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John Hardin Tops Knights In Semis(3/2/2019)
The Marion County Knights' season came to an end Friday night in the semi-finals of the 5th Region Tournament at Hart County High School to the #1-ranked John Hardin Bulldogs, 74-55. The Bulldogs shot a blistering 59.5% from the floor while holding the Knights to just 38.2% shooting. The Bulldogs also won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding Marion County 35-24.
John Hardin opened the game with a 12-1 run led by standouts Trevon Harris and Alex Matthews. The Knights found their footing and eventually pulled within five points, 18-13, by the end of the first quarter. Marion County got as close as two points early in the second quarter, 20-18, when Mason Sullivan scored inside on a feed from Kanyon Spalding but still went into the half down 34-27. The Bulldogs turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter and seemed on the verge of breaking away, but back-to-back scores by Marion County's John Adams kept the Knights within striking distance, 46-37, at the start of the fourth quarter. With Marion County having used all of their time-outs with 5:23 still left in the game, the final period was all Bulldogs. With no time-outs remaining, the Knights were forced to foul to stop the clock and attempt a come-back. But John Hardin foiled that strategy by shooting 11-12 from the free-throw line in the final period and outscoring Marion County 28-18 down the stretch. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
At the conclusion of the game, Marion County's Tyshay Epps and Mason Sullivan were named to the 5th Region All-Tournament Team.
Knights Hold Off Bardstown In Region Tourney(2/27/2019)
It wasn't pretty, but the Marion County Knights managed to hold off a fourth-quarter surge by the Bardstown Tigers in Tuesday's opening round of the 5th Region Tournament at Hart County High School, 58-56. After the nail-biting ending, the Knights survived and advanced to Friday's semi-finals where they'll face a re-match with the #1-ranked John Hardin Bulldogs, who knocked off tournament host Hart County, 87-46.
Bardstown struggled with their shooting early and Marion County took advantage, leading by as much as 17 points late in the second quarter before taking a 31-16 lead at the half. But the Tigers came to life after the break. With J.J. Traynor leading the way, Bardstown cut the lead to seven points late in the third. Traynor scored eight of his team-high 14 points in the period, as well as blocking several Marion County shots in the lane to help shift momentum to the Tigers. Early in the fourth quarter, the Knights extended the lead back to 14 points when John Adams made a three-point shot from deep in the corner while getting fouled on the play. Adams converted the free-throw to complete the four-point play and put Marion County back on top, 47-33, with 6:24 to play in the game.
Later in the period with Marion County still on top by 14 points, the Tigers started 16-3 run that would cut the Knights' advantage to to just 55-54, capped by a three-point field goal from Bardstown's Jarel Montgomery with only 0:24.8 left in the game. Marion County's Tyshay Epps was fouled on the in-bounds play and sank a pair of free-throws to put his team ahead by three. On the Tigers' next possession, forward Trey Riney missed a shot in the lane under pressure and Knights sophomore Kanyon Spalding secured the rebound. Spalding then went to the free-throw line with 0:15.1 showing on the clock and made the first, but missed the second to put the Knights ahead, 58-54. Riney grabbed the rebound and passed ahead to J.T. Galloway, who drove all the way to the basket for a reverse lay-up that pulled Bardstown within two, 58-56, with just under 0:07 to play. Adams attempted to inbound the ball for the Knights but his pass was picked off by Montgomery who then forced up a shot in the lane under pressure from three Marion County defenders. Spalding grabbed the rebound and there was some momentary confusion as one of the officials appeared to blow his whistle for a foul at almost the same time as the final horn sounded. Both teams waited anxiously for several moments as the officiating crew held a conference to sort out the situation. The crew chief then signaled to wave off the whistle, ending the game and allowing the Knights to escape with the narrow two-point victory.
Despite having to leave the game for much of the third and fourth quarter after taking an elbow to the face during a scrum under the basket for a rebound, junior forward Mason Sullivan led Marion County with his second consecutive double-double -- 18 points and 11 rebounds -- with six of those points coming after re-entering the game midway through the fourth. Epps finished with 14 points while passing out four assists. Spalding only managed three points in the contest, but hauled in 11 rebounds, many in key situations late in the game. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
The Knights will next face John Hardin late on Firday night, with tip-off scheduled for 8:45 PM EST (7:45 PM CST). The early game that evening will feature 20th District Tournament champion Taylor County taking on 18th District Tournament champions LaRue County at 6:00 PM EST (5:00 PM CST).
Cards Claim District Championship Over Knights (2/23/2019)
Cold shooting from the outset put the Marion County Knights in a hole they couldn't dig themselves out of and the Taylor County Cardinals took advantage, defeating the host Knights 71-58 in Friday's 20th District Tournament championship game. Marion County shot an abysmal 36.4% from the floor for the game, including just 5-of-22 from behind the three-point line. Taylor County junior guard Nick Knifley converted that many three-pointers by himself and led all scorers with 21 points.
The Cards opened the game with a 17-2 run that had Marion County rattled early. Junior forward Mason Sullivan finally scored the Knights first field goal of the game with just under a minute left in the first quarter to make the score 17-4 -- the lowest point production in a quarter for Marion County this season. With Sullivan working inside, the Knights managed to keep pace with Taylor County in the second quarter. But the Cards still held a 14-point lead at the half, 35-21.
Marion County's defense finally held the Cards in check in the third quarter and the Knights made a run, led by senior Travis Wiser's four third-quarter field goals, cutting the lead to just five points when Sullivan made his first three-point basket of the season late in the period, 43-38. But that was as close as Marion County would get as Taylor County stretched the lead back to 13 midway through the fourth quarter, then sealed the win at the free-throw line late in the game.
Sullivan led the Knights with his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds, which tied his career-high. Wiser finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds in his final game in the Roby Dome. Sophomore Kanyon Spalding, playing with a sore ankle, scored 8 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds for the Knights. All three players were named to the 20th District All-Tournament Team. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
Both the Cards and Knights will advance to next week's 5th Region Tournament, to be played at Hart County High School. The bracket and schedule for the tournament is expected to be announced Saturday afternoon.
Taylor Co. Holds Off Campbellsville; Will Meet Knights In Championship (2/20/2019)
The Taylor County Cardinals led by as much as 14 points in the second half, but had to hold off a determined Campbellsville Eagles team in the waning minutes for a 79-75 win Tuesday night at the Roby Dome in the 20th District Tournament. Taylor County senior Trevon Smith led all scorers with 31 points to lead the Cards into Friday's championship game against the Marion County Knights.
The Eagles were led by junior Malachi Corley and senior Nataj Sanders, who combined for 59 of their team's 75 points. Corley scored 30 points while Sanders poured in 29 points.
Knights open District Tourney With Blow-Out Over Indians (2/18/2019)
The Marion County Knights opened the 20th District Tournament at the Roby Dome Monday night with an 89-50 blow-out of the Adair County Indians. The Knights had one of their best shooting games of the season, making 55.9% of their shots from the floor, including 50.0% (8/16) from beyond the three-point line. The Knights also dominated the Indians on the glass, out-rebounding the visitors 42-20 for the game.
Adair County opened the game with a deliberate ball-control offense and managed to stay close early on, trailing Marion County just 13-10 at the end of the first quarter. But in the second quarter the Knights turned up the full-court defensive pressure. The Indians couldn't find an answer and went into the half trailing 33-17.
Things did not get better for the visitors in the second half. Marion County kept up the defensive pressure, forcing just 16 turnovers but also holding the Indians to just 38.8% shooting for the game. And with the Knights controlling the rebounding, Adair County did not manage any second-chance points for the game. The flood-gates opened in the fourth quarter and the lead continued to expand, even as Marion County emptied its bench with over five minutes left in the game. When it was all over, the Knights had recorded their largest winning margin since a 52-point thrashing of Beth Haven in last season's Senior Night.
