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Spencer County Head Coach Jacob Barmore said his boys’ basketball team had to shore up its defense if it hoped to find any success in the postseason.
Success may depend on what Bears’ team shows up – the one that surrendered 98 points in a loss to South Oldham on Thursday, or the squad that limited North Bullitt to 40 points in a win on Saturday.
Thursday night’s game was anything but ordinary. Prior to the opening tip, the Bears said farewell to seven seniors – Chris Dunbar, Alex Dennis, Bridger Knotts, Mikelle Carpenter, Brennan Smith, Trent Shields and Brandon Miller. The school also recognized senior members of the band, cheerleading squad and dance team.
Following that lengthy ceremony, the game got underway and less than two minutes in, the lights went out in the gym, causing a 20-minute delay in the action with South Oldham holding an 8-4 advantage.
When the lights came back on, South Oldham had no trouble adjusting their eyes, as they continued to drain 3-pointers. The Dragons’ first five baskets were from behind the arc, and they hit seven 3-pointers in the first quarter as they jumped out to a 27-10 lead. Two late buckets by Chris Dunbar, including an old-fashioned three kept the Bears competitive.
Spencer County tried to make a run in the second quarter. Another Dunbar basket made it 29-19 and then a drive by Alex Dennis and an basket and free throw by Carpenter closed the gap to 29-24 and the large home crowd was back into the game.
However, South Oldham then went on a run of its own and would go on a 13-2 run which included two more 3-pointers to build a 42-26 lead. They took a 44-28 lead into the locker room.
Things didn’t get better in the second half as the Dragons continued to hit from the outside, draining five more 3-pointers in the third quarter as they put the game out of reach. Spencer County showed a little late in the quarter by hitting three 3-pointers of its own, two by Knotts and one by Estevan Cordoba, but it wasn’t enough to get the Bears back into the game.
For the game, Dunbar led the way with 27 points while Dennis added 12. Miller chipped in with 8 points, Knotts had seven, Carpenter scored five, Cordoba added three and Brennan Kynan Smith scored two.
On Saturday night, the Bears went on the road to North Bullitt and put together a much better defensive performance in beating the Eagles, 56-40. Dennis led the way with 15 points in that matchup.
Spencer County will travel to Collins on Wednesday night for the first round of the 30th District Tournament. Spencer is seeded third in the district and will play the host Titans at 7:45.