former Marion County Lady Knights star Makayla Epps was also at the game.
Knights Start New Year With Back-To-Back Games (1/5/2018)
(Left) Sayre's R.J. Smith is averaging almost 20 points per game (Photo by Tim Webb, Lexington Herald-Leader). (Right) Junior Cameron Willis leads Washington County with 18.9 points per game.
After a week off following their last holiday tournament, the Marion County Knights get back to competition with back-to-back games tonight against the Sayre (Lexington) Spartans and Saturday against the Washington County Commanders. The Spartans visit the Roby Dome tonight for a JV/Varsity double-header, and tomorrow the Knights will travel to Springfield to visit the Commanders for a girl/boy double-header.
Sayre has posted a 7-6 record so far this season while playing in the very competitive 11th Region. The private school in North Lexington had won five in a row before taking a loss at Henry Clay on Tuesday. Spartans head coach Rob Goodman told the Lexington Herald-Leader he felt senior R.J. Smith "is one of the most under-rated players in the state." Smith has certainly put up the numbers to back up his coach's statement, averaging 19.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, including 20 points in the loss at Henry Clay and a double-double (22/17) in a 69-67 win over Harrison County last week. Senior Marcus Bowie -- son of former University of Kentucky All-American Sam Bowie -- averages 7.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for the Spartans. Tip-off for the Varsity contest is scheduled for 7:30 PM following the Junior Varsity game at 6:00 PM.
Washington County is currently 7-9 on the season before their game with Bethlehem tonight before hosting the Knights on Saturday. Head coach Bernard Smalley doesn't go very deep into his bench, but has a very balanced offense with three players averaging double-figures in points. Junior guard Cameron Willis leads the way at 18.9 PPG and is also a threat from beyond the three-point arc. Fellow junior Drew Yates is averaging 14.3 PPG and is also a dangerous outside shooter. Junior forward Devin Hurst scores 13.1 PPG while pulling down 6.1 RPG. Junior Jake Yates leads the Commanders in rebounding at 7.3 per contest while also averaging 8.3 points. The Knights and Commanders will tip off at 7:30 PM following the Lady Knights and Lady Commanders contest at 6:00 PM.
Nelson Dominates 1st Half, Holds On For Win -- Knights Claim Championship (12/30/2017)
After stealing an in-bounds pass, Marion County's Lez Means (3) throws the ball off Nelson County's Cory Green.
The Nelson County Cardinals could seemingly do no wrong in the first half against the Marion County Knights, taking a 41-14 lead at the half, then fought off a Marion County come-back attempt to claim a 74-61 win in the final game of the Nelson County Holiday Classic. But in the points system used to determine the round-robin tournament winner the Knights claimed the championship trophy by edging out the Caverna Colonels.
The tournament awards one point for each quarter won and four points for a game win. Marion County, Nelson County, and Caverna all finished the tournament with a record of 2-1. Nelson County finished with 11 points while Marion County and Caverna both had 15.5 points. The Knights held the tie-breaker since they defeated Caverna in their head-to-head game and was declared the tournament winner.
Against Nelson County, the Knights couldn't seem to get anything to go right in the first half. The team committed 10 turnovers in the first two quarters while shooting a miserable 19.2% from the floor and found themselves down 41-14 at the half -- by far the lowest production for a half without a running clock this season. Despite being ranked #10 in the state in rebounding, Marion County lost the battle of the boards 42-30 for the game, giving up 18 second-chance points in the process. Nelson County juniors Eli Shewmaker and Garrett Miles both scored nine points in the first half to lead the charge for the Cardinals.
(Left) Tyshay Epps calls out a play. (Middle) Luke Thomas leads a fast break after a steal. (Right) Jamison Epps takes a shot over Nelson County's Cory Green (22).
Miles and Shewmaker also scored the first two baskets of the second half as Nelson County stretched their lead to 31 points. The Knights then started using their defense to slowly start climbing out of the hole they found themselves in. Nelson County turnovers led to a three-point field goal by Luke Thomas and a pair of lay-ups by Tyshay Epps and Lez Means. Reserves Connor Higdon and John Adams also hit three-pointers in the third quarter to help the Knights cut the deficit to 23 points to start the fourth period. Marion County made the most of their opportunities at the free-throw line, shooting 13-of-14 in the fourth quarter and cut Nelson County's lead to 13 points, 64-51, before the Cardinals called time with 2:48 left in the game. The Knights kept up the pressure coming out of the break and cut the margin to seven points on a pair of free throws from Thomas. But that was as close as Marion County could get as Nelson County's Benton McGill scored 11 of his 21 points in the final quarter to help put an end to the Knights' charge.
Thomas finished the game with 10 points and four rebounds while Epps finished with 11 points and six assists. For the second night in a row, Mason Sullivan scored seven to go with his 12 rebounds. Means scored a team-high 20 points while recording five steals. Means and Sullivan were named to the all-tournament team along with Shelby County's Kylon Stone, Caverna's Jobby Howard and Sincere Page, and Nelson County's Miles and McGill. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights return to game action Friday when they host Sayre (Lexington) in a JV/Varsity double-header. The Junior Varsity contest begins at 6:00 PM with the Varsity scheduled for 7:30 PM. The following night the Varsity squad travels to Washington County for a girl/boy double-header.
After Slow Start Knights Top Shelby Co. (12/29/2017)
Marion County's Tyshay Epps scores while drawing a foul from Shelby County's Sam Edwards midway through the fourth quarter.
The Marion County Knights had to overcome a slow start against the Shelby County Rockets, then took charge early in the second half for a 61-44 win on the second day of the Nelson County Holiday Classic. The Knights are now 2-0 in the tournament heading into tonight's finale against host team Nelson County who fell to Caverna last night, 66-48.
For the first time this season the Knights were at a size disadvantage in the frontcourt and Shelby County took advantage in the first half, winning the rebound battle 22-16 before halftime. The Rockets scored first to start the game on Kylon Stone's three-pointer and never trailed in the first quarter. Late in the second quarter Shelby County extended their lead to eight points on a driving layup from forward Caleb Collins, 21-13, and looked on the verge of breaking the game open. But Marion County closed out the half with a 10-2 run led by senior Luke Thomas. Thomas scored all seven of his points for the game in the spurt, including a pair of three-pointers -- the second of which came with 0:05 left in the half and tied the score 23-23 for the first time since 0-0 to start the game.
Marion County kept up the pressure to start the third quarter, opening the period with an 11-1 burst and holding the Rockets without a field goal for the first four minutes. Lez Means scored nine of his game-high 26 points in the third and converted all five of his free-throw attempts over that span. Sophomore forward Mason Sullivan also was a perfect 4-4 at the line in the third quarter and was a major reason for turning around the Knights rebounding deficit, collecting nine of his 12 boards in the second half. Shelby County freshman center Noah Gordon helped keep his team in the game with a pair of field goals in the post, as well as making a hasty 18-foot shot as time was running out in the period.
The Rockets cut Marion County's lead to five points early in the fourth quarter when Stone came up with a steal in the Marion County backcourt and raced to the opposite end for an uncontested layup, causing Knights head coach Montrelle Irvin to call time with 5:28 left in the game. Whatever Irvin told his team worked. Following the time-out Means led a 13-2 Marion County run that effectively put the game out of reach. Irvin cleared his bench with just under a minute left in the game and the Knights clinched the 17-point win.
(Left) Lez Means scores two of his 26 points against Shelby County. (Middle) Luke Thomas made this three-point attempt with 0:05 left in the first hald to tie the game, 23-23. (Right) Mason Sullivan pulls down one of his 12 rebounds in the game.
In addition to Means' 26 points, Tyshay Epps hit double-figures with 13 points and three assists. Sullivan did not make a field goal in the game, but went 7-8 at the free-throw line to go with his 12 rebounds. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights will close out the tournament tonight when they take on host team Nelson County at 7:30 PM.
Knights Roll 89-65 Over Caverna (12/28/2017)
Marion County's Mason Sullivan scores two of his 16 points over Caverna's Jaxon Dunagan in the Knights' win over the Colonels.
The Marion County Knights returned to their winning ways Wednesday night by dominating the Caverna Colonels 89-65 on the first day of the Nelson County Holiday Classic. Sophomore forward Mason Sullivan scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Marion County.
The two teams seemed evenly matched in the early going before Caverna went ahead 11-7 on a Nick Gunn three-pointer midway through the first quarter. But that was the high-water mark for the Colonels. The Knights closed out the period with a 16-2 run and the rout was on. Sullivan scored eight of his 16 points in the second period as Marion County continued to extend the lead with a 14-0 run on their way to a 48-21 lead at the half.
The Knights quickly extended the lead to 33 points early in the third quarter and head coach Montrelle Irvin used the opportunity to go deep into his bench. Sophomore John Adams posted career-highs with 12 points and six rebounds. Freshmen Kanyon Spalding and Spencer Lucas both scored six points while fellow freshman Patrick Benton scored six points with a pair of rebounds in his first career varsity action. Sophomore Spencer Riggs scored four points to go with a career-high six rebounds.
(Left) Senior Conner Higdon looks for an opening in the first half. (Middle) John Adams shoots over Caverna's Sincere Page for two of his 12 points. (Right) Freshman Patrick Benton scores two of his six points over Caverna's Jaxton Dunagan in his first varsity action.
None of the usual Marion County starters saw the floor during the fourth quarter, but leading scorer Lez Means finished the game with nine points and a career-high nine rebounds while point guard Tyshay Epps went 5-for-7 from the floor for 11 points and five assists. Jamison Epps and Luke Thomas both scored seven points with Epps collecting five rebounds and Thomas recording five steals. One bright spot for the Colonels was senior guard Jobby Howard who scored a game-high 35 points. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
Tonight the Knights will face the Shelby County Rockets at 6:00 PM. The Rockets came up short last night to host team Nelson County, 56-53.
Knights Look To Bounce Back In Nelson Co. Tourney (12/27/2017)
Caverna's Jobby Howard (14) tries to dribble past Marion County's Luke Thomas (0) in a game last season. Marion County and Caverna face each other tonight at Nelson County High School at 6:00 PM.
After dropping all three games last week in the Twin Lakes Holiday Classic at Clinton County, the Marion County Knights (6-5) are looking to get back to the win column starting tonight in the Nelson County Holiday Classic at Nelson County High School. Like last week's event at Clinton County, the Nelson County Holiday Classic is a round-robin format with all four participating teams playing each other once. Tonight Marion County will take on the Caverna Colonels (3-7) at 6:00 PM, then will face the Shelby County Rockets on Thursday at 6:00 PM, then close out the tournament against the host Nelson County Cardinals (2-8) on Friday at 7:30 PM.
Caverna started the season off with back-to-back wins but have since gone 1-7 in their last eight games. A good shooting team, the Colonels struggle to rebound against teams with size. Senior guard Jobby Howard leads the team in scoring at 28.0 points per game. In two games against the Knights last season -- both Marion County wins -- Howard scored 24 and 25 points.
Of the teams in this week's tournament, Shelby County has played by far the toughest schedule. They have already faced Mercer County, John Hardin, and Collins, falling to each by at least 20 points. But the Rockets do own a 63-57 early-season win over South Oldham, who handed Marion County a 66-61 loss last week at Clinton County. Junior forward Taurius Robinson is averaging 10.5 points per contest for the Rockets.
Nelson County's 2-8 record includes a 74-72 double-overtime loss to 19th District rival Bethlehem back on December 8. Second-year head coach Zach Allender's team has struggled at times to put points on the board this season, but the Cardinals traditionally have been difficult for the Knights to handle on their own floor.
In addition to the Varsity games in Nelson County High School's main gym, there will also be Junior Varsity games taking place each night in the school's auxillery gym. After tonight's 6:00 PM game between the Knights and Caverna, the same schools will play a JV contest at approximately 7:45 PM.
Means Scores 1,000th Point; Comback Falls Short Against So. Oldham (12/23/2017)
Marion County's Lez Means makes a three-pointer late in the game against South Oldham.
Down 12 points with under 2:30 left in the game, the Marion County Knights went on an 11-0 run to pull within a single point with less than a minute to go but couldn't close the deal, giving the South Oldham Dragons a 66-61 win on the final day of the Twin Lakes Holiday Classic. Marion County senior Lez Means scored the 1,000th point of his career on a free throw late in the first quarter, becoming just the 13th player to reach that mark for the Knights. Means finished the game with 20 points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds.
The Knights only scored a single field goal in the first quarter but went to the free-throw line 14 times in the period, converting 12 of them. Still, Marion County found itself down 18-14 thanks largly to South Oldham senior Devin Young who made a pair of three-point baskets and scored eight of his 20 points in the quarter. Knight senior Luke Thomas scored a pair of deep three-point shots in the second quarter, however the Dragons would make eight of 17 three-point attempts in the first half (47.1%) to take a 32-27 lead at the break.
Three times both late in the second quarter and into the third quarter the Knights made runs to tie the score, but each time South Oldham had an answer to retake and extend the lead. Twice in the fourth quarter the Dragons stretched their advantage to 12 points, the last time on a pair of free throws by senior Sam Beard with just under 3:00 left on the clock. Then Marion County began its final run.
(Left) Luke Thomas is fouled on a drive by South Oldham's Jason King (21). (Middle) Dominick White scores to finish a fast break with a foul by South Oldham's Luke Morrison. (Right) Mason Sullivan scores two of his 10 points against the Dragons.
Sophomore Mason Sullivan took a feed from Thomas and scored to pull the Knights within 10, then freshman Dominick White finished off a fast break with a score while drawing a foul and completed the three-point play at the line. The Dragons turned the ball over and Thomas sank another deep three-pointer to pull Marion County within four points, 62-58. The Knights got another defensive stop and on their next possession Means drained his second three-pointer of the half to cut the lead to just one, 62-61. With the clock just dropping under 1:00, Means rebounded another South Oldham miss and drove the length of the floor but was called for a charging foul on his shot attempt. Beard finally broke the scoring drought for the Dragons with a lay-up through traffic to put South Oldham back on top by three. Thomas missed a three-point attempt for the Knights and White fouled the Dragons' Ben Johnson with 0:18.1 left on the clock. Johnson missed the first free throw, then it appeared the Knights would have one more chance as the second free throw came off the rim. But South Oldham's Peyton Hicks got inside position and came away with the rebound. Means committed his fifth foul to stop the clock and South Oldham's Seth Johnson made both free-throws for the final margin of 66-61.
Sullivan finished the game with 10 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Thomas also scored 10 points to go with five rebounds and three assists. Jamison Epps scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Point guard Tyshay Epps went down with a groin injury less than one minute into the game and did not return. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
After scoring 20 points against South Oldham, Means is now in 12th place among all-time Knights scorers with 1,017. He needs 50 points to pass the next name on the list, Alex Smth, and 61 to catch #10, John Hart.
The Knights return to action after Christmas when they travel to Nelson County High School for the Nelson County Holiday Classic December 27-29.
So. Warren Shoots Down Knights (12/22/2017)
Marion County's Jamison Epps drives for two of his 16 points against South Warren.
One day after failing to complete a come-back against Clinton County, the Marion County Knights again came up short in the fourth quarter after digging a hole in the first half. The South Warren Spartans scorched the nets with 57.5% shooting for the game and led by as much as 13 points in the first half. Then after the Knights cut the lead to four early in the final period, the Spartans went on a 16-2 run to hand Marion County a 76-63 loss on the second day of the Twin Lakes Holiday Classic at Clinton County.
The Knights looked sluggish early as South Warren jumped out to a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Spartan senior point guard Eddie Bahic scored seven of his 15 points in the period and junior Tyler Martin scored eight of his team-high 17 points, including a pair of three-pointers. South Warren kept up the hot shooting in the second quarter, stretching their lead to 13 on senior Austin Howard's traditional three-point play with 3:09 left in the period. Marion County's offense continued to struggle and the Knights needed a driving lay-up from Lez Means as the horn went off to stay within 10 points at the half.
Marion County turned up the defensive pressure to start the third quarter, forcing the Spartans into a few turnovers early and managed to cut the lead to five points twice in the quarter. But South Warren had an answer each time the Knights got close, taking advantage of defensive over-plays with backdoor cuts and hitting 43.8% of their shots from behind the three-point line and still held a 52-42 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
(Left) Connor Higdon looks for an opening against the South Warren defense. (Right) Lez Means scores two of his 21 points.
Marion County managed to cut the lead to just four points early in the final period when Means drained a three-pointer on a fast-break, then moments later hit one of two free-throws to make the score 56-52 in favor of South Warren. But the Knights would go for almost four minutes without a field goal as the Spartans went on a 16-2 run to put the game away and claim the 13-point win, dropping the Knights' record to 6-4 on the season.