Marion County senior Travis Wiser tied his career-high with 20 points while also pulling down five rebounds. Junior forward Mason Sullivan scored double-figures for the ninth consecutive game, finishing with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots. Fellow juniors John Adams and Tyshay Epps also hit double-figures in scoring -- Adams with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Epps added 11 points. Epps also finished with six assists, giving him 264 in his career and moving him to #6 on the school's list of all-time assist leaders. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
The win advanced the Knights to Friday's 20th District Tournament championship game, where they will take on the winner of Tuesday's Taylor County-Campbellsville game. That game will tip off at 7:00 PM at the Roby Dome. The Knights also earned a berth in next week's 5th Region Tournament, which will be played at Hart County High School's Raider Gym in Mundfordville. Details of the 5th Region Tournament will be announced as they become known.
Knights Can't Spoil Bulldogs Perfect Season (2/16/2019)
The John Hardin Bulldogs showed why they're the #2 ranked team in Kentucky, torching the Marion County Knights' defense for 29 points in the first quarter Friday night, but then had to hold off the Knights' come-back attempt in the second half for a 67-59 win at John Hardin High School. The loss dropped Marion County's record to 20-7 to close out the regular season, while the Bulldogs completed their perfect regular season, 30-0.
John Hardin held a 16-point lead after the first quarter on the strength of relentless defensive pressure. In the second, the Knights finally found their footing and held the Bulldogs to just 10 points in the period and cut the lead to 39-28 by halftime. Marion County pulled within eight points early in the third quarter before John Hardin's pressure again allowed the home team to pull out to a 13-point lead to start the fourth period. The lead grew to 17 points, 59-42, on an offensive put-back by the Bulldogs' Aaron Scott with a little more than 5:00 left to play. The Knights wouldn't fold, again mounting a come-back that pulled them as close as six points late in the game. But a pair of free-throws from John Hardin's star junior forward Alex Matthews -- who finished with a team-high 16 points -- sealed the Bulldog's eight-point win.
Marion County junior forward Mason Sullivan led all scorers with 17 points on 7/14 shooting, and also pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Knights. Despite having to bear the brunt of John Hardin's defensive pressure, point guard Tyshay Epps still managed to score 10 points and pass out six assists. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
Marion County will spend the weekend preparing for next week's 20th District Tournament, which begins Monday at the Roby Dome when the #1-seeded Knights take on #4-seed Adair County at 7:00 PM. No. 2-seed Taylor County plays #3-seed Campbellsville Tuesday at 7:00 PM. The winner of each game will advance to Friday's championship game, also at 7:00 PM.
Knights Top Eagles; Claim Top Spot In District (2/12/2019)
With the #1 seed in next week's 20th District Tournament in their sights, the Marion County Knights knocked off the Campbellsville Eagles 80-71 Monday night in the Roby Dome in the final district game of the regular season. Junior guard John Adams scored 21 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to lead Marion County. Adams also grabbed 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
Marion County junior point guard Tyshay Epps struggled at the free-throw line in the second half, but still finished the game with 13 points and six assists, giving him 252 assists for his career and moving into a tie for 7th place on the school's list of all-time assist leaders. Mason Sullivan grabbed four rebounds for the Knights to go with his 12 points -- the seventh consecutive game in which the junior forward has scored in double figures. And sophomore forward Kanyon Spalding turned in another strong performance, scoring 18 points while grabbing 8 rebounds. Since entering the starting line-up on January 19, Spalding has averaged 12.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
The Knights will wrap up regular season play Friday when they travel to John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown for a JV/Varsity double-header. The Bulldogs (28-0) are the only remaining undefeated team in Kentucky (Scott County, at 27-1, is undefeated against Kentucky teams, with their only loss to Westchester High of Los Angeles, California). The JV contest will begin at 6:00 PM, to be followed by the Varsity game at 7:30 PM.
Knights Defense Comes Through (2/9/2019)
Despite scoring a season-low 54 points, the Marion County Knights came away with a 54-45 win Friday on Senior Night by holding the North Hardin Trojans to just 31.5% field goal shooting for the game. Senior Travis Wiser recorded a career-high seven steals while junior guard Tyshay Epps posted his first career double-double with 25 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
The Knights will play their final regular season home game Monday night when they host a 20th District rival, the Campbellsville Eagles, in a girl/boy double-header. A win for the Knights would clinch the #1 seed in the upcoming 20th District Tournament, to be played at the Roby Dome February 18-23. Meanwhile, Campbellsville head coach Tim Davis will be looking to record the 600th win of his stellar coaching career. Before taking the helm of the Eagles program, Davis coached at Marion County from 1981 to 1993 and won the school's only boys' state championship in 1993.
