Commonwealth Journal

February 21, 2014

Maroons struggling down the stretch

By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — The Pulaski County Maroons will head into next week’s 47th District Tournament as the four-time defending district champion.

However, based on Thursday night’s performance in PC’s regular season finale, Al Gover and company have a lot of work to do over the next week before post season play begins.

The West Jessamine Colts rolled into The PC Gym on Thursday night and rolled over the Maroons, foiling Senior Night with an 80-63 victory over PC.

Simply put, this game was not as close as the final score indicated.

West Jessamine’s Daulton Peters poured in a game-high 30 points, outscoring PC by himself in the first quarter alone, 14-11.

Thanks to Peters’ big night, West Jessamine raced out to a very comfortable 42-26 halftime lead over the Maroons and never looked back, on a night when coach Gover tried different combinations and different defenses, albeit to no avail.

“How something like this happens — I don’t know,” lamented a very disappointed coach Gover, after his club ended the regular season with a 15-12 record.

“We’re on our homecourt on Senior Night, and you don’t have enough fire and passion to defend better than that — that’s just beyond me,” fumed the PC coach. “I just can’t understand that.”

Gover did attempt to stop the bleeding early by calling three timeouts during the first quarter, but West Jessamine kept knocking down shot after shot, led by their senior sharp-shooter Peters.

Peters tallied 20 of his 30 points in the opening half of play helping his club race out to that 16-point bulge at the intermission. The Maroons meanwhile would have no answer on this particular night.

In the second half, Pulaski County was able to cut that deficit down to 12 points on a couple of occasions, but could get no closer, based in large part to the fact West Jessamine simply shot the lights out.

Damon Kelley’s club also got a big night from Landon Adkins who tallied 19 points in the victory, while point guard Will Henderson chipped in with 15.

On a night that saw the Colts simply dominate Pulaski County from start to finish, the Maroons — thanks in large part to that early deficit — never really threatened in this game again, capping off the regular season in very disappointing fashion.

“We didn’t guard Daulton Peters at all who just had his way tonight,” stated Gover. “We didn’t get our hands up when he was shooting the ball or anything. We just let him go where he wanted to go and do what he wanted to do.”

“We didn’t rebound the ball, we didn’t defend, we just didn’t do anything at all,” continued Gover. “For this to be Senior Night on our homecourt and the last game of the regular season, it just stuns me that we could come out and play this poorly. We truly are a Jeckyl and Hyde kind of team. We played awful last week against Southwestern, and then went over to North Laurel — which is a tough place to play — and played a very good game and came away with a win. Then, we come back here on our homecourt tonight and give nothing again. I just don’t understand that.”

Pulaski County was led in the loss by Sean Ross who tallied 15 points for the Maroons, while Peyton Gover added 14 points and Blake Burton chipped in with 12.

PC will begin its title defense of the 47th District next Thursday night, when Gover and crew will run up against Rockcastle County at 6:30 p.m. in the opening round of the tourney, which will be held at Casey County High School.

On a bright side for Pulaski County, eighth grader Hagan Elmore hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Maroon jayvee squad a hard-fought, 45-42 win over West Jessamine.

WJ — 25 17 16 22 — 80

PC — 11 15 19 18 — 63

West Jessamine — Peters 30, Adkins 19, Henderson 15, Ely 9, Crouse 4, Holifield 3.

Pulaski Co. — Ross 15, Gover 14, Burton 12, Hall 9, Hurt 4, Robinson 3, Clark 2, Phelps 2, Ridner 2.