Means scored a game-high 21 points to lead Marion County and also pulled in six rebounds. Sophomore Jamison Epps posted his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds while Tyshay Epps scored 10 points. For South Warren, Howard, Colin Moore, and Gavin Spurrier each scored 11 points to join Martin and Bahic with double-figure scoring performances. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights will have one more chance to pick up a win in the tournament when they face South Oldham this afternoon at 4:15 PM Eastern time (3:15 PM Central). South Oldham fell to host team Clinton County 78-74 on Thursday after knocking off South Warren 88-86 in overtime on Wednesday.
Knights Come Up Short Against Clinton Co. (12/21/2017)
Marion County's Lez Means (3) hits one of his four three-pointers over Clinton County's Chase Stines (32).
After a promising start, the Marion County Knights hit a dry spell in the second quarter and couldn't quite catch up in the second half, falling to the Clinton County Bulldogs 71-65 on the first day of Clinton County's Twin Lakes Holiday Classic. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Knights.
Marion County opened the game with a 14-4 lead, but Bulldogs junior guard Jackson Harlan scored seven consecutive points to cut the lead to 17-14 at the end of the first quarter. The run continued for Clinton County in the second period and by the time Luke Thomas made a three-pointer with under 3:30 left before the half, the Bulldogs had gone on a 19-2 run to flip the lead in their favor. A pull-up jumper by Clinton County's Seth Stockton gave the Bulldogs their largest lead at 35-25 before Marion County's Lez Means drove for a lay-up just before the horn sounded to pull the Knights within eight points at halftime, 35-27.
Neither team could gain an advantage in the third quarter with the Knights pulling within four points several times only to see Clinton County get another key basket from either Harlan or Stockton that would stretch the lead back to nine points. Harlan converted a three-point play with 3:03 left in the final period to put the Bulldogs back on top by seven, 60-53, before Marion County's Jamison Epps scored on a tough offensive rebound, then Tyshay Epps found Thomas on the wing for a three-pointer that cut the lead to two points with under two minutes left to play. Clinton County's Caleb Guffy answered with another three-point play, then Tyshay Epps drained a three-pointer of his own to pull the Knights back to within two, 63-61, with under a minute left in the game. But once again, Clinton County responded by scoring six quick points and Marion County wasn't able to get any closer in the final 30 seconds.
Mason Sullivan hits a jumper in the third quarter for two of his 10 points.
Means led the Knights in scoring with 19 points including four three-point field goals. Tyshay Epps scored 13 points to go with eight assists. Mason Sullivan scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. Jamison Epps scored 11 points with seven rebounds. Clinton County's Jackson Harlan led all scorers with 29 points. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
Marion County is back at it again this evening. They will take on the South Warren Spartans at 6:15 PM Eastern time (5:15 PM Central) at Clinton County High School. The Spartans fell in overtime to South Oldham in the opening game of the Twin Lakes Holiday Classic.
Christmas In Clinton County (12/20/2017)
Marion County's starting line-up for each game this season (Clockwise from top left): Senior Lez Means, senior Luke Thomas, sophomore Tyshay Epps, sophomore Jamison Epps, and sophomore Mason Sullivan.
The Marion County Knights will spend the next three days in Albany, Kentucky, where they will play in the Twin Lakes Holiday Classic at Clinton County High School. The Knights will face three different teams in three days in the round-robin format: the South Oldham Dragons, South Warren Spartans, and host team Clinton County Bulldogs.
The Knights will play Clinton County today at 5:00 PM Eastern time (4:00 PM Central). The Bulldogs come into the game with a record of 5-4 and are traditionally very tough to beat on their home court. Junior point guard Jackson Harlan leads the team in scoring with an average of 29.0 points per game and connects on 36.5% of his three-point shot attempts. But junior swingman Seth Stockton often presents a bigger problem for opponents, averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 14.4 rebounds per game while also shooting 35.7% from three-point territory. The Knights frontcourt of sophomores Jamison Epps and Mason Sullivan will likely face a challenge controlling the boards in this contest.
Marion County will face a more balanced offensive attack on Thursday when they take on the South Warren Spartans (4-4) at 6:15 PM eastern time (5:15 PM Central). Junior Tyler Martin averages 17.1 PPG and 4.3 RPG while converting 46.3% of his shots from behind the three-point line. Senior Colin Moore averages 10.1 PPG and 4.6 RPG while fellow senior Daniel Moore averages 10.5 PPG and 5.3 RPG.
On Friday the Knights will take on the most high-powered offense in the tournament in the South Oldham Dragons. Like Marion County, the Dragons come into the tournament with a record of 6-2. The Knights and Dragons have also both scored 80 or more points four times so far this season, and twice have scored over 90, so the scoreboard operator could be kept very busy during this game. Senior Devin Young leads South Oldham in both scoring and rebounding at 22.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest while converting a ridiculous 50.0% of his three-point field-goal attempts. But the Dragons are far from a one-man show. Senior Peyton Hicks shoots an even more eye-popping 52.4% from three-point territory and scores 14.6 PPG with 5.3 RPG. Sophomore Luke Morrison also stuffs the stat sheet with 16.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. As a team, South Oldham converts 36.9% of their three-point attempts, making perimeter defense a key for the Knights. Of the 14 players listed on the Dragons' roster, none are juniors or freshmen. Tip-off for this Friday afternoon game is scheduled for 4:15 PM Eastern time (3:15 PM Central).
Knights Hold Off Eagles (12/17/2017)
Marion County's Mason Sullivan (10) takes a shot in the first half against Campbellsville.
The Marion County Knights had to overcome foul trouble to hold off a determined Campbellsville Eagles team 75-67 Saturday night in the Roby Dome. Four Marion County starters and two reserves were whistled for at least two fouls in the first half, but steady play from senior guard Lez Means and the second double-double of the season for sophomore forward Mason Sullivan helped the Knights to the eight-point win over their 20th District rival.
The Eagles had some early foul issues of their own with starters Chanson Atkinson and Nataj Sanders both picking up their second fouls within moments of each other midway through the first quarter. Marion County starting center Jamison Epps had been called for his second foul a minute earlier and his replacement Conner Higdon committed his second foul just 20 seconds after Sanders. Still, 12 points in the first by Means helped give Marion County a 26-18 lead entering the second quarter.
Marion County point guard Tyshay Epps was charged with his second foul less than 1:30 into the second period. Moments later senior Luke Thomas was also called for his second and he joined Epps on the bench. In the meantime, the Knights got some valuable minutes from their reserves. Sophomore John Adams scored on a feed from Trevor Douglas and Freshman Kanyon Spalding, playing in just his second varsity game, scored a pair of baskets in the first quarter. The Knights could only muster nine points of offense in the second quarter, but Campbellsville couldn't take advantage -- only managing three field goals in the second quarter themselves -- and Marion County still held a six-point lead at halftime, 35-29.
A three-pointer by Sanders to start the third quarter cut Marion County's lead to just three points before the Knights went on a 10-2 run that was capped by a deep three-point field-goal by Thomas. Moments later Thomas took a feed from Douglas and hit another three-pointer seemingly from the Gravel Switch area of Marion County to keep the Knights' lead at 10 points. The Eagles would not go away, however, and kept whittling away at the lead, pulling even at 59-59 on a pair of free-throws from Connor Wilson with 5:09 left in the fourth quarter. Atkinson scored on a runout to give Campbellsville their first lead since early in the first quarter, but Sullivan answered for the Knights with a basket off an inbounds pass to tie the score at 61-61. Sanders hit a pair of free-throws with 3:51 to play to reclaim the lead for Campbellsville, but that was answered by the Knights with a pair of free-throws from Douglas. Moments later, Douglas found Sullivan in the paint and fed him the ball for another field goal that would give Marion County the lead for good as they went on to improve their record to 6-2 on the season.
(Left) Trevor Douglas (4) drives past Campbellsville's Connor Wilson. (Middle) Lez Means (3) drives for two of his game-high 26 points. (Right) Luke Thomas (0) hits a three-pointer from in front of the Marion County student section.
Despite picking up four second-half fouls, Sullivan scored 12 points to go with 10 rebounds. Sullivan also forced a held-ball with just over 0:23 left in the game to end Campbellsville's last real chance of catching up. Thomas finished the game with 11 points and four steals. Tyshay Epps also battled foul trouble the entire game, but still managed to pass out seven assists before picking up his fifth foul with 1:26 left to play. Rather than his usual role of three-point specialist, Douglas contributed several valuable minutes at the point guard spot finishing with seven points and a career-high five assists. Means scored a game-high 26 points which moved him into 15th place on the list of Marion County's all-time leading scorers, just ahead of Johnny Sandusky. Means needs just four more points to catch the next name on the list, LaBradford Harris. Wilson and John Orberson both scored 13 points to lead Campbellsville. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
Next up for Marion County, the Varsity will head to Clinton County High School next week to play in the Twin Lakes Holiday Classic where they will face host team Clinton County on Wednesday, South Warren on Thursday, and South Oldham on Friday. The JV Knights will also participate in a JV tournament Thursday morning at Clinton County, but will first play in a Freshmen/Junior Varsity double-header against Campbellsville on Monday at the Roby Dome. The Freshmen game is scheduled for 6:30 PM with the JV following at 7:30 PM.
Knights Dominate Panthers (12/16/2017)
Marion County's Tyshay Epps drains one of his six 3-point FGs against Cumberland County.
The Cumberland County Panthers already knew going into Friday's game with the Marion County Knights that they would have an uphill fight since leading scorer Dawson Smith would not be able to play due to illness. Then the Knights put on one of their best shooting displays in years, scorching the nets for 65.9% shooting -- including 56.5% from beyond the three-point arc -- and crushed the Panthers, 90-48. The win improved Marion County's record to 5-2 and was their fourth victory in a row.
Once again, Knight sophomore point guard Tyshay Epps set a new career-best in scoring with 28 points -- 26 in the first half -- while also setting a personal high with six three-point field goals. Epps also dished out eight assists. After starting Tuesday's game against Green County with a 13-2 run, Marion County began this one with a 13-3 run and never looked back on its way to an eye-popping 70 points in the first half. When Jamison Epps took a feed from Tyshay Epps for a score on the Knights' third possession of the second half, the lead had been pushed to 35 points and the running clock mercy rule was in play. Marion County head coach Montrelle Irvin went as deep as possible into his bench in the first half alone with all 12 players in uniform getting several minutes before the half when the Knights led 70-39. Of the 31 field goals (2-pointers and 3-pointers combined) made by the Knights, a season-high 22 were credited with an assist.
(Left) Connor Higdon fights for a rebound with Cumberland County's Sean-eric Spears. (Middle) Freshman Dominick White scores two of his seven points in the JV contest. (Right) Freshman Ethan Mattingly makes one of his two 3-point shots during the JV game.
Senior guard Lez Means was the only other double-figure scorer for Marion County with 10 points. Starting forward Mason Sullivan and reserve John Adams both scored nine points, and starters Luke Thomas and Jamison Epps both finished with eight points. Cumberland County was led in scoring by senior Sean-Eric Spears with 12 points. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights will not be able to celebrate long as they host 20th District rival Campbellsville tonight in a girl/boy double-header at the Roby Dome. The Varsity boys are scheduled to begin playing at 7:30 PM following the Lady Knights contest with the Lady Eagles at 6:00 PM.
JV Knights Win Big -- Marion County's JV Knights also came away from Cumberland County with a win, 65-26 over the JV Panthers. John Adams scored 15 for Marion County while Spencer Lucas scored 11. The win improved Marion County's Junior Varsity record to 4-1.
Knights Play Back-To-Back Again This Weekend (12/15/2017)
After playing four games in five days over last weekend, the Marion County Knights will play on back-to-back nights again this weekend. Tonight the team travels to Burkesville to take on the Cumberland County Panthers in a JV/Varsity double-header, then on Saturday will return to the Roby Dome for just the second (and last) time in December to host Campbellsville in a 20th District girl/boy double-header.
The Panthers have dropped their last four games -- including a 70-42 loss to Warren East last night -- to fall to 3-5 on the season. Sophomore guards Dawson Smith and Cameron Owsley are the main offensive threat. Smith averages 15.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Owsley is averaging 10.4 PPG while shooting 51.9% from the floor and is second on the team in rebounding at 5.3 per game. Junior guard Joseph Johnson can be an outside scoring threat, shooting 38.9% from behind the three-point line, while senior Andrew Patterson leads the team in rebounding at 6.0 boards per contest. Game time is scheduled for 7:45 PM Eastern time (6:45 PM Central time) following the Junior Varsity contest at 6:30 PM Eastern time (5:30 PM Central).
Campbellsville's Nataj Sanders (24) leads the team in both scoring (12.2) and rebounding (5.2). (Photo by Jeff Moreland, Central Kentucky News-Journal.)
Campbellsville is 2-3 on the season, including a lop-sided 80-38 loss to Adair County on Tuesday, but got a big win last week when they defeated cross-town rival Taylor County 58-56 in the Cardinals new gymnasium. Junior forward Nataj Sanders leads the Eagles with 12.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Sophomore Malachi Corley and senior Conner Wilson both average 9.8 PPG while seniors Logan Cole and Chanson Adkinson both average just under five rebounds per game. Tip-off in the Roby Dome is scheduled for 7:30 PM Saturday night following the girls' Varsity game at 6:00 PM.
Epps Leads Knights To Win At Green Co. (12/13/2017)
Marion County's Tyshay Epps scores the last of his career-high 17 points in the Knights' win at Green County on Tuesday.
Sophomore point guard Tyshay Epps set another career-high with 17 points to lead the Marion County Knights in a 61-48 win over the Green County Dragons on Tuesday. Epps also passed out a game-high five assists as the Knights improved their season record to 4-2 and have won three games in a row -- all on the road.
Despite the Dragons' methodical offense, the Knights took charge early with a 13-2 run in the first quarter and led 17-7 to start the second. Green County junior Zyler Bardin helped his team get back within six points of the lead late in the second quarter, but Marion County still led by eight at the half, 28-20.
Foul trouble began to cause the Knights problems in the second half. After starting guard Luke Thomas spent much of the second quarter on the bench with two fouls, leading scorer Lez Means picked up his third foul less than two minutes into the third quarter. Green County's Brody Bush then scored a pair of baskets to cut the lead to four points before a lay-up followed by a three-point field goal by Thomas -- both on feeds from Epps -- put the Knights back on top by nine midway through the period, 33-24. Marion County big men Jamison Epps and Mason Sullivan both picked up their fourth fouls early in the fourth quarter and the Dragons took advantage by scoring seven second-chance points in the second half, but it wasn't enough forthe home team. After not scoring a field-goal in the first three quarters, Means drained a pair of three-pointers in the fourth and Green County got no closer than 10 points in the final eight minutes.
(Left) Luke Thomas takes a three-pointer in the first quarter. (Middle) Mason Sullivan scores inside in the second half. (Right) Sophomore John Adams scored a game-high 22 points in the JV Knights' 60-51 win.
In addition to Tyshay Epps' 17 points, Thomas also scored double-figures with 10 points to go with three assists, five rebounds, and four steals. Means finished with nine points and four rebounds. Sullivan scored eight points with six rebounds before fouling out with just 0:30 left in the game. Jamison Epps scored just four points on 2-of-9 shooting, but pulled down 10 rebounds -- the fourth time in six games the sophomore has hit double figures in rebounding. Bush led the Dragons with 15 points. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
With Tuesday's win, Marion County has completed a stretch of four road games in five days, going 3-1 over that span. The Knights will take a pair of days off before heading to Burkesville on Friday to take on the Cumberland County Panthers in a JV/Varsity double-header. The Junior Varsity contest is scheduled for 6:30 PM Eastern time (5:30 PM Central) followed by the Varsity game at 7:45 PM Eastern time (6:45 Central).
JV Knights Knock Off JV Dragons -- Marion County's Junior Varsity Knights improved their record to 3-1 by defeating Green County's JV Dragons, 60-51. Sophomore John Adams poured in a season-high 22 points for Marion County while Spencer Riggs (11 points), Spencer Lucas (11 points) and Dominick White (10 points) also scored double figures.
Knights Jump Out To Early Lead; Coast To Win at Thomas Nelson (12/12/2017)
Marion County's Marcus Yantis scores two of his career-high 12 points between Thomas Nelson's Ben Hite (42) and Hunter Wimsett.
The Marion County Knights opened their game at Thomas Nelson last night with a 16-2 run and never looked back on their way to an 80-54 win over the Generals. But head coach Montrelle Irvin wasn't happy with his team's effort, believing the Knights let up too much down the stretch. Still, five Marion County players scored double-figures and several put up personal bests in several statistical categories.
