Posted On: 02/6/18 9:26 PM
This past Saturday, John Hardin and Scott County met at Lafayette High School in Lexington for the annual Jock Sutherland Classic. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead behind their 1-2-2 pressure and some early Scott County miscues. But by the second quarter, the Cards started scorching the nets and stretched out to a ten point halftime lead and the game was never in doubt the rest of the day. Here are a few of the takeaways from the game that ended with a 25 point Cardinal win.
1. If you’re going to beat Scott County, you’ll have to switch up your defenses. When John Hardin came out pressing, they were off and running after the Cards had some early turnovers. But the Bulldogs stayed with the press too long. Billy Hicks switched his press offense and put Michael Moreno in the middle of the floor. After that, Scott County was basically in layup lines since they had a 2 on 1 break up the sideline off of Moreno’s outlet every possession.
2. Without a second scorer, John Hardin went through long droughts. Senior star Mickey Pearson scored 20 points on 6/15 scoring while Cardinal defenders were draped all over him all game. Malik Wright only chipped in 4 points as he sat most of the game with foul trouble. Aaron Scott was the only other player in double figures for John Hardin. Without the role players, playing their roles, John Hardin never had a chance after their initial run.
3. Scott County has impressive depth. Everyone has heard about Moreno, Robb, Long and Stewart. But most outside of the 11th region don’t know about Glenn Covington, Cam Fluker, Lorenzo Williams or Kobi Harris. The quality of their depth allowed the Cardinals to consistently push the tempo and stress the John Hardin defense and allowed the stars to sit on the bench for extended periods.
4. John Hardin lacked the same intensity I saw from them a week prior. Against Oldham County at the McCurry Classic, John Hardin looked like state title contenders. Saturday they looked average at best. That could be a credit to the Scott County defense but the lack of energy and emotion shown by the Bulldogs in a huge game did not inspire confidence in me to pick them to make a long run at Rupp Arena next month.
5. If Scott County shoots the way they did at Lafayette, no one in Kentucky can beat them. Over the course of the game, Coach Hicks’ team probably shot 60% or better from behind the arc. Not all of the shots were open but very few even touched the rim. They were scorching the nets all game, especially in the 2nd and 3rd quarters when they made the big runs to separate from their 5th region foes. If they shoot that way in March, no one is capable of beating them.