Too much firepower. Too quick. Too good. Patrick Henry remained unbeaten (11-0) in the River Ridge District with a convincing, 78-61 win at Pulaski County Monday evening. The Patriots moved to 15-3 on the season while the Cougars dropped to 3-6 and 8-11 on the season.
After a terrific quarter that saw the Cougars tied with PH at 21-21, they just couldn’t keep pace with a talented PH team that shot the ball well throughout and its pressure defense forced Pulaski Co. into 20 turnovers that often resulted in easy baskets on the other end.
“They have an older squad, and some proven players. Their pressure was hard on us, and they did shoot the ball well, and it’s hard because you can’t double up anywhere, or try to take away any individual player because they can all score inside and out. But I thought our kids contested them the best we could. I was mostly pleased with our effort, and we played hard. That’s what you do,” said Pulaski Co. coach Tyler Cannoy.
PH hit 31 of 53 shots, 62% for the game after hitting at a 68% clip the first half. Five players scored double figures. Jalen Cook led the way with 19 points, Jamonte Smith finished with 15, Jalen Crump 13, Alex Faulkner 12, and Andre Palmer 11. Cook and Smith just scored six points combined the second half and let other Patriots take over.
Pulaski Co. hit 21 of 52 shots, 38.6%, and the Cougars had to work hard for their shots. The turnovers resulted in too many easy buckets for PH who committed just six turnovers in the game. Hayden Gray and Josh Bourne both had 11 points for the Cougars, Peyton Blackburn nine, and Luke Russell eight.
Russell and Blackburn combined for 11 points in the first quarter, and after being tied at 21 the Cougars still held strong most of the second quarter as Gray, Russell, and Blackburn combined for 21 first half points, but Cook and Smith put 23 on the board, Cook had 15 at the break and PH led by seven, 42-35.
But PH took over the game in the third quarter going on an 18-4 run and led 60-39 with 2:02 left in the third and the issue was decided. The Cougars managed to hit only one of eight shots the third quarter, and had their worst quarter handling the ball, committing nine turnovers.
In the fourth quarter coaches got all their players plenty of playing time and in the waning minutes PH spread the floor and ran out the clock.
By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot