The Monroe County tandem of Billy Michael Dyer and Chandler Clements proved to be to much for the Allen County-Scottsville Patriots on Tuesday, February 20 in the opening game of the District 15 tournament at Glasgow. Dyer scored a game-high 31 points with Clements adding 19. With the pair accounting for 50 of Monroe County’s 66 points, the Falcons defeated AC-S 66-49.
“One of the characteristics of our team this year has been to show no quit,” coach Nick Chaykowsky noted in the post-game media room. “We got down early but made a run to take the lead. We showed heart and character.”
Chaykowsky noted that the AC-S game plan was to force the Falcons to play at a slower pace.
“We knew they are a dangerous offensive team so we wanted to control temp as much as we can,” coach Chaykowsky explained. “We wanted to keep them from scoring in transition and score ourselves in transition. We did that early but they began to score in transition on us in the second half. We lost our defense focus.”
AC-S trailed by a half-dozen, 13-7, at the end of the first period. However, a strong offensive second half not only back into the game but ahead of the District’s number one seed.
The Patriots’ 10-2 run in the first five minutes of the second seemly turned things around. Three-point baskets from Brett Rippy and Owen Stamper combined with a pair of twos from the underclassman players tied the game at the 4:04 mark. Stamper would convert a three-point play, starting with a basket off a Sam Clarke assist at the 2:53 point to give AC-S a 19-17 lead. Hs free throw gave the patriots a 20-17 lead. Clarke’s basket less than 30 seconds later lifted the Patriots to a 22-17 lead, capping a 15-2 run. Monroe County answered in the final seconds as Dyer scored on an offensive rebound---a play that proved to be a key.
“I felt that basket may have gotten him going,” Chaykowsky noted.
The final 16 minutes belonged to the Falcons---a Falcon team powered by the play of Dyer and Clements. A pair of Clements free throws tied the game at 24 at the 5;47 mark. Dyer soon busted a three to give his team a lead only to see Cayden Ross answer with a three-pointer to tie the game at 27. Clements scored, a basket that was quickly answered from Charlie Calvert. The pattern continued with Marcus Carter’s three pointer at the 1:40 mark knotting the contest at 34. Monroe County closed the third period with a 9-0 run---an offensive outburst that gave the falcons a 43-34 lead with eight minutes left.
Clements and Dyer worked together to deliver the knock-out punches in the final frame. The Patriots closed to nine on two occasions only to see the Falcons’ big man counter. Monroe County gradually stretched their lead by making seven of 11 shots and going nine for nine at the foul line to cruise to the 66-49 win.
“Hats off to Monroe County,” coach Chaykowsky said. “They played great in the second half.”
Monroe County coach Steve Kirkpatrick praised the Patriots for their efforts.
“I give Allen County a lot of credit,” coach Kirkpatrick said. “They came after us especially in the second quarter. They were making shots and we were not. Allen County played hard. We knew it was going to be a battle.”
Kirkpatrick was quick to note that playing better defense was his strategy in the second half.
“We wanted to pick up our defensive intensity,” Kirkpatrick added. “We needed to get back in transition and get out on their shooters. We were able to do that and made some defensive stops down the stretch.”
Clarke led the Patriots with 14 points while grabbing six rebounds. His game would earn the senior a spot on the All-District tournament team. Clarke would be joined on the team by Ross who added seven points and three rebounds. Stamper scored nine for the Patriots as well.
AC-S finished the final game of the season 16 of 41 from the floor (39.0%) while shooting 10-13 at the line. AC-S was seven of 20 from three-point range. Monroe County made 23 of 51 shots, including 15 of 25 field goals in the final 16 minutes.
Patriot senior Marcus Carter was held to seven points in the game but was honored afterwards with selection to the District 15 All-Season team. Carter was joined by junior Brett Rippy. Senior Sean Carter was selected to the All-Academic Team for the District.
AC-S (9-19) will lose Clarke and Marcus and Sean Carter to graduation.
Monroe County (19-10) lost Friday night to Glasgow in the tournament finals. Both Monroe County and Glasgow are participating in the region this week at Western Kentucky University.