By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Way back on December 13th, Somerset traveled to Rockcastle County for their first meeting of the 2013-14 season. That night would not be so kind to the Briar Jumpers, as the home standing Rockets came away with a 68-61 victory in Mt. Vernon.
The two district foes squared off once again on Monday evening at the Briar Patch. This time around would belong to Jeff Cothron and the Jumpers, as they used a strong second quarter to pull away from the Rockets for a 77-64 win.
Cothron is really pleased with the way his team has improved since that seven-point loss to the Rockets in mid-December.
“We’ve changed a bunch since then,” began Cothron. “We’re getting better defensively and we’re suring up our deficiencies, which were defense and rebounding. Unofficially, we outrebounded them by 10 and had 5 less turnovers than they did. If you win those two battles, you’re going to have a pretty good shot at winning a basketball game.”
The opening quarter went back and forth between the two clubs until Rockcastle County took the lead with two minutes left to play. After one quarter in the books, Somerset trailed the visiting Rockets by a four-point margin at 15-11.
Things would be all purple and gold in the second frame, as Somerset used a 10-0 run to take the lead for good thanks to baskets from Austin Coomer, Ryan Dishman, and Landon Powell. At the intermission, the Jumpers held a 35-21 advantage over Rockcastle County.
R. Dishman had a big frame for Somerset, scoring 10 of the Jumpers’ 24 second quarter points. In fact, R. Dishman outscored the entire Rockcastle County team in the quarter, as they scored 6 points.
Rockcastle County outscored the Jumpers by a 19-16 margin in the third stanza. Sam Pensol led the charge for the Rockets with 8 points, while R. Dishman scored 7 points for Somerset.
Heading into the fourth period, Somerset held an 11-point, 51-40 lead over Rockcastle County. The Jumpers would quickly widen the gap in the frame, opening it with a 6-0 run to run out to a 57-40 advantage, forcing the Rockets to take a timeout.
Somerset would hold on to win the game by a 13-point margin, allowing them to move their overall record to 10-9 and their district mark to 3-2.
Cothron is really liking the way each player on the Somerset roster is contributing each game out.
“I thought our depth played a big part in the game tonight,” continued the SHS coach. “When we got in foul trouble and had to go to our bench, the lead expanded. I was proud of all our kids – we’re getting contributions from our starters and bench players.”
R. Dishman scored a team-high 22 points in the win over the Rockets, which included four three-pointers. Powell chimed in with 12 points, while Michael Dobbs hit double figures with 11 points. Coomer finished the game with a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 boards.
The Rockets were led in scoring by Pensol, who led all scorers with 24 points. Pensol tallied 21 of his 24 points in the second half of action.
Somerset will now turn their focus to the 12th Region All “A” Classic championship game, which will be played Friday evening at Danville High School. The Jumpers will face the winner of last night’s Burgin-Danville game in the championship this weekend.
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22
ROCK – 15 6 19 24 – 64
SHS – 11 24 16 26 – 77
ROCKCASTLE COUNTY (8-11): Pensol 24, Gentry 12, Mullins 6, Mason 5, Hasty 5, Reynolds 4, Harper 4, Noble 2.
SOMERSET (10-9): R. Dishman 22, Powell 12, Dobbs 11, Coomer 10, T. Dishman 9, Lindsey 5, Coldiron 4, Spear 2, Harmon 2.