Legends on the road vs. West Virginia

April 22, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-wvaLexington Legends
at West Virginia Power

What: Five-game series

When: Thursday through Sunday (6:05 p.m. Thursday doubleheader, 7:05 Friday night, 2:05 Saturday and Sunday afternoons)

Where: Appalachian Power Park (Charleston, W.Va.)

Major League affiliations: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Pittsburgh Pirates

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, LH Colin Rodgers (1-1, 4.70) vs. RH Dovydas Neverauskas (0-1, 13.50) and RH Corey Ray (0-0, 2.89) vs. RH Miguel Rosario (0-0, 1.69); Friday, RH Zach Lovvorn (0-1, 2.08) vs. RH Austin Coley (2-0, 2.70); Saturday, RH Torey Deshazier (1-1, 3.46) vs. RH Jose Regalado (0-0, 1.08); Sunday, LH Matt Tenuta (1-2, 5.27) vs. LH John Sever (1-0, 2.70).

Corey Toups

Corey Toups

Legend to watch: SS Corey Toups (5-foot-10, 170 pounds, age 22, bats and throws right, from The Woodlands, Texas) is batting only .200, but leads the Legends in RBI with eight in 10 games. Four of his seven hits have gone for extra bases — a double and a team-leading three home runs. Selected in the 15th round of last year’s draft, out of Sam Houston State, Toups earned Pioneer League all-star honors last summer, leading the league with a .453 on-base percentage while batting .335. A 2011 graduate of The Woodlands College Park High, he teamed with the Legends’ Ryan O’Hearn at Sam Houston State. As a college freshman, Toups started all 62 games. He sat out his sophomore season due to injury. As a junior, he batted .310 while leading the team in runs and tying for the team lead in doubles and stolen bases.

Jerrick Suiter

Jerrick Suiter

Power to watch: 1B Jerrick Suiter (6-4, 230, 22, right/right, from Valparaiso, Ind.) is 13-for-39 (.333) through 11 games, with a triple and homer. He has eight RBI and seven runs scored, with a stolen base. He had a three-hit game against the Legends last week and is 5-for-13 (.385) in three games against Lexington pitching. A 26th round draft pick last year, out of Texas Christian, he played 55 games for Bristol of the Appalachian League last summer, batting .279 with a homer, 29 RBI and 35 runs.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends play host to Greenville Drive

April 19, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-greenvillelegends-logo-13Greenville Drive
at Lexington Legends

What: Three-game series

When: Monday through Wednesday (7:05 Monday and Tuesday nights, 10:05 Wednesday morning)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliations: Boston Red Sox (Drive), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, RH Pedro Fernandez (1-0, 1.08) vs. RH Michael Kopech (0-1, 7.36); Tuesday, LH Matt Tenuta (1-1, 4.50) vs. RH Ty Buttrey (0-0, 3.60); Wednesday, RH Nik Stephenson (0-2, 4.50) vs. RH Jamie Callahan (0-1, 7.71).

Mauricio Dubon

Mauricio Dubon

Drive to watch: 2B Mauricio Dubon (6-foot, 162 pounds, age 20, bats and throws right, from Sacramento, Calif.) has hit safely in eight of nine games this season, going 13-for-36 (.361), with a double, four RBI and four runs. A 2013 26th-round draft pick, he is rated by Baseball America as the 23rd best prospect in the Red Sox system. He moved from Honduras to California in high school, in order to pursue a baseball career. He broke into pro ball with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in 2013, batting .245 with four RBI and eight runs over 20 games. Last year, with Lowell of the New York-Penn League, he raised his average to .320 with three homers, 34 RBI and 40 runs over 66 games.

Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

Legend to watch: 2B/3B Carlos Garcia (5-10, 172, 23, bats both, throws right, from Caracas, Venezuela) is 9-for-26 (.346) through eight games, with three RBI and five runs. Signed at the end of the 2008 season, he was with the Legends last season, batting .269 over 80 games. He hit .358 (24-for-67) with runners in scoring position, and led the team with 31 stolen bases in 36 attempts. He spent 2009 and 2010 with the Dominican Summer League Royals, leading the league in steals with 50 in 2010. He moved on to Surprise of the Arizona League in 2011, then played for Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League in 2012 and 2013. Garcia earned Pioneer League all-star honors in 2013, finishing second in league in batting (.333). His father, Carlos Albert Garcia, played two seasons in the Red Sox organization.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends open home schedule vs. Power

April 15, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-wvalegends-logo-13West Virginia Power
at Lexington Legends

What: Four-game series

When: Thursday through Sunday (7:20 Thursday night, 7:05 Friday and Saturday nights; 2:05 Sunday)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliations: Pittsburgh Pirates (Power), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, LH Emilio Ogando (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Alex McRae (1-0, 1.80); Friday, RH Corey Ray (0-0, 7.36) vs. RH Dovydas Neverauskas (0-1, 27.00); Saturday, RH Zach Lovvorn (0-0, 3.86) vs. RH Austin Coley (1-0, 3.60); Sunday, RH Pedro Fernandez (1-0, 1.08) vs. LH John Sever (1-0, 0.00).

Tito Polo

Tito Polo

Power to watch: OF Tito Polo (5-foot-9, 184 pounds, age 20, bats and throws right, from San Andres Islas, Colombia) has hit safely in his first five games of the season, going 6-for-16 (.375) with a double, an RBI and three runs. He also has three stolen bases in five attempts. Baseball America rates him as the No. 29 prospect in the Pirates system. Signed in 2012, he spent that year and 2013 in the Dominican Summer League. Last year, with the Gulf Coast League Pirates, he hit .291 with three homers and 25 RBI over 44 games. Baseball America writes in part: “He has the ability to hit for average, he runs well and is a solid defensive outfielder with the range to play center field and the above-average arm to play right.”

Samir Duenez

Samir Duenez

Legend to watch: OF Samir Duenez (6-1, 195, 19, bats left, throws right, from Catia La Mar, Venezuela) started last season with the Legends, going 33-for-142 (.232) over 44 games. He was assigned to Idaho Falls on June 10, and played in 39 games for the Chukars, batting .304 with seven doubles, a triple, a homer and 27 RBI. Signed in 2012, he was the Surprise Royals Player of the Year and an Arizona League post-season all-star in 2013. Baseball America rated him the 16th-best prospect in the Arizona League in 2013 and the 17th-best prospect in the Pioneer League last year. Through six games this season, Duenez is 7-for-21 (.333), with a double, RBI and four runs.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

Opening night promotions:  University of Kentucky basketball standout Willie Cauley-Stein will throw out a ceremonial first pitch. The home opener will feature live music before the game, prize giveaways each inning during the game and a fireworks show after the game. As part of the 15th anniversary season, a fan will win $15,000 if a Legend hits a grand-slam homer during the sixth inning. Gates open at 5 p.m., one hour earlier than usual. The first 1,000 fans to enter will receive a “moustache” rally towel. Marlana Van Hoose will sing the national anthem.


Legends will play three at Greenville

April 12, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-greenvilleLexington Legends
at Greenville Drive

What: Three-game series

When: Monday through Wednesday (7:05 Monday and Tuesday nights, 7:45 Wednesday)

Where: Fluor Field (Greenville, S.C.)

Major League affiliations: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Boston Red Sox

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, LH Zach Lovvorn (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Michael Kopech (0-0, 0.00); Tuesday, RH Pedro Fernandez (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Ty Buttrey (0-0, 2.25); Wednesday, LH Matt Tenuta (1-0, 0.00) vs. RH Jamie Callahan (0-1, 11.57).

Chad Johnson

Chad Johnson

Legend to watch: C Chad Johnson (6-foot, 191 pounds, age 20, bats left, throws right, from Galesburg, Ill.) is 2-for-6 (.333) in his first two games of the season, with a double and one run scored. One of a dozen players on the roster who played for Lexington last season, Johnson was a fifth-round pick of the Royals in the 2012 draft, out of Galesburg (Ill.) High School. As a high school senior, he batted .364 with seven homers and 38 RBI. He had a scholarship offer at Illinois State, but opted to sign with the Royals. After joining the Legends for four games late in 2013, he spent all of 2014 with the team. He batted .233 over 105 games with 16  doubles, a triple, four homers and 39 RBI. Johnson’s father, Kevin, played ball for Truman State University.

Javier Guerra

Javier Guerra

Drive to watch: SS Javier Guerra (5-11, 180, age 19, bats left, throws right, from Dolega, Panama) is listed by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in the Red Sox organization. Through his first three games of the season, Guerra is 5-for-11 (.455), with a double, homer, three RBI and three runs. According to Baseball America, Gulf Coast League manager Tom Kotchman called Guerra the best defensive shortstop he’s had in 35 years. “He exudes confidence and control in all his action,” Baseball America reports, “with an easy left-handed swing that allows Red Sox evaluators to dream about his upside as a shortstop with above-average offensive potential and elite defense.” Signed in 2012, Guerra spent that year in the Dominican Summer League before moving to the Gulf Coast League last year. His combined two-year totals include a .258 average over 111 games, with two homers, 49 RBI and 48 runs.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 

 


Legends set to open season at Charleston

April 7, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-charlestonLexington Legends
at Charleston RiverDogs

What: Four-game series

When: Thursday through Sunday (7:05 Thursday and Friday nights, 6:05 Saturday and 5:05 Sunday)

Where: Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park (a.k.a. The Joe), Charleston, S.C.

Major League affiliations: Kansas City Royals (Legends), New York Yankees

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, RH Pedro Fernandez vs. RH Jordan Foley; Friday, LH Matt Tenuta vs. LH Chaz Hebert; Saturday, RH Nik Stephenson vs. LH Justin Kamplain; Sunday, LH Colin Rodgers vs. LH Jordan Montgomery.

Pedro Fernandez

Pedro Fernandez

Legend to watch: Opening day starter Pedro Fernandez (6-foot, 175 pounds, age 20, bats and throws right, from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic) went 1-8 over 16 appearances, including eight starts, with the Legends last season. However, he struck out 60 batters in 61 1/3 innings while giving up 50 hits. Baseball America rates him the 19th best prospect in the Royals system. In 2013, he had no decisions and a 0.75 ERA over four games with the Dominican Summer League Royals, and was 0-1, 1.82 in eight games with the Arizona League Royals. According to Baseball America, his fastball “sits at 90-93 mph, but he’ll touch 97 when he humps up. His fringe-average slurvy breaking ball shows some tilt, but it’s slower than the typical slider and doesn’t feature as much break as the typical curveball. His changeup has shown flashes, but it wasn’t as consistent in 2014.”

Justin Kamplain

Justin Kamplain

RiverDog to watch: Saturday starter Justin Kamplain (6-0, 175, age 22, bats right, throws left, from Jasper, Ala.) returns to Charleston after recording a 2.78 ERA with no decisions over six starts in 2014. He struck out 21 and walked 11 over 22 2/3 innings. He also appeared in eight games, five starts, for Staten Island of the New York-Penn League, going 1-0, 0.43, with one save. Selected in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, Kamplain opted to play for the University of Alabama. The Yankees picked him in the 14th round of last year’s draft.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300


Owensboro tops Covington Catholic in OT

March 21, 2015

Owensboro is justifiably known for the inside play of 6-foot-9 Aric Holman and 6-7 Justin Miller.
But the Red Devils are more well-rounded than that reputation might imply.
And it was a true team victory Saturday as Owensboro found a way to score a 69-65 overtime victory over Covington Catholic in the semifinals of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ State Tournament.
“Aric and Justin, they get all the ink,” Devils Coach Rod Drake said. “And these (other) guys take out the garbage.”
With the win, Owensboro (30-4) reached the State finals for the first time since winning it all in 1980. This is the school’s record 43rd appearance overall, in search of its fourth title.
Miller led Saturday’s victory with 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, while Holman had 11 points and nine boards.
Darion Morrow drained three three-pointers and finished with 18 points, Jacoby Harris had 14 and Dylan Sanford eight.
The Red Devils were deadly from the field, going 25 of 44 (56.8 percent) while holding CovCath to 22 of 49 (44.9 percent).
Covington Catholic, seeking to become the first back-to-back champion since Fairdale in 1990 and ‘91, was led by Cole VonHandorf with 21 points. Bo Schuh had 15 points and five rebounds, while Cooper Theobald had 14 points.
“Just one of those nights where stuff doesn’t go your way,” said Schuh, who fouled out late in regulation. “But I think I speak for everyone when I say we left everything on the floor. There was nothing else we could have done.”
The Colonels (31-6) led 51-47 with less than two minutes left in regulation.
But Owensboro got a three-pointer by Morrow and a three-point play by Harris to take a 53-51 lead.
After Theobald made one free throw, Sanford made two with 13.7 seconds left for a 55-52 Red Devils lead.
CovCath forced extra time when Matthew Shumate drilled a three-pointer with five seconds left.
“It was a great shot, obviously,” Sanford said. “But we had no doubt in our mind that we were going to keep playing and win the game.”
In overtime, the Colonels led 59-58 before Owensboro took control.
Miller scored on the low post. Then Morrow hit a floater as he went across the lane, drew a foul and converted a three-point play.
“I seen an opening and took it,” he said. “I didn’t really think it was a foul, but he called it.”
Twice CovCath pulled to within two points, but could get no closer.
The lead was 66-63 when CovCath took its final timeout. Coach Scott Ruthsatz said he was looking for a quick basket and foul. Instead, Theobald was called for traveling with 14.9 seconds left.
Harris sank two free throws at 14.4, and Holman made one at 8.2 for a 69-63 lead. Theobald scored on a put-back just before time expired.
“I thought we came out a little tight,” Drake said. “But these guys are warriors. They never quit. … We knew we were going to win the ball game. It was just a matter of time.”
“A great high school basketball game,” Ruthsatz said. “This is what everybody pays admission to see. Unfortunately, tonight we came out on the short end. These guys left their hearts out.
“Hats off to Owensboro. I mean, tey hunkered down and they made big shots when they needed it. I’m so proud of our guys.”


Covington Catholic pulls away from Doss

March 20, 2015

True grit.
That’s what Covington Catholic showed down the stretch Friday when it moved past Doss with a 61-48 quarterfinals victory in the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ State Tournament.
The defending champions trailed 41-40 late in the third quarter before taking control in front of a Rupp Arena crowd of 11,178.
The Colonels made their move with their top scorer, Bo Schuh, on the bench with four fouls. And they did so by holding Doss without a field goal for more than 10 minutes.
“I thought the second half, similar to (Wednesday), was a half where we ran our sets,” CovCath Coach Scott Ruthsatz said. “We handled their pressure for the most part, and we rebounded.
“We had some big guys step up when we got in some foul trouble. Will Heppler, for instance. I thought he really did well banging inside. I thought we executed everything offensively that we wanted to. I thought defensively, just going to a zone, trying to keep them out of the lane (worked).”
With the zone keeping Doss limited to mostly perimeter shots, and with the Colonels banging the boards, CovCath’s transition game got in gear.
The win puts the fifth-rated Colonels (31-5) into Saturday’s semifinals against Owensboro.
Cole VonHandorf topped the CovCath attack with 17 points. Schuh wound up with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals, although limited to 23 minutes.
Andy Flood and Cooper Theobald each scored 11, with Flood grabbing six of the Colonels’ 38 rebounds. Heppler, in 13 minutes off the bench, had four points and four rebounds.
No. 11 Doss (27-7) got 11 points from Ramon Collins. Dujuanta Weaver had 10 points, five of the Dragons’ 27 rebounds and five assists.
“I thought that if we lost to any team, it would be a well-coached team. It would be a team that had been here before, had experience,” Doss Coach Tony Williams said. “It’d be a team that’s tough by nature, a team that will fight you back. I’m not proud to lose, but I can accept losing to a tough team like that.”
Doss took a 41-40 lead on a Collins put-back with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
But that would be the Dragons’ last field goal until the final 30 seconds of the game.
Schuh made a free throw to tie the game at 41.
He exited with 1:39 left in the third, though, after he and Doss’ Weaver were called for a double-technical, Schuh’s fourth foul of the game.
Heppler came in and promptly scored on the low post to give CovCath a 43-41 lead through three quarters.
Doss got a free throw by Terrell Gray to open the fourth-quarter scoring, but the next 12 points belonged to the Colonels.
Theobald scored on a drive, Heppler hit a point-blank jumper and VonHandorf scored on a drive.
VonHandorf scored the last six points of the flurry from the free-throw line, where he would finish 9-for-10.
CovCath finished 19 of 43 (44.2 percent) from the field, 22 of 32 (68.8 percent) at the foul line. Doss went 18 of 52 (34.6 percent) and 8 of 13 (61.5 percent).
“They were tough and they contested every shot,” Williams said. “… I don’t remember getting a clean look out there, so hats off to them.”


