• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Jackets whip Bourbon County on senior night

WCHS SENIOR NICK SMITH scores a layup during the senior night game against Bourbon County on Friday, Feb. 16. Smith scored 18 points in his final home game for the Jackets. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School boys' basketball team celebrated senior night with a 27-point victory over the Bourbon County Colonels. The Jackets featured a balanced scoring attack and solid defense that turned the Colonels over consistently and resulted in points in transition. Senior Nick Smith led the Jackets with 18 points and junior Ben Nash added 15.

“I've played with a lot of these guys for a long time,” said WCHS senior Jayden Hamilton. “I grew up with a lot of these guys. They are like family and I'm going to miss them next year but for right now we have work to do in the district tournament.”

“This is the last home game ever for me in high school so it was special,” said Smith. “We came out here tonight and knew we had to give our best to get this win. This team was no slouch; and we shared the ball and defensively had a really solid effort. I am really looking forward to postseason play.”

In the first quarter, the Colonels tried to use their size advantage to score in the paint but the Jackets countered their attack with a double-team down low. Smith scored five points in the quarter including a pair of high flying scores at the basket. Bourbon County's Titus Ransom hit a pair from long range to give the Colonels a 13-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Jackets defense stepped up their intensity in the second quarter and began to take control of the game. The Jackets held Bourbon Co. to only seven second quarter points. Cromwell hit a three from the left corner that gave the Jackets a lead in the first minute and then Smith added seven points including a step-back three-pointer. The Jackets led 29-20 at halftime.

The Jackets continued to smother the Colonels' offense. Woodford scored eight points as a result of turnovers in the third quarter to grow their lead to double digits. Nash hit his second three-pointer of the game and Cromwell added seven points for the Jackets. The Colonels offense began hoisting three-point attempts to get back into the game. Jeremy Moran hit a pair from downtown for the Colonels but the Jackets took a 17 point lead into the final quarter.

The Jackets were on fire from long range in the fourth quarter. Four different Woodford shooters connected from beyond the arc including juniors Justin Alexander and Alex Morgan. The Jackets had nine players score in all and made nine three-pointers in the game. WCHS junior Corey George led the Jackets in rebounding with 10.

“We feel a lot better about going into districts coming off of a win,” said WCHS Coach Ryan Wilson. “We tell them that good teams have to share the ball and look for the open man. Once they started to share the ball, they realized; hey maybe coach isn't crazy and this works. We've been working really hard on our half-court defense and trapping the ball to create opportunities. I don't think I will ever be content on how we play, we can always be better, but tonight I was pleased with the effort.”

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