Junior forward Marcus Yantis came off the bench to score eight of his career-high 12 points in the first quarter to help Marion County to a 23-12 lead at the end of the period. Senior Lez Means also played a big role in the opening run, scoring 7 of his game-high 15 points in the first. Irvin went deep into his bench late in the period, but quickly went back to his main rotation after Thomas Nelson's Hunter Wimsett drained a three-pointer while drawing a foul on the play to pull his team within nine points.
Marion County turned up its full-court press in the second quarter and held the Generals without a field goal for the first 3:30 of the period, increasing their lead to 31-16. The Knights then closed out the half with another run of 11-2 for a 22-point lead at the break.
Irvin took note that Marion County forced the Generals into 24 turnovers, but 16 of those came in the first half. The Knights also dominated Thomas Nelson on the boards 58-38, but gave up a season-high 12 second-chance points to the Generals on offensive rebounds.
Still, Marion County had a balanced offensive attack. In addition to Means' 15 points and Yantis' 12 points, sophomore Jamison Epps recorded his second double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Sophomore point guard Tyshay Epps posted career-highs with 12 points and nine assists. Senior Luke Thomas matched personal bests in rebounds (7) and assists (4) while scoring 12 points. Hunter Wimsett led Thomas Nelson with 14 points. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
(Left) Jamison Epps pulls down one of his 11 rebounds on his way to his second double-double of the season. (Middle) Point guard Tyshay Epps dished out a career-high 9 assists. (Right) Lez Means shot 6-7 at the free-throw line. After converting only 60.0% of his attempts from the charity stripe in the first two games of the season, Means has shot 88.2% from the line in the last three games.
The Knights are back on the road again tonight with a JV/Varsity double-header at Green County High School. The Junior Varsity match-up is scheduled to start at 6:00 PM Eastern time (5:00 PM Central) with the Varsity following at 7:30 PM Eastern time (6:30 PM Central).
Knights Continue Road Trip To Start Week (12/11/2017)
(Left) Thomas Nelson guard Hunter Wimsett (1) put up 20 points in the Generals' OT loss to Bethlehem (photo by Peter Zubaty, Kentucky Standard). (Right) Green County's Isaac Young is the only senior on the Dragons' roster (photo by Angelina Alcott, Greensburg Record-Herald).
After improving their record to .500 on Saturday with an 87-51 win over the Bethlehem Eagles, the Marion County Knights continue a challenging part of their schedule with a pair of road games tonight and tomorrow. This evening the Knights will take another trip to Bardstown to face the Generals at Thomas Nelson High School, and tomorrow will trek to Greensburg to face the Dragons of Green County High School. After playing at Adair County on Friday and Bethlehem on Saturday, that will make four games on the road in five days for Marion County.
Thomas Nelson has struggled to a 1-5 record so far this season with their first win coming on Saturday -- a 71-60 victory over Eminence High School. The Generals have had difficulty generating offensive production, averaging only 51.3 points per game. By comparison, the Knights are averaging 80.3 PPG. The Generals do have a solid player in junior guard Hunter Wimsett, who is averaging almost 11 points per contest and scored 20 in an overtime loss to Bethlehem. But Wimsett has not had much support from the rest of the Generals' roster. Game-time is scheduled for 6:00 PM as the first game of a boy/girl double-header.
Green County started the season dropping their first three games, but have won their last two contests including a 73-69 overtime win against Caverna on Friday. The Dragons are a very young team with only one senior on the roster -- center Isaac Young. Young leads the team in both scoring (14.5 PPG) and rebounding (7.3 RPG). Junior guard Bobby Landis also averages double-figures in scoring at 10.3 PPG. Game-time for the Varsity contest on Tuesday is set for 7:30 PM Eastern time (6:30 PM Central time) following a JV game at 6:00 PM Eastern time (5:00 PM Central time).
Knights Blow Out Eagles (12/10/2017)
Marion County junior Trevor Douglas sinks one of his five three-pointers against Bethlehem.
The Marion County Knights put an end to their two-game losing streak with a dominating 87-51 win over the Bethlehem Eagles Saturday night in the Bardstown Tip-Off Classic at Bardstown High School. The Knights had five players score double-figures in the game, led by junior Trevor Douglas with a career-high 17 points including five three-point field goals, also a career-high.
A day after setting a new career-high with 16 points, sophomore center Jamison Epps posted his first varsity double-double with 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Epps also recorded four steals as the Knights' defense forced the Eagles into 30 turnovers in the game.
Bethlehem's Jacob Taylor scored inside to give his team their last lead, 6-5, with a little more than 3:00 left in the first quarter before Marion County closed out the period with an 11-2 run. Another 16-5 run by the Knights in the second quarter pushed their lead to 41-23 at the half. Senior guard Lez Means scored seven of his 13 points during that stretch.
Marion County started the second half with a full-court press that produced six Bethlehem turnovers and a quick 17-7 run that stretched the Knights' lead to 28 points, putting the game away early. Head coach Montrelle Irvin emptied his bench midway through the fourth quarter and Marion County closed the door on a 36-point win.
(Left) Jamison Epps (35) scores on an offensive rebound in the second half. (Middle) Tyshay Epps soars for two of his career-high 11 points. (Right) Luke Thomas scores in transition after picking off one of his five steals in the game.
In addition to Epps, Douglas, and Means, senior guard Luke Thomas scored 12 points to go with five rebounds and a team-leading five steals. After not recording an assist in Marion County's loss at Adair County the night before, sophomore point guard Tyshay Epps dished out four assists to go with four steals, six rebounds, and a career-high 11 points. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
A scary moment took place in the middle of the third quarter. Sophomore reserve guard Isiah May seemed to take a blow to the head while going for a loose ball and laid on the court for several minutes while play was stopped. May was eventually assisted off the floor and taken to the trainer's room. He did not return to the game.
The team will take today off from games but return to action both Monday and Tuesday. Monday evening the Knights travel to Thomas Nelson High School to play the first game of a boy/girl double-header against the Generals, then on Tuesday will head to Green County High School for a JV/Varsity double-header with the Dragons. Monday's game at Thomas Nelson is scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM. Tuesday's Varsity game at Green County is scheduled to start at 7:30 PM Eastern time (6:30 Central time) following the Junior Varisty match-up at 6:00 PM Eastern time (5:00 PM Central time).
Indians Pull Away In 2nd Half; Knights Fall (12/9/2017)
After holding a lead for most of the first half Friday night, the Marion County Knights' offense faltered in the second half as the Adair County Indians made the most of abundant free-throw opportunities, handing the Knights an 88-77 loss in Columbia. Although Marion County took ten more shots from the floor and made three more field goals than the Indians, they couldn't overcome Adair County's 31-of-40 shooting at the free-throw line. The Knights also committed 15 turnovers for the game while only forcing the Indians into seven turnovers.
Marion County held a lead as large as nine points in the first quarter as sophomore Mason Sullivan scored seven of his 13 points in the period before heading to the bench in the second quarter with foul trouble. Adair County transfer freshman Zion Harmon led an Indians come-back in the second period, pouring in 23 of his game-high 35 points before the half and cut the Knights' lead to one point late in the period. The Knights hurt their own cause by going 0-5 at the free-throw line in the second quarter before Luke Thomas' driving lay-up gave Marion County a 37-34 lead at the break.
Adair County's other transfer, sophomore Dre Boyd, took over the game in the second half, scoring all 16 of his points after the break. Twelve of those points game in the third quarter when the Indians outscored Marion County 20-13 and took a four-point lead, 54-50, to start the final period. Knight senior Lez Means was a perfect 5-5 at the free-throw line in the final eight minutes and scored 10 of his team-high 24 points in the fourth quarter to keep Marion County close. But costly turnovers late and poor defense by the Knights sent Adair County to the free-throw line 17 times in the period, including 6-6 from Indian junior Anthony Payne, 6-7 from Harmon, and 2-2 from Boyd.
Sullivan posted his first double-double of the season, tying his career-high with 10 rebounds to go along with his 13 points. Means tied a career-high with seven assists and sophomore Jamison Epps put up a career-high 16 points. For Adair County, Payne finished with 19 points to join Harmon and Boyd with double-figure scoring. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights will be back at it tonight when they travel to Bardstown High School to take on the Bethlehem Eagles in the Bardstown Tip-Off Classic at 6:15 PM. The Eagles improved their record to 2-2 last night with a 74-72 double-overtime win at Nelson County. It was the second consecutive extra-time win for the Eagles.
Junior Varsity And Freshmen Knights Sweep Bardstown -- Marion County's JV and Freshmen Knights had a successful trip to Bardstown High School on Wednesday, sweeping a double-header with the JV and Freshmen Tigers. The Freshmen Knights claimed a 65-58 win to improve their record to 3-0 while the JV Knights pulled out a 50-45 win to improve to 2-1. Five players scored double-figures for Marion County in the Freshmen contest, including 13 points from Patrick Benton in his first game of the season after recovering from an injury. In the Junior Varsity game, freshman Kanyon Spalding scored six of his nine points in the fourth quarter to help hold off the JV Tigers come-back attempt. Sophomore Isiah May scored all 12 of his points in the first half -- including three 3-point FGs -- to lead Marion County in scoring.
Knights Play Back-To-Back Games This Weekend (12/8/2017)
After a week off since their last game, the Marion County Knights are entering a grueling stretch of their schedule, playing four games in five days -- including back-to-back nights this evening and Saturday. Tonight Marion County heads to Columbia to face 20th District rival Adair County, then on Saturday will travel to Bardstown High School to face the Bethlehem Eagles in the Bardstown Tip-Off Classic.
The Adair County Indians are among the favorites to claim the 5th Region title this season. With a record of 2-1, the Indians have a pair of blow-out wins against Coumberland County and Green County, but suffered a 91-78 loss to Olive Branch (Mississippi) last Saturday in the Marshall County Hoopfest. Head coach Deron Breeze still has senior Corey Melton, a four-year starter averaging 14.0 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game, and junior Anthony Payne who played sparingly last season but is averaging 19.2 PPG through the Indians' first three games. But most of the chatter about Adair County is about transfer freshman Zion Harmon, one of the nationally top-ranked members of the Class of 2021. Harmon is averaging 37.7 PPG so far while converting 35.3% of his three-point shot attempts. The Knights' defense will certainly have its work cut out for it, but Marion County head coach Montrelle Irvin believes these are the kinds of challenges true competitors live for. Tip-off for the contest is scheduled for 8:00 PM Eastern time (7:00 PM Central time) following a girls varsity contest at 6:30 PM Eastern (5:30 PM Central).
On Saturday the Knights will face a slower-paced opponent in the Bethlehem Eagles. The Eagles opened the season with losses to Hart County and Bullitt Central before coming away with an overtime win against Thomas Nelson on Tuesday. Second-year coach Chris Taylor relies on a trio of seniors to lead his team. Chase Allen is the leading scorer at 17.3 points while pulling down 5.3 rebounds per game. Jacob Taylor is also averaging double-figure scoring at 14.0 and leads the team in rebounding with an impressive 9.0 boards per game. Senior Jackson Gasser is next in rebounding for Bethlehem with 5.7 per game. The Knights and Eagles are scheduled to tip off at 6:15 PM in Bardstown High School's gym following the John Hardin-DuPont Manual game at 4:30 PM. Following the Marion County-Bethlehem match-up, host Bardstown will take on Bullitt Central at 8:00 PM.
Panthers Late Run Hands Knights First Loss (12/2/2017)
Marion County's Lez Means scored 24 points with eight rebounds at Elizabethtown.
After the Marion County Knights had pulled within two points early in the fourth quarter Friday night, the Elizabethtown Panthers used a 30-15 run to close out the game at Rawlings Memorial Gym and hand the Knights their first loss of the season, 80-63. Lez Means led Marion County with 24 points and a career-high eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough to overcome the balanced scoring attack of the Panthers who got double-figure scoring performances from five different players.
For the second game in a row, the Knights dug themselves an early hole, falling behind 14-4 late in the first quarter after Elizabethtown's Darius Harding finished off a break with dunk. But back-to-back scores on offensive rebounds by Marcus Yantis pulled Marion County within five points to start the second quarter, and a three-pointer from Luke Thomas midway through the period gave the Knights their first lead of the game, 21-20. Harding picked up his second foul with three minutes left before the half when he was called for charging into Thomas, but Tait Pritchard picked up the slack for the Panthers, scoring seven of his 15 points in the period as the two teams swapped the lead back and forth. Pritchard sank a pair of free-throws at 0:38 to put the Panthers up by three before Thomas' pull-up jumper got the Knights back to within one at 30-29 to close out the half.
The third quarter started much as the as the second ended, with neither team able to pull away. A basket inside from Jamison Epps put the Knights on top, 34-33, but then some sloppy ball-handling by Marion County gave the Panthers an opportunity to go on a 9-0 run to get some breathing room. The Knights fought back, getting another three-pointer from Thomas and back-to-back baskets inside from Mason Sullivan to pull within a point at 42-41. But another 8-2 by Elizabethtown put the home team back on top 50-43 to start the final period.
(Left) Luke Thomas shoots a three-ponter in the second half. (Middle) Mason Sullivan looks to score near the block. (Right) Freshman Kanyon Spalding (15) scores inside in the JV Knights 40-39 loss.
Means drained a three-pointer and scored on a drive to start the fourth quarter and pull the Knights within two, 50-48. But that would be as close as Marion County would get. Elizabethtown seniors Tyler Durbin and Terry King scored nine and 10 points, respectively, in the period to fuel the Panthers' 30-15 spurt and put the Knights away for good. King finished with 10 points and Durbin with 17 for Elizabethtown. In addition to Means' 24 points, Thomas and Tyshay Epps both scored eight for Marion County with Epps also passing out five assists. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Varsity Knights return to action next Friday when they travel to Adair County for the second game of a girl/boy double-header. The girls will start at 6:30 PM Eastern time (5:30 PM Central time) with the boys following at 8:00 PM Eastern time (7:00 PM Central time).
Knights Travel To E-Town For First Road Game (12/1/2017)
Elizabethtown guard Darius Harding led the Panthers in both scoring and rebounding last season. (Photo by Jill Pickett, The News-Enterprise)
The Marion County Knights will hit the road tonight for their first road game of the season, a JV/Varsity double-header at Elizabethtown High School against the Panthers. While the Knights already opened their season Tuesday at the Roby Dome with a thrilling 94-86 overtime win against Bardstown, the Panthers will be playing their first game of the new season.
The Panthers finished the 2016-2017 campaign with a 14-16 record but return their top three scorers from that squad. Senior guard Darius Harding was both the team's leading scorer (17.8 ppg) and rebounder (5.6 rpg), and long-time Elizabethtown head coach James Haire says he has worked hard in the off-season to improve his game, drawing the attention of several NCAA Division II and NAIA coaches. Also returning from last year's team are seniors Tyler Durbin and Kass Disney, who averaged 15.7 points and 9.7 points, respectively.
Tip-off for the Varsity game is scheduled for 7:30 PM, following the Junior Varsity contest at 6:00 PM.
Means Scores 45 To Lead Knights Past Bardstown (11/29/2017)
Marion County's Lez Means scores two of his career-high 45 points in the Knights' season-opening win over Bardstown.
Senior guard Lez Means was recognized in a pre-game presentation for setting a school-record for most three-point field-goals in a game last season when he sank 10 at Beth Haven. Means then went on to score a career-high 45 points -- including five three-pointers -- to lead the Marion County Knights to an exciting 94-86 overtime win over the Bardstown Tigers Tuesday in the Knights' season opener at the Roby Dome. The victory broke a 15-game losing streak to the Tigers, who the Knights last defeated on February 14, 2006.
The game got off to a rough start for Marion County. The Tigers' pressure defense forced the Knights into five turnovers and a blocked shot in their first six possessions as Bardstown took a 13-5 lead. But it also led to foul trouble for the visitors. Starting guards J.T. Galloway and Montrez Railey both picked up two fouls in the first quarter and went to the bench for the remainder of the first half. Marion County's offense settled down, eventually taking their first lead of the game 32-31 on a Jamison Epps put-back basket. Marion County head coach Montrelle Irvin had gone into the game concerned about his team's depth, but in the first half got solid contributions from senior Conner Higdon (five points, three rebounds), and sophomores Isiah May (three points and a steal) and John Adams (three points, three rebounds), helping the Knights to a 38-35 lead at halftime.
