Shelby County’s 72-40 beating of Eminence High School last Tuesday night eliminated the Warriors from the 30th District tournament and ended their season at 5-21.
Shelby, who hosted the district tournament this year, improved to 20-5 with the Eminence win, beat Anderson County for the district title on Friday night, and plays North Oldham this Thursday in the opening round of the 8th Region tournament. Meanwhile, the Warriors ended the season with five wins, their most in three seasons.
“We’ve gotten a lot better. We started out playing about one quarter and now we’re at a point where we’re hanging around teams but we don’t have that killer instinct,” Eminence coach Chris Nethery said of his team’s progression this season. “We have to learn that as time goes on.”
Shelby, the top ranked team in the entire region, beat Eminence 77-41 earlier in the season in a contest that was close early on before the Rockets pulled away. This time around, though the final score was similar, the Rockets jumped ahead much earlier and never looked back as they cruised in for the 72-40 victory.
Shelby was in front 24-7 after the first quarter and held a 42-13 lead at the half. Donovan Johnson led Shelby with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Eminence was close to Shelby in the rebounding category, 38-30, and pulled down 15 offensive boards. But the Warriors finished with 19 turnovers, gave up 30 points off their own mistakes and allowed 13 points from put-back baskets.
“You’ve got to give Eminence credit,” Shelby coach Mike Clark told the Sentinel-News. “They did get 15 offensive rebounds for the game, which is about 10 too many. They were able to get some long rebounds because of the 3-pointers they were shooting in the second half. They played from tip-off to final horn.”
Dre Banta led the team in scoring with 16 points, including all four of Eminence’s 3-pointers. Bradley Foree scored 11 points, Jordan Fairchild scored six, Brandon Mitchell, Daishon Moore and Jeremy Keller scored two each, and TJ Cooper scored one. Fairchild and Cooper were the two seniors on this year’s squad, which relied heavily on young players for output. Freshmen Foree, Mitchell and Moore were all regulars in the starting rotation, and Foree led the team in scoring and rebounds.
Banta and Foree were named to the 30th District All-Tournament Team following Shelby’s win over Anderson in the finals.
Eminence’s five wins this season came against Kentucky School for the Deaf on Dec. 17, Riverside Christian on Jan. 16, St. Francis on Jan. 28, Trimble County on Jan. 29 and Covington Latin on Feb. 12. The back-to-back wins over Francis and Trimble in late January was the first time Eminence won two straight games since February 2007 and its first time winning on consecutive days since December 2006.
The signature win for the Warriors was their 62-60 outing over Trimble County.
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