Knights Roll Over Lakers (2/3/2019)
The Marion County Knights jumped out early on the Russell County Lakers and never looked back, going on to an 83-61 win Saturday afternoon at the Roby Dome. Knight senior forward Travis Wiser turned in his best performance of the season, scoring 16 points on 7/8 shooting to go with eight rebounds, three steals, and four assists to lead the way.
Leading 21-12 after the first quarter, Marion County opened the second period with 12-2 run and the rout was on. Sophomore Kanyon Spalding had another stellar performance, scoring six of his 15 points on offensive rebound put-backs to help the Knights to a 52-24 lead at the half. Marion County let off the gas a little in the second half, but the Lakers never got closer than 21 points for the remainder of the game. Junior center Mason Sullivan hit double-figures in scoring for the fifth straight game, finishing with 12 points and seven boards while fellow junior John Adams led all scorers with 18 points -- including four three-point field goals. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
The varsity Knights will take an extended break from games, next taking the court on Friday when they host the North Hardin Trojans in a JV/Varsity double-header. You can see the complete varsity schedule by clicking here.
Adams' 3-Pointer Completes Comeback Win For Knights In OT (2/2/2019)
After falling behind by 19 points early in the third quarter, the Marion County Knights came away with a thrilling 86-84 overtime win Friday night in the Roby Dome over 20th District rival Taylor County. Junior swingman John Adams buried a three-pointer with 0:03 left in overtime to complete the remarkable comeback.
The Cardinals scorched the nets in the first half, shooting 7/14 from three-point territory and 67% from the floor overall while lighting up the Marion County defense for a 51-34 lead at the half. But the Knights turned the tables in the third quarter, outscoring the visitors 30-14 in the period to pull within one point, 65-64 starting the fourth quarter. On Marion County's first possession of the final regulation period, Mason Sullivan found Kanyon Spalding cutting to the basket for an assist and the Knights' first lead since the opening minutes of the game. Taylor County would regain the lead moments later on a basket from Kybrin Smith, but could not put the Knights away. Marion County would regain the lead with 0:25 left in regulation when Tyshay Epps made one of his eight assists to Sullivan in the post, 77-76. After the Cards missed a pair of free-throws on their end, Epps went to the line for the Knights and calmly sank a pair of his own free-throws to put Marion County ahead 79-76 with 0:07.9 left on the clock. But Taylor County's Nick Knifley buried a three-pointer with a pair of Knight defenders in his face to force the overtime.
With the score tied 83-83, Taylor County's Dejhon Irvin was fouled and went to the line for a pair of free-throws. Irvin made one of two for an 84-83 Taylor County lead with 0:36.9 left in the game. Epps dribbled out the clock to the 0:10 mark before making a move, sliding to the right side of the floor to find Adams in the corner. Adams' shot found the bottom of the net with 0:03 remaining to put the Knights on top, 86-84. The Cards called time to set up a final play, but Marion County's Dominick White disrupted the play, forcing a desperation three-point attempt by Smith that was wide of the mark and completing the Knights' improbable come-from-behind win.
Epps led all scorers with 26 points, shotting 6/9 from three-point territory and 6/6 at the free-throw line while also passing out eight assists. Spalding -- a sophomore making his fourth consecutive start -- continued his strong play of the last two weeks, setting new new career-highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Sullivan also posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. And Adams shot 5-9 from behind the three-point arc -- including the game-winner -- to finish with 18 points. You can read more about this game by clicking here.
The win also moved the Knights into a virtual tie with Taylor County for first place in the 20th District standings. A win over Campbellsville, once that game is rescheduled from its postponed date on January 21, would clinch the top spot for Marion County as the team now holds the tie-breaker over the Cardinals.
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