The second half started off with the two teams trading the lead four times in the first 2:36 of the third quarter before Marion County's Tyshay Epps buried a pair of three-pointers to help start a 14-6 run that gave the Knights an eight-point lead to start the fourth quarter. But the Tigers wouldn't go away without a fight and pulled even at 62-62 on Dsamual Butler's free-throws with 2:59 left in regulation. From that point the lead changed hands seven times the remainder of the fourth quarter. The Knights appeared to finally get some breathing room when Mason Sullivan scored inside on an assist from Jamison Epps for a 75-71 Marion County lead with under 35 seconds to play. A quick score from Railey pulled the Tigers back within two, and the Knights managed to run the clock down to 7.7 seconds left before Bardstown finally managed to foul Means. Means had converted his last three free-throws, but missed both shots here, giving the Tigers one last chance. They made the most of it as junior Trey Riney crashed the offensive glass for a score just before the horn went off to force overtime with the score tied 75-75.
(Left) Mason Sullivan (10) scores two of his 12 points on a feed from Jamison Epps (35). (Middle) Tyshay Epps hits the second of his two three-pointers in the third quarter. (Right) Luke Thomas pulls down a rebound in overtime.
Bardstown's foul trouble finally caught up with them as four Tigers fouled out in the extra four minutes. The Knights took advantage, pulling out to an eight-point lead on a pair of Luke Thomas free-throws with 1:10 left to play. Bardstown could get no closer than five the rest of the way and Marion County closed out the final eight-point margin at the free-throw line.
In addition to his career-best 45 points, Means also tied his career-best with seven rebounds and tied another school record -- this time for made free-throws in a game with 18. Thomas finished with nine points and tied a career-high with seven rebounds. Sullivan scored 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting with four rebounds in his first career start. Fellow sophomores Tyshay Epps and Jamison Epps were also making their first career start. Tyshay Epps finished with eight points and three assists while Jamison Epps had seven points and 11 rebounds. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
Marion County will play its first road game of the season Friday at Elizabethtown when they take on the Panthers in a JV/Varsity double-header. The Junior Varsity is scheduled to start at 6:00 PM with the Varsity contest starting at 7:30 PM.
Knights Host Bardstown In Season Opener (11/28/2017)
The Marion County Knights kick off the 2017-2018 regular season tonight when they host the Bardstown Tigers at the Roby Dome. The Tigers will be bringing virtually an all-new line-up to the game as they look to replace six seniors from last season's 22-8 squad that claimed the 19th District championship. Marion County returns two starters from last year's 15-15 team in seniors Lez Means and Luke Thomas, who were also the two leading scorers from that squad. Those two seniors will likely be joined in the starting line-up by three sophomores -- guard Tyshay Epps and forwards Mason Sullivan and Jamison Epps.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM following the season opener for the Lady Knights against the Lady Tigers at 6:00 PM.
Freshmen Knights Start Season With Win
Marion County's Freshmen Knights got their season off to a successful start Monday at Nelson County High School by defeating the Freshmen Cardinals, 67-34. Marion County's Spencer Lucas led all scorers with 22 points while Dominic White and Markel Bell both scored 15.
Marion County's Lathan Hamilton makes a steal in the Freshmen Knights' 67-34 win at Nelson County.
MCHS Holds Knights Madness (11/25/2017)
Marion County sophomore Jamison Epps (35) takes a shot over fellow sophomore Mason Sullivan during the Varsity scrimmage.
The Marion County Knights and Lady Knights held one last public exhibition Tuesday at the Roby Dome. In addition to inter-squad scrimmages for the JV and Varsity squads of both the boys and girls teams, the fans got to see a three-point shooting contest and participate in other events. Both the Knights and Lady Knights will officially kick off the 2017-2018 season in the Roby Dome on Tuesday when they host Bardstown in a boy/girl double-header.
(Left) Senior Lez Means takes a shot during the 3-point shooting contest. (Middle) Sophomore Tyshay Epps leads a fast break during the Varsity scrimmage. (Right) Luke Thomas (0) drives past Means for a layup.
(Left) Sophomore Spencer Riggs drives the lane during warm-ups. (Middle) Freshman Lathan Hamilton handles the ball during warm-ups. (Right) Freshman J.T. Lee dribbles past Hamilton during the Junior Varsity scrimmage.
(Left) Sophomore Isiah May pulls down a rebound. (Middle) Senior Conner Higdon line up a three-point attempt. (Right) Sophomore John Adams (22) drives through the defense for a score.
(Left) Freshman Ethan Mattingly (15) starts a fast break. (Middle) Sophomore Mason Sullivan (10) takes a shot over Jamison Epps. (Right) Freshman Dominic White scans the defense.
(Left) Freshman Kanyon Spalding (11) tries to get to the basket against sophomore LaBryant Churchill. (Middle) Freshman Spencer Lucas is chased by fellow freshman Ethan Mattingly. (Right) Senior Lez Means drives into the lane against fellow senior Luke Thomas.
(Left) Markell Bell (10), a 7th grader at the Knight Academy, looks up the floor after coming up with a steal. (Middle) Junior Trevor Douglas (4) fires a three-pointer. (Right) Junior Marcus Yantis (15) tries to penetrate the lane.
Offense Clicks In Knights' Final Scrimmage (11/19/2017)
Senior Luke Thomas scans the Whitefield Academy defense in Marion County's final pre-season scrimmage. Thomas scored 18 points in the contest.
In their final scrimmage of the pre-season on Saturday, the Marion County Knights put up 94 points total against the Whitefield Academy Wildcats in the King Of The Bluegrass Jamboree at Fairdale High School. The Knights won all four quarters of the scrimmage as senior guard Luke Thomas led all scorers with 18 points on 7-14 shooting. Had a running score been kept, Marion County would have claimed a 94-65 win.
Senior Lez Means scored 12 points in the contest and junior guard Trevor Douglas finished with 11 points while shooting 3-4 from behind the three-point line. Sophomore forward Mason Sullivan recorded a team-high four steals while fellow sophomore Tyshay Epps passed out a team-high eight assists. Epps, a 5'10" guard, also excited the crowd when he tried to finish off a fast break with a dunk, but lost the handle on the ball as he was fouled on the play.
(Left) Senior Lez Means drives through the Whitefield Academy defense. (Middle) Tyshay Epps draws a foul on a dunk attempt. (Right) Freshman Dominic White scores in traffic in the JV Knights' scrimmage.
Sophomore forward Jamison Epps grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while scoring nine points. As a team, the Knights out-rebounded the Wildcats 39-35 while forcing the Wildcats into 26 turnovers.
The Junior Varsity Knights also had a strong performance in their scrimmage with the JV Wildcats, winning three of four quarters. Sophomore Isiah May hit four three-point field goals and led the team in scoring with 18 points. Freshman Spencer Lucas also scored double-figures with 15 points.
The public will have one more chance to see the Knights before the official start of the season on Tuesday when they host Knights Madness at the Roby Dome with the Lady Knights. Activities start at 6:30 PM.
MC Looks For Answers In Final Scrimmage (11/18/2017)
The Marion County Knights will play their final scrimmage of the pre-season today at Fairdale High School when they take on the Whitefield Academy Wildcats in the annual King of the Bluegrass Jamboree. The Wildcats finished with a record of 6-19 last season while playing in the tough 6th Region, based in Louisville, but return three of their top five scorers from that squad, including senior guard Tyler Nauert who averaged 11.6 points per game.
The Knights will be looking to improve their consistency on the offensive end of the floor while getting more production off the bench.
Tip-off for the Varsity scrimmage is scheduled for 12:00 noon in Fairdale's main gym following a junior varsity scrimmage between the JV Knights and JV Wildcats at 10:30 AM in Fairdale's small gym.
Knights Struggle With Seneca's Athleticism In First Scrimmage (11/12/2017)
In their first scrimmage of the pre-season, the Marion County Knights had a hard time adjusting to the speed and length of the Seneca Redhawks, losing three of the four quarters played. While the score is erased at the end of each quarter during a scrimmage, had a running score been kept for the game the Knights would have come up short 67-40.
Rather than use a normal rotation of seven or eight players while the contest was in doubt, head coach Montrelle Irvin used a platoon system where he regularly rotated in five players for five players. The system gave Irvin the opportunity to see several more players in action against an unfamiliar opponent and to see how the players would react. It also provided players not in the starting line-up a chance to earn a spot in the usual rotation. Each of Marion County's starters did make the scoring column, led by senior guard Lez Means with 12 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Sophomore forward Jamison Epps scored 11 while shooting 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Senior guard Luke Thomas made a three-point field goal and hit 2-for-2 at the charity stripe for 5 points.
