Catholic no match for Pike County, 78-38

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 17, 2002

Sports Writer

BRUNDIDGE – The Pike County boys basketball team is peaking at the right time.

After upsetting second-ranked Calhoun last Tuesday, the Bulldogs may have put together their best performance of the season Friday against Catholic.

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PCHS scored a season-high 78 points and held the Knights to 27 percent shooting for the game enroute to a 78-38 dismantling of Catholic in a Class 3A Southeast Sub-Regional contest. The loss concludes the Knights season at 8-19 while Pike County (12-12) advances to Southeast Regional play at Troy State Thursday.

The Bulldogs take on top-ranked Lafayette at 1:30.

"We got started so much later than everybody else did because of football," PCHS head coach Danny Suber said. "Coach (Wayne) Grant even mentioned it to me. But sometimes that even gives you an advantage because some teams peak and then start to decline and I think we’re playing better ball right now. We’re still not playing like the way that I expect us to play because I am a perfectionist, but they’re playing better right now then they’ve played in the past."

Suber continued.

"We hit a stretch, probably after we lost to Goshen here, where we really started to pick it up. I’ve been real proud of the guys, but the thing that concerns me is they’re so young, that even though they performed well tonight, they’re so young that I have to stay on them so hard to make sure they keep focused. That’s the biggest thing, they have to keep focused."

Catholic stayed within striking distance for most of the first quarter, tying the game at seven with 3:04 remaining, but a Bulldog spurt in the final ten seconds gave PCHS the momentum it needed.

Clinging to a 10-7 advantage, a basket by Antwan McGuire with six seconds left and a steal and layup by Reggie Griffin, who led four PCH players in double figures with 18 points, with only a second showing, lifted the Bulldogs to a 14-7 lead.

And the rout was on.

PCHS used a 13-0 run, capped by a Codie Terry three-pointer, to start the second quarter and opened up a 27-7 lead. The Knights finally scored a field goal on a putback with 3:30 left to end a scoring drought of almost nine minutes. But the Bulldogs countered with two more three-pointers from Terry and a basket from Michael Walker to take a 37-11 lead. Terry hit four trey’s on the night to account for his 12 points.

The second half was more of the same as the Bulldogs kept the pressure on, forcing 14 turnovers, and erupting for 40 more points, cruising to their third win of the postseason.

Chris Nickson scored 15 points and Michael Walker added 12.

After two years of dominance in Class 2A and a final eight berth in Class 3A last year, Catholic met its match in a hungry Bulldog team.

"They have got a great program, back-to-back state championships two years ago, then the final eight last year, even though they’ve struggled a little bit this year, Coach (Maurice) Bailey does a great job with them," Suber said. "They’ve got a quality program and they play people hard and I was completely surprised and in shock. I’ve told our guys all year long, that I feel like we can play with anybody if we make our layups and don’t turn the ball over.If we make our free throws, rebound and play defense, we can play with anybody. We do those things sometimes…two of those five things or three of those five things a game…but tonight we did all five of those things. We did everything right, it was one of those nights where we just couldn’t do anything wrong."

But Suber hopes the Bulldogs don’t rest on their dominant performance.

"I’ve told them, that this is a different type of situation, a different time of year, that you have to be at your best every night or you go to the house. If they want to continue to play they have to continue to work and work hard."