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Patriots Sting Hornets, Fall to Wildcats

  The Allen County-Scottsville Patriots could not close the deal in an upset bid against Greenwood, slip past Metcalfe County, suffered a deflating defeat Friday night in Franklin and fell to Warren Central.

  The Patriots’ four-game week began with an overtime loss to Greenwood on February 6 at Patriot Gym. Despite a career-best 20-point effort by senior Sam Clarke, the Gators outlasted the Patriots 66-63 in overtime. 

  In January, Greenwood’s Jack Roberts turned in a 30-point effort to help rally the Gators from a 19-point deficit to a four-point win, 58-54. Last week, the script was almost a reversal of January’s meeting as it was the Patriots coming from behind, keyed by the outside shooting of Clarke and Rippy. 

  Greenwood used a 13-9 first period to establish early control in the game. For AC-S, their offense revolved around the three. Brett Rippy sank an early three with Sam Clarke drilling a pair of long-range shots to keep AC-S close. 

  In the second eight minutes, a tight Greenwood defense forced the Patriots into eight missed shots in their 11 attempts. Offensively, Roberts scored eight points to help Greenwood build an 11-point lead, 25-14, late in the first half. A late bucket by Rippy cut the Gators’ lead to nine, 25-16, at halftime. 

  Early third period buckets from Charlie Calvert, Marcus Carter, and Cayden Ross pulled the Patriots to within four. Greenwood stretched their lead to nine and to 11, 39-28, by the 3:02 mark of the third. The Patriots answered with buckets from Owen Stamper and Calvert and a pair of threes from Rippy. AC-S closed the third with a 13-5 run to be within three with eight minutes left. 

  The Gators owned a two-point lead with just over four minutes remaining after a three from Nick Stanbury---the son of Western Kentucky University coach Rick Stanbury. Two minutes later, Clarke drilled a three to counter, pulling the Patriots to within two, 52-50. Greenwood held the ball for almost a minute before the Patriots were forced to foul. Gator Ben Carroll missed the front end of a bonus situation. Stamper grabbed the rebound and 30 seconds later, Clarke drew a foul on a drive to the basket. The senior sank both free throws to tie the score at 52. Carroll would attempt to score the game-winner in regulation only to have the block shot rejected by Calvert, sending the game to overtime. 

  Carroll atoned with a three pointer to open the extra four minutes. Moments later, Stanbury drilled his second three as the Gators sprinted to a 58-52 lead. AC-S refused to fold, pulling back to within one, 62-61, following a three-point play by Marcus Carter at the 32 second point. Greenwood would hit three of their next four free throws. However, coupled with a  Marcus Carter rebound and put back at the 15-second mark, the Gators last free throw miss gave the Patriots a chance for the win. Trailing 65-63, Rippy fired a 22-foot jumper at the four second mark. His shot was shot. Carroll grabbed the rebound, was fouled, and made one of two free throws in the final second to secure the win for Greenwood. 

  AC-S finished the game 23-58 from the floor (39.7%) including 11 of 32 from three-point range. Greenwood went 24-55 from the floor and six of 16 from three-point range. AC-S made six of eight three-pointers compared to Greenwood’s 12-19 shooting from the foul line. 

  Clarke finished with a career high 20 points. His night included six three-point shots. Rippy and Ross added 14. Marcus Carter led the Patriots with seven rebounds. 

  Thursday, February 8, AC-S hosted Metcalfe County, a Hornet team that has struggled in recent years. Metcalfe County entered the game with four wins---a marked improvement over their 0-30 season a year ago. Last week, it was the Patriots who struggled before escaping with a 50-45 win. 

  Two buckets from Calvert and three’s from Rippy and freshman Jax Cooper lifted AC-S to 1 10-0 lead by the 4:30 mark of the first quarter, The Hornets regrouped the rest of the frame, outscoring AC-S 7-75, to pull within eight to begin the second period. 

  AC-S opened an 11-point lead on two occasions in the second eight minutes. Trailing 27-16 with three-minutes left, the Hornets charged back, outscoring the Patriots 8-4 to cut their deficit to seven, 31-24, at the half. 

  Buckets from Calvert, Clarke, and Carter enabled AC-S to extend their lead to double-digits in the first five minutes of the third. A free throw by Marcus Carter gave the Patriots a 40-28 lead with 2:40 left in the third. Metcalfe closed to within 10 after the period. 

  The Hornets made things interesting in the first three minutes of the fourth. Getting past the Patriot defense, Metcalfe County’s Tyler London and Barkley Fikins scored a series of hoops to pull their team within four, 40-36, and capping an 8-0 run. A pair of Carter free throws, a bucket from Calvert, and a jumper from Ross enabled AC-S to open a 46-36 lead with 2:05 remaining. Again, Metcalfe charged back. Blake Sharp’s three-pointer at the 46-second mark closed the gap to three, 46-43. AC-S secured the win  with free throws by Ross and Rippy down the stretch. 

  Carter led the way with 12 points with Rippy and Calvert adding 10. AC-S went 17-39 from the field for a 43.6% clip. Metcalfe County made 15 of their 48 shots (38.9%). The Patriots went 11 of 18 at the line (61.1%), almost 10 percentage points lower than their season average. 

  The Patriots struggles from the line carried over to Friday night at Franklin-Simpson. AC-S sank only three of seven free throws against the Wildcats---a night in which Franklin-Simpson defeated the Patriots 46-39. 

  AC-S jumped out to a 14-5 with under a minute to go in the first frame and led 14-8 after the first quarter. By halftime, the team was 10-20 from the floor, two of five from three-point range, and leading 22-18. The Wildcats would soon catch the Patriots and take control.

  Franklin-Simpson pulled even at 22 and took their second lead of the game, 24-22, on a jumper by freshman Anderyous Miller with 5:59 left in the third. A minute later, Dayveon Harris’ free throws capped a 10-0 Wildcat charge. 

  At the 3:32 mark of the third, Cooper scored on a mid-range jumper---the Patriots first points almost seven minutes. Later in the third, Carter’s bucket and free throw lifted the Patriots to a 29-27 lead. A late Wildcat hoop knotted the game at 29 heading to the fourth. 

  The game turned into a defensive struggle for most of the final eight minutes. A Ross jumper, followed by a pair of free throws lifted AC-S to a 35-31 lead. Franklin battled back to tie the game at 35 with 3:16 left and edge ahead, 36-35, on a Dee Ragland free throw near the two-minute mark. On their next possession, Wildcat Samuel Blackwell converted a three-point play, giving the hosts a 39-35 lead. 

   Carter answered with back-to-back hoops to tie the game at 39. However, with 46 seconds left, Blackwell’s bucket gave the Wildcats the lead for good. After an AC-S turnover, Blackwell and Ragland would hit foul shots in the final 30 seconds to enable the Wildcats (6-9) to defeat the Patriots for a second time this season. 

  Carter paced the Patriots with 13 points and six rebounds. Ross and Calvert added eight points. 

  The Patriots were 17-37 from the floor in the game (45.9%) including two of nine from three-point range. The Wildcats sank 15 of 41 shots from the floor and went 15 of 19 at the foul line.