There would only be about a three-minute span over the entirety of the game that things could be considered interesting last night at Pulaski County Gymnasium. It would be the second game of the 47th District Tournament featuring the Somerset Briar Jumpers and the Casey County Rebels. The Briar Jumpers took care of business by blowing out the Rebels 72-50.

Four Briar Jumpers would score in double figures en route to the 22-point victory, but that stat has not been uncommon throughout the season for Somerset.

“We haven’t had one person carry the offensive load,” Somerset head coach Shawn Thacker said. “We’ve had pretty balanced scoring all year and I think that continued tonight.”

The balanced effort offensively would be led by Tyler Bourne and Corey Price pouring in 15 points apiece. John Cole would be the floor general as he would dish out 10 assists, on his way to a double-double, along with his 13 points.

Junior Adam Wallen would provide the long ball on the evening by nailing 3-of-6 from three-land on his way to a 12-point performance.

A deciding factor in last night’s game would be the defensive effort by Somerset as they forced double-digit turnovers in the second half. As always, there would be a lot of zone played by the Briar Jumpers. It would be more than the two-three zone that Somerset is known for, but rather a steady dose of full-court pressure every time the opportunity presented itself.

“We executed offensively, but I thought defense and rebounding set the tone,” the Briar Jumpers head coach would add.

A 15-5 lead after the first quarter for the Briar Jumpers would put the Rebels in a hole early, and that defense of Somerset gave Casey County fits as the Rebels would shoot 8-of-23 from the field in the first half as well as a 1-for-9 showing from behind the arc over the first two quarters.

As the game wore on things would even out a little bit over the second and third quarters as Somerset would only outscore Casey County 34-27 over that span. The fourth quarter would be a different story even though the Rebels did pull within seven with just under five minutes to play.

“Our bench provided quality minutes,” stated coach Thacker. “With Jordie (Molen) out with an injury (dislocated finger); John Coomer and C.J. (Megargel) played really good for us tonight. (C.J.) played one of his better games of the year, but both of those guys gave us quality minutes and allowed us to rest people.”

Fresh legs down the stretch for key Somerset players did the trick as the Jumpers would stretch the lead again after the Rebels made their short-lived comeback. It would be an 8-2 run over the course of the next two minutes along with a parade to the free throw line. The final 2:33 of the game would be that free throw parade where Somerset would only convert 5-out-of-10 from the line and throw in a few of break away buckets for an 11-0 run to complete the blowout 72-50.

Somerset will move on to the district championship game to face the number one seeded Pulaski County on Friday night at 7pm at Pulaski County. The Briar Jumpers and the Maroons split the season series with each team winning on the road.

“Friday night will mean a whole lot,” coach Thacker added. “I think win or lose it doesn’t matter because the game tonight gave us a berth in the regional tournament. There will be a little pressure off because of knowing we will play next week, but I expect a big crowd and a fun environment to be in. That’s why you coach, that’s why these kids play.”

CC - 5 12 15 18 — 50

SHS – 15 17 17 23 — 72

CC – Price 18, Johnson 13, K. Jeffries 8, Cannon 8, C. Jeffries 3

SHS – Bourne 15, Price 15, Cole 13, Wallen 12, Moody 7, Coomer 5, Megargel 3, Kelley 2

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