The Allen County-Scottsville Patriots will
start 2018 riding a two-game win streak. AC-S defeated Lecanto (FL) 50-43 on
Saturday, led than 24 hours after a thrilling 66-65 overtime win against the
Russellville Panthers. The only loss in the three days of play as part of the
South Central bank-Halton Classic was a 59-50 overtime defeat to Todd County
Central on the opening night of the boys side of the classic.
Marcus Carter’s 17-point, eight rebound effort against the Panthers from Florida was a key to the AC-S win Saturday. The 6’4” Patriot post outplayed Lecanto’s 6’7” center Ben Allen, sinking six of his 12 shots from the floor. Carter added five points at the stripe, going a near=perfect six of seven at the line. Junior teammate Brett Rippy capped a solid three-day effort with 11 points while senior Sam Clarke added 10 points.
Carter, Rippy, and Clarke combined for 13 points in the opening five minutes of the game. Jacob Lightfoot’s bucket after a feed from Chase Ward at the 2:20 point lifted the hosts to a 15-2 lead. Lightfoot answered a Lecanto three to lift AC-S to a 17-5 led eight minutes in.
Lecanto---losers of games to Warren East and Greenwood on Thursday and Friday---refused to go down without a fight. The Panthers regrouped and forced the Patriots into misses on eight of their 10 second quarter shots. Lecanto outscored AC-S 14-10 in the period to pull within eight, 27-19, at halftime.
The Panthers continued to stay within striking distance in the third period. After a bucket from Clarke strectched the Patriots lead to 10, a 6-0 run from the Panthers closed the gap to four by the 2:11 point of the period, 33-29. Carter answered the challenge, stepping up with a pair of buckets in the final two minutes to stake AC-S to a seven-point lead heading to the final frame.
The Patriots opened the fourth with a pair of free throws from Rippy and a Carter basket---coming off of one of Rippy’s game-high six rebounds. The Patriots led by 11 at the 6:50 mark. The Panthers remained close the rest of the way due to three long-range three-pointers by Anthony Garcia, Devin Nesby, and Patrick Vilardi. Lay-ins by Clarke and Rippy as well as eight of 12 free throws shooting by the Patriots carried AC-S to their fifth win in 13 games.
The Patriots were 16-39 from the floor (41.0%) and 14-21 (66.7%) from the free throw line. The Panthers (3-9) finished the game 33.3% (15-45) from the floor and a perfect seven-of-seven at the charity stripe. AC-S dominated the glass, 36-23.
Friday, AC-S avenged an early season loss at Russellville with a thrilling victory in a game that featured eight ties and 11 lead changes. Russellville’s largest lead was seven (14-7) while AC-S’s biggest advantage in the game was four.
The Panthers raced to an early 8-4 lead before junior Camden Carver canned a three-pointer to pull the Patriots to within one midway through the first quarter. Russellville extended the lead to seven before a three-point jumper by Rippy and a steal and lay-in by the Patriot guard brought AC-S to within two, 14-12, after the first.
A jumper from Bryce Carter, a three from the hands of Clarke, and two free throws by Carver knotted the game at 19. Rippy would score less than two minutes later and Marcus Carter’s bucket the 5:35 mark lifted AC-S to a 23-19 lead. Russellville closed to within one on a three only to see the Patriots answer/ A pair of baskets by sophomore reserve Charlie Calvert helped AC-S carry a 30-29 lead to the half.
The contest see-sawed back and forth until the Panthers opened a 42-39 lead with three minutes left in the third. Free throws by Clarke and Rippy tied the game at 42. Late in the frame, Russellville edged ahead by three only to see the Patriots’ Bryce Carter sink one of two free throws to pull AC-S to within a basket with eight minutes left in regulation.
The teams continued to battle. A 7-2 Panther run to start the period allowed Russellville to open their second seven-point lead---54-47 with 6:32 left. AC-S answered with a Rippy three, a lay-up and a Clarke jumper, pulling the Patriots to within one at 55-54. Russellville stretched the lead to five but AC-S answered as Carter scored and Rippy then tied the game at 59 on a three-pointer at the 38 second mark. Turnovers by both teams in the final 10 seconds sent the game into overtime.
Midway through the extra four minutes, a pair of free throws by Rippy gave AC-S a 62-61 lead. Panther Donta Quales scored on a lay-in as Russellville retook the lead with just under a minute left. On the next series, Rippy missed a lay-up attempt but an alert Marcus Carter leaped high and managed to tip the ball in for the put back score. Russellville (5-7) answered as Caleb Dowen made a shot at the 14 second mark, giving Russellville a 65-64 lead.
Following a timeout, Coach Chaykowsky asked Rippy to drive to the basket. Rippy’s charge resulted ina foul. The junior guard drew iron on the first shot before the ball dropped through the net to tie the game at 64. His second shot swished the net, giving AC-S the lead with four seconds left. A last ditch shot attempt missed the mark allowing the Patriots to record the win.
“Our kids decided to get stops,” coach Nick Chaykowsky said. “Russellville punched, we punched back. They punched again, we punched back.”
Rippy finished the game with 24 points. Rip went seven of 18 from the floor with four of his made shots being threes. At the foul line, Rippy was six of six. Rippy also had six steals. Marcus Carter added 15 points on a six of eight shooting night. Carter led AC-S with eight rebounds.
The Patriots were 23 of 42 from the floor and 13 of 18 at the foul line. Russellville went 23 of 49 from the floor and 15 of 18 at the free throw stripe. The Patriots out rebounded the Panthers 29-22. AC-S turned the ball over 16 times leading to 21 Panther points.
“We had great play off the bench by numerous guys,” coach Chaykowsky added. “It was an overall great team win.”
Friday’s overtime tilt was the second time in as many days that SC-S played an extra four minutes. Thursday, the Patriots dropped a 59-50 overtime game to Todd Central.
Rippy was the star of the game for AC-S. The junior was on fire from behind the three-point line---sinking six threes in the game. Rippy also went six of nine at the foul line and finished with 26 points---matching his career high.
The hot outside shooting of Rippy enabled the Patriots to open a 16-13 lead after the first quarter and build a 22-13 lead early in the second. At the half, the Patriots led 31-28. The Rebels used an 8-5 third to tie the score at 36 with eight minutes left in regulation.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way in the fourth. Rippy sank two free throws at the 49 second mark only to see the Rebels knot the game at 48 with 17 seconds left. moments later. Rippy’s game winning attempted shot fell shot, sending the contest to overtime knotted at 48.
The Rebels broke the game open with a 9-0 run to start the final four minutes. Denied inside penetration, Patriot three point shots by Clarke, Carver, Cayden Ross, and Rippy missed in the first three minutes. By the time, Ross scored on a lay-up, Todd Central led by seven on their way to the win.
AC-S went 17 of 46 from the field (37%) compared to Todd Central’s 19-43 (44.2%) mark. At the line, AC-S went nine of 16 while the Rebels (7-6) were 19-29.
The week ahead will see the Patriots play three games. AC-S (5-8) hosts Monroe County (9-5) Friday in a District 15 battle. Saturday, the Patriots welcome Edmonson County (2-12). Tuesday, AC-S goes to Logan County (5-6).