By Les Dixon /
LEXINGTON — It just wasn’t in the cards.
11th Region champion Scott County was hoping to capture its first state championship since 2007, but ran into a never-say-die Covington Catholic team that fought back from 12 points down, winning, 59-51, in overtime.
Nick Ruthsatz put the Colonels on his back, scoring 25 points, including eight in overtime to lead his team to the state crown, earning him game MVP honors.
Covington Catholic hit 17-of-43 from the floor, but connected on 19-of-27 shot attempts from the free-throw line.
It didn’t take Covington Catholic long to take an early lead.
Consecutive three-pointers by Ben Heppler and Nick Ruthsatz gave the Colonels a 7-1 advantage.
But Scott County came storming back, putting together a 16-2 run to close the quarter.
Baskets by Tony Martini and three straight three-pointers by Jones gave the Cardinals a 14-9 lead. Trent Gilbert followed with a three-pointer of his own, as Scott County took a 17-9 lead into the second quarter.
Covington Catholic’s scoreless streak reached close to 10 minutes in the first half, and the Cardinals took advantage. Billy Hick’s squad capped off a 22-4 run and built a commanding 23-13 advantage, as Jones added six more points during the period, and led the way with 15 points on six-of-11 shooting during the game’s first 16 minutes.
The Colonels managed to cut their deficit to 27-18 at halftime, but struggled shooting the ball, misfiring on six-of-22 shot attempts, including a two-of-seven from three-point range. They only hit four-of-eight attempts from the free-throw line and were out rebounded, 21-13.
Scott County connected on 10-of-26 shot attempts during the first half, including a four-of-11 effort from beyond the arc. The Cardinals turned the ball over 10 times and forced Covington Catholic into six miscues.
Scott County came out in the third quarter and struggled to find the basket. The Cardinals missed all eight three-point attempts during the period, and misfired on 10 of its first 11 shot attempts, allowing the Colonels to chip away at the Cardinals’ lead.
After falling behind 30-21, Covington Catholic went on a 6-0 run that saw Heppler’s three-pointer combined with a lay-up by Mark Schult to make the score, 30-27.
But just when it looked as if the Colonels were storming back, Hicks decided to switch things up on offense, and Martini took over, scoring six of Scott county’s nine points during the period. He scored four of the Cardinals’ six points to close out the period, extending his team’s lead to 36-28 with eight minutes remaining in regulation.
Scott County only shot four-of-15 from the floor during the period, but still managed to hold on to an eight-point lead.
The Cardinals continued to struggle shooting the ball in the fourth quarter, allowing the Colonels to get back into the ball game.
Three-pointers by Austin Sweeney and Ruthsatz allowed Covington Catholic to pull to within three points (44-41) while six straight made free throws by Ruthsatz tied the game at 44 apiece with :50 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Both teams and a chance to win during the period’s final seconds, but neither could convert on contested shots.
97th Annual Whitaker Bank/KHSAA
Boys’ Sweet Sixteen Championship
at Rupp Arena
Covington Catholic 59, Scott County 51 OT
Covington Catholic 9 9 10 19 12 59
Scott County 17 10 9 11 4 51
Covington Catholic (59) — Schuh 3, Schult 12, VonHandorf 9, Rithsatz 25, Heppler 8, Keller 2.
Scott County (57) — Long 4, Martini 16, Gilbert 10, Murray 1, Kendred 2, Jones 18.
Covington Catholic fights back against Scott County to win state championship
By Les Dixon /
- Local Sports
So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking
By Les Dixon
NORTH LAUREL — Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguar football team is coming off one of its best seasons in program history with hopes of continuing its winning ways this fall.
The Next Step: Jerry Herron's Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have high hopes of winning a state title
By Chris Parsons
WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets came one win away from bringing home the program’s first ever state championship last season, but a 42-0 loss to Mayfield meant a state title wasn’t in the cards.
Ready to Reload
Even though Knox Central head football coach Scottie Russell has seen the departure of two of the program’s best tailbacks due to graduation in the past two years, he isn’t concerned.
Shelton was a hero by any definition
The word hero is used a little too loosely for my taste these days.
To be honest, it’s been used way too much for a long time and I’m just as guilty as the next guy.
Out With A Bang
Corbin’s Chris and Hannah Hart ended their Redhound softball careers together, but the duo went out with a bang, each representing Corbin on the Kentucky All Star squad in a three-game series against the Tennessee All Stars.
Express finishes fourth in USSSA World Series
The Kentucky Express participated in the USSSA World Seriers against teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and New York.
What A Run!
The Corbin Little League All Stars put together an impressive run to the 2014 Little League State Tournament, but all good things must come to an end.
Fun While It Lasted
The North Laurel 11-12 year-old All-Stars finished their trip in Central Region play by dropping a 15-0 decision to Missouri’s Webb City Little League.
- Smashing Win
- Whitley County knocks off B'ville, 7-0
- More Local Sports Headlines
- So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking