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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)
vs. 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).
Means Breaks School Record; Knights Top Beth Haven (2/17/2017)
Marion County's Lez Means (3) ties the school record for three-point field goals with this shot late in the fourth quarter.
Marion County junior guard Lez Means followed up one of the best games of his career at Caverna on Tuesday with a record-setting performance Thursday at Beth Haven. Means broke the school record for three-point field goals in a single game by making ten and scored a career-high 38 points in the Knights 73-45 win over the Bearcats.
Means made his first three-pointer of the game four minutes into the first quarter, then closed out the period by making his second at the horn to put the Knights up 18-5. The Knights' defense was successful in shutting down Beth Haven's leading scorer Austin Streble in the first half, leaving senior Cody Mikel to carry the offensive load for the Bearcats as he scored all but five of his team's 21 first-half points. But Means drained three more treys in the second quarter, tying his personal career best by half-time as Marion County went into the break with a 40-21 lead.
Streble finally got into the flow of the offense in the third quarter as Beth Haven tried to claw their way back into the game, but Means kept hitting from long distance and Marion County had stretched its lead to 24 at the end of the period. Means finally tied the school record with 3:29 left in the game, then drained the record-breaking shot with 1:29 left to play before coach Montrell Irvin took him out of the game.
(Left) Jaren Epps tries to drive around Beth Haven's Dylan Kerr. (Middle) Isaac Lanham pushes the ball up the floor in the second half. (Right) Travis Wiser (31) posts up against Beth Haven's Cody Mikel.
Marion County senior Isaac Lanham made both the first and last shots of the first half -- both three-pointers -- and finished the game with 11 points and another seven rebounds to bring his career-total to 738 boards. Travis Wiser scored 10 points with six boards and Jaren Epps passed out 9 assists while scoring 8 points. You can read more about this game by clicking on the score in the right-hand column, or by clicking here.
The Knights close out their regular season tonight at the Roby Dome in the second game of a girl-boy double-header against LaRue County. Tip-off for the girls is scheduled for 6:00 PM and for the boys at approximately 7:30 PM. Senior Night ceremonies will take place between the two games.
Knights Close Out Regular Season On Back-To-Back Nights (2/16/2017)
Beth Haven senior Cody Mikel is averaging a double-double for the Bearcats. (Photo by Marty Pearl, Courier-Journal)
The regular season is down to just two more games for the Marion County Knights who will travel to Louisville this evening to face the Beth Haven Bearcats, then tomorrow night will host the LaRue County Hawks for Senior Night at the Roby Dome.
Beth Haven (12-14) is led by a pair of career 1,000-point scorers in senior Cody Mikel and junior Austin Streble. Mikel is averaging a double-double at 17.6 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest and makes 56.2% of his shots from the floor. Streble averages 19.6 points and 8.1 rebounds. The inside-out combination of the Bearcats duo could prove to be a tough challenge for the Knights' defense. Tonight's game is varsity only and is scheduled to tip off at 6:30 PM.
LaRue County (22-7) currently boasts the #2 overall record in the 5th Region and has won 8 of their last 9 games, including a 75-70 overtime win at Taylor County last Friday. The Hawks are led in scoring by freshman post player Mark Goode at 14.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Goode is also shooting a remarkable 70.4% from the floor. But the freshman gets plenty of support from the upper-classmen with senior M.J. Embree posting averages of 12.7 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds while junior guard Shane King scores 10.8 PPG. Goode's older brother, senior guard Derek, scored 27 against the Knights last season in the Hawks' 68-56 win on their Senior Night. Tip-off for Friday's game is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 PM following a girls varsity match-up at 6:00 PM and Senior Night ceremonies between games.
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