• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

Jackets dominate Sayre, 71-44

The Woodford County High School boys' basketball team beat Sayre 71-44 on Tuesday, Jan. 9. The Jackets made 13 three-pointers in the game and smothered the Spartans on the defensive end. The Jackets jumped out to a 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and continued to dominate throughout the game.

“I was proud of our guys for competing hard tonight,” said WCHS Coach Ryan Wilson. “We did some things that we want to build off of. We can always improve, but it was nice to see the ball movement creating the open looks like we did tonight.”

The Spartans scored the first basket of the game but the Jackets quickly went on a 12-2 run in the first three minutes of the quarter. The Woodford defense made the Spartans pay for turnovers converting on four turnovers in a row to push the lead to 20-6 at the end of the quarter.

“We just need to play our game and take what opportunities are given to us and exploit them,” said junior point guard Anthony Tabor. “My job is to drive and find the open shooter. I think we were successful with that game plan tonight. We were able to turn them over and get extra chances to score and when we do that, we are tough to beat.”

In the second quarter, the Jackets were on fire from beyond the three-point line. Senior Nick Smith hit a pair of threes, then junior Brandon Cromwell drained one from deep. A few plays later, Tabor hit a wide open three-pointer and the Jackets pushed their lead to 20 points. The Jackets were contesting every shot that the Spartans attempted and held them to just 16 first half points.

In the third quarter, junior Ben Nash made three straight three-pointers in the first two minutes. The last three-pointer by Nash was highlighted by a diving save by freshman Hunter Penn who leaped to keep the ball in-bounds and found a wide open Nash. A few possessions later, Tabor drove into the middle of the floor and dished to junior Ryan Duke who was wide open and knocked down the three-pointer. Sayre finished the quarter on a 4-0 run but the Jackets took a 56-28 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We played as a team tonight and when we do that, we are dangerous,” said junior Justin Alexander. “We were able to pass the ball well and find open shooters and they were able to knock down the shots.”

In the JV game, the Jackets won, 34-33 on a three-pointer by Alex Morgan with two seconds left in the game.

Frankfort

The WCHS boys' basketball team was defeated 57-47 by the Frankfort High School Panthers on Friday, Jan. 5. The Jackets struggled staying in front of the Panthers on defense that resulted in Panther layups. The Panthers were led by John Tillman who dominated the game in the paint, scored a team-high 18 points.

In the first half, the Panthers were on fire from three-point range. The Jackets were on the ropes early in the second quarter with Frankfort having a pair of 6-0 runs that grew the Panther lead to 12 points. The Jackets received a consistent game from junior Corey George who hit four mid range jump shots in the first half to keep the Jackets within striking distance. The Panthers ended the half on a 10-2 run to lead 30-17 at halftime.

The Jackets started the second half with a 4-0 run highlighted by an offensive rebound and score by Penn. After a Panther score, Penn scored again in the paint off a terrific assist from Tabor. The Panthers continued to attack the Jackets and breaking down their defensive pressure allowing for easy layups for Tillman. Penn drained a three-pointer and added another jumpshot that made the Jacket bench erupt and forced Frankfort to call a timeout. George grabbed an offensive rebound from Cromwell's miss and scored to cut the deficit to five with a minute left in the quarter. The Jackets outscored the Panthers by eight points in the quarter and had momentum heading into the final frame.

Frankfort scored on a quick layup to start the fourth quarter, but Cromwell made a fantastic layup falling to the floor while being fouled. Cromwell made the free throw to cut the lead to four. The Panthers then went on a 4-0 run and began to run a stall offense to control the clock. The Panthers led 48-43 with two minutes to go when Smith scored and was fouled. The free throw attempt was no good and the Panthers were able to break down the Jacket pressure and score. Woodford fouled the Panthers to stop the clock but the strategy was unsuccessful as Frankfort made its free throws. In the final five seconds of the game, with most of the players walking off of the court, Juanya Frank of Frankfort made a three-pointer to finish the game.

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