• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS boys’ basketball falls to Bourbon County

SCOTT HUNDLEY, right, head coach of the Woodford County High School boys’ basketball team, huddles with his players during their game against Bourbon County at home in The Hive on Friday, Feb. 5. While the Yellow Jackets held the lead deep into the third quarter, the Colonels came back to win, 75-59. (Photo by Rick Capone)

After two blowout wins over Frankfort – 77-56 on Saturday, Jan. 30, and over Model, 68-30, on Wednesday, Feb. 3 – there was the possibility of a letdown for the Woodford County High School basketball team. Well, unfortunately, it came at home in The Hive on Friday, Feb. 5, as the Yellow Jackets had a 42-40 lead over Bourbon County deep into the third quarter of the game, but then the Colonels took charge and ran off to a 75-59 win. “We rode the high from the last few games in the first half and the start of the second, but there’s a point that came that it was just a matter of which team was going to be tougher, and I think they (Bourbon County) won that battle tonight,” said Woodford head coach Scott Hundley, who’s team is now 13-11 on the season. “It was pretty evident. We didn’t want to take care of the ball. We had 15 turnovers in the second half and you just don’t win that way.” Leading the team in the game was the tandem of junior Keagan Stromberg and sophomore Chandler Stewart. Stromberg finished with 20 points and four rebounds, while Stewart had 13 points and three rebounds. Also, senior Tucker Sly had nine points, Alex Cason had four points, Brandon Cromwell had four points and four rebounds and senior Wesley Smith had two points and three rebounds. In the first quarter, the two teams swapped the lead a few times, but at the end of the stanza, Bourbon County led 16-14. Play in the second quarter mirrored the first, as the two teams battled back and forth until the closing seconds when, with the Colonels up 28-25, Stromberg drove to the basket for two points, which was followed on the next possession by two free throws by Stewart to give Woodford a 29-28 lead heading into the halftime locker room. Play continued to be close in the third quarter, with Woodford leading most of the way and even holding a five-point lead, 37-32, with under four minutes to go. Then, as the quarter was winding down and the Yellow Jackets were ahead, Bourbon County hit a three-pointer, and then followed that with two free throws with 38.6 seconds left in the third, to take a 46-42 lead going into the fourth. After that, the Colonels took control of the game, and as the Yellow Jackets began to flounder, Bourbon County just kept getting stronger and continued to widen its lead the rest of the way, eventually winning 75-59. “We had an opportunity to extend our lead from about five or six, and credit to them (Bourbon County), they made a couple tough shots,” said Hundley. “A couple of their guys really stepped up and made some shots for them. But we just could never stop the bleeding after they got going.” While it was a tough loss, one bright spot for the Yellow Jackets has been the improving effort of the team’s bench players, which will pay dividends as the season progresses into the district tournament. “Our bench is really starting to come on,” said Hundley. “Bryce Hewitt is doing a good job of really working into the rotation. I think that’s what’s helped us up until this point. The last four or five games we’ve really played together as a team. We got some contributions off the bench and that’s really helped us.” Prior to the game against Bourbon County, Woodford played a road game on Wednesday, Feb. 3, against Model and won, 68-30. In the game, Stewart led the team with 15 points, while Smith had 13 points and five rebounds. In addition, Hewitt, a senior, had 12 points, Stromberg had six points and led the team with six rebounds, senior Jonathan Colley had four points and five rebounds and junior Alex Karbach had two points and four rebounds.

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