The Junior Varsity Knights fared a little better in their scrimmage against Seneca's JV squad, winning the first quarter 20-5 and tied the second quarter before coming up short by two points and one point in the third and fourth quarters. Had a running score been kept the JV Knights would have prevailed 46-34. Freshman guard Spencer Lucas led Marion County in scoring with 12 as nine of the 10 players in uniform contributed points to the team's effort.
Marion County has one more scrimmage before the start of regular season play. This Saturday they will travel to Fairdale High School to face the Whitefield Academy Wildcats in the King of the Bluegrass Jamboree. A JV contest will tip off at 10:30 AM followed by the Varsity scrimmage at 12:00 noon.
Knights Kick Off Pre-Season Against Redhawks (11/11/2017)
Seniors Lez Means (left) and Luke Thomas (right) were the top two scorers for Marion County in the 2016-2017 season.
The Marion County Knights Boys Basketball team will play their first scrimmage of the pre-season today against the Seneca Redhawks at Butler Traditional High School in Shively in the Next Up Recruits Jamboree. The Redhawks posted a 7-17 record last season in the tough 7th Region, based in the heart of Louisville. Marion County finished last year with a record of 15-15 and fell in the opening round of the 20th District Tournament.
The Knights return the top two scorers from the 2016-2017 campaign -- senior guards Lez Means (17.0 PPG) and Luke Thomas (9.2 PPG) -- but the remainder of the Varsity roster is short on experience at that level. Junior Trevor Douglas and sophomore Tyshay Epps will both compete for playing time at the guard position while senior Connor Higdon along with sophomores Jamison Epps and Mason Sullivan will try to earn a spot in the frontcourt.
Marion County and Seneca will play both a Varsity and Junior Varsity scrimmage at the Jamboree. The two varsity squads will square off in the main gym at 12:00 noon, followed by the JV scrimmage in the auxillery gym at 1:15 PM.
Knights Fall In District Tourney (2/24/2017)
Marion County's Lez Means (3) scores two of his team-high 32 points in the Knights' loss to Taylor County.
The Marion County Knights' offense struggled early in the first half and the team never recovered, taking a 95-73 loss Thursday night to the Taylor County Cardinals in the 20th District Tournament. Taylor County's TreVon Smith scored 17 of his game-high 35 points in the first half as the Cards shot 57.6% from the floor -- including 47.1% behind the three-point arc. With the win Taylor County advances to the tournament championship game on Saturday where they will face host team Adair County.
Marion County took its only lead of the game on the opening possession when Isaac Lanham scored on a feed from Jaren Epps to go up 2-0. After Smith's first three-pointer of the game put the Cards ahead 7-4, Lanham scored on another feed from Epps with 3:05 left in the first quarter to pull the Knights within a point of the lead. But that would be Marion County's last field goal for the next seven minutes as Taylor County took advantage of Knight turnovers and missed free-throw opportunities to pull out to a 32-16 lead. Marion County committed seven of its 13 turnovers during that stretch while also getting into foul trouble, keeping starting forwards Lanham and Travis Wiser on the bench. Meanwhile, Smith and Ezra Oliver each hit two three-pointers for the Cards to help their squad to a 20-point lead with 2:40 left in the first half. The Knights cut the lead to 15 on a pair of free-throws and a pull-up jumper from Luke Thomas, but would go into halftime down 43-27.
Marion County's offense finally came to life in the third quarter, but Smith continued to light up the scoreboard for Taylor County as their lead grew to as much as 25 before the Knights got it back under 20 on a put-back basket by Mason Sullivan with 1:32 left in the period. Marion County put up 24 points in the frame, but the defense could not contain the Cards who answered with 28 points for a 71-51 lead to start the fourth quarter. The Knights would get no closer than 17 the remainder of the game.
(Left) Travis Wiser looks for an opening in the Taylor County defense. (Middle) Jaren Epps drives to the basket against Taylor County's Dejhon Irvin. (Right) Luke Thomas launches a three-point shot.
Means finished the game with 32 points to lead Marion County in scoring while Wiser scored 12. Lanham grabbed 9 rebounds in his last game as a Knight and finished with seven points. Epps also scored seven while passing out six assists in his final high school game. And Thomas scored seven to go with four rebounds and a pair of steals. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights finished the season with a record of 15-15.
20th District Tourney Opens At Adair (2/23/2017)
The four teams of the 20th District meet this week in the District Tournament -- host and #1 seed Adair Co. (top left) knocked off #4 seed Campbellsville (top right) on Wednesday. Marion County (bottom left) takes on Taylor Co. (bottom right) tonight.
The regular season wrapped up last week, but the teams of the 20th District will meet this week in John Burr Memorial Gym at Adair County High School for the annual 20th District Tournament, with the champion and runner-up advancing to next week's 5th Region Tournament at Central Hardin. Host team and number-one seed Adair County opened up the boys portion of the district tournament with a convincing 89-43 win over Campbellsville.
The Marion County Knights will face the Taylor County Cardinals tonight at 7:30 PM Eastern time (6:30 PM Central). Taylor County won both of the regular season match-ups with the Knights, coming away with a 64-53 win at the Roby Dome on January 20, and defending their home court 79-71 on February 3. The Cards will likely be without the services of senior Dylan Gaines who leads the team in rebounding and is third in scoring. But Taylor County senior Ezra Oliver and sophomore TreVon Smith are still a tough backcourt duo to defend with both averaging over 17 points a game.
Marion County's only double-figure scorer is junior Lez Means (16.5 PPG), who has posted over 30 points in both of the Knights' last two games. Senior Isaac Lanham is one of the top rebounders in the region while fellow senior Jaren Epps is averaging 4.1 assists per game. Junior Luke Thomas leads the team in made three-point field goals as well as steals and sophomore Trevor Douglas is another reliable outside shooter off the bench. Sophomore Travis Wiser is second on the team in rebounds as well as an important component of the Knights' defense.
Means' 32 Points Not Enough; LaRue Wins 57-55 (2/18/2017)
Marion County's Lez Means drives through the LaRue County defense for two of his 32 points on Friday.
Marion County junior Lez Means scored over 30 points Friday night for the second consecutive game with 32, but it wasn't enough to overcome the balanced scoring attack of the LaRue County Hawks and the Knights came up short 57-55 on Senior Night at the Roby Dome.
The Hawks opened the game with a 10-0 run as Marion County struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Means finally scored the Knights' first field goal four minutes into the game and led his team on a steady climb to get back into the contest. Marion County had an 11-3 run of their own in the second quarter, finally pulling even at 27-27 on a pair of Isaac Lanham free-throws with 1:29 left before the half. It looked as if the Knights would take a lead into the break when freshman Mason Sullivan came up with a blocked shot and grabbed the rebound, then Means streaked down the floor for a lay-up while getting fouled. Means made the bonus shot for a 32-29 lead with just 18 seconds left on the clock, but LaRue County's Derek Goode drained his second three-pointer of the quarter to force a 32-32 tie as the horn sounded.
The two teams went back and forth for most of the second half before the Hawks pulled ahead 53-46 when Cameron Dawson rebounded his own team's missed free-throw and scored from point-blank range. Once again, Means led the Knights' charge back by scoring Marion County's next nine points, capped off with a pair of free-throws with 0:35.9 left in the game to tie the score 55-55. LaRue County managed to run almost 30 seconds off the clock when it appeared Marion County's Travis Wiser had come up with a steal at half court but instead was called for a foul, sending LaRue's Mark Goode to the free-throw line. Goode made both shots to put his team ahead 57-55. The Knights advanced the ball across half-court and called time with 2.5 seconds left on the clock. But the Hawks' defense broke up the designed play and Marion County was forced to settle for a long-range three-point attempt that fell short, securing the win for the visitors.
Marion County seniors Isaac Lanham (left), Lamarcus Bell (middle) and Jaren Epps (right) were recognized in pre-game ceremonies before their final appearance in the Roby Dome.
After Means' 32-point effort, Marion County's next highest scorers were Trevor Douglas with 8 points and Lanham also with 8 points to go with his 8 rebounds. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights wrapped up the regular season with a 15-14 record and will now concentrate on Thursday's match-up with Taylor County in the 20th District Tournament at Adair County High School. Tip-off for the must-win game is scheduled for 7:30 PM Eastern time (6:30 PM Central).