Bowling Green overwhelms Elliott County

March 19, 2015

In the tourney’s most lopsided game in four years, Bowling Green buried Elliott County 86-44 Thursday in the first round of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ State Tournament.
Not since eventual champion Christian County rolled to an 83-40 win over Shelby Valley in the first round of the 2011 tourney had Rupp Arena seen a Sweet Sixteen game as one-sided as this.
“I’m really proud of my guys this evening,” Purples Coach D.G. Sherrill said. “We played a very unfamiliar opponent and watched them on film. We knew how hard they played, how aggressive their guards were, and they had a couple guys that could really shoot it. We had to focus on trying to prepare for a team that we hadn’t seen and didn’t have the chance to get a lot of information on.”
A team that Bowling Green would dominate in every phase.
“We outrebounded them by almost double, by 19; that was a big key,” Sherrill said. “We were aggressive, got to the free-throw line. I just thought that our guys came tonight with a look in their eyes, trying to win a basketball game.”
Ninth-rated Bowling Green (29-5) thus advances to Friday’s quarterfinals. The Purples made it to the semifinals last year.
Kyran Jones came off the bench to lead Bowling Green with 20 points and eight rebounds. Tucker Sine had 18 points and eight boards. Terry Taylor added a dozen points.
Chase Porter totaled 15 points and five rebounds for No. 16 Elliott County (22-8). Korbin Spencer added 11 points.
Bowling Green was the most athletic team the Lions faced “by three-fold,” Elliott Coach Greg Adkins said. “Their speed and quickness is something.”
“In Eastern Kentucky we see good athletes, and we have several in the region. Tonight we’ve seen a team full of great athletes.”
Bowling Green scored the first eight points of the game and was off and running.
A second-quarter 9-0 stretch helped the Purples to a 43-19 halftime lead.
Bowling Green outshot Elliott in the first half 60.9 percent (14 of 23) to 30 percent (9 of 30). From three-point range, Bowling Green was 3 of 4 (75 percent) to Elliott’s 1 of 10 (10 percent), and from the foul line it was Purples 12 of 14 (85.7 percent), Lions 0-for-2.
It was more of the same in the second half.
When Sine hit a three-pointer with 5:57 left in the fourth quarter, that put Bowling Green up by 35 and sent the game to a running clock.
“Being up here for my third year as a high schooler, it puts us at somewhat of an advantage,” Sine said. “I’ve been here before and played in this type of atmosphere.”
While the Purples made 31 of 56 shots (55.4 percent), Elliott County finished 17 of 58 (29.3 percent). Both teams made five three-pointers, although Bowling Green needed only seven attempts and Elliott County took 23. The Purples outrebounded the Lions 44-25.
“I think they did exactly what we thought they were going to do,” Adkins said. “It’s just a different level of speed, a different level of quickness and strength.”


Ballard wears down Johnson Central

March 19, 2015

In the end, top-rated Ballard just had too much depth.
The Bruins wore down Johnson Central in the fourth quarter and pulled away to an 82-69 victory Thursday in the first round of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ State Tournament.
Not that Ballard Coach Chris Renner was able to rest his starters as much as he would have liked.
No. 14 Johnson Central (23-10) was still within 62-60 with six minutes to play.
Ballard scored the next nine points and 14 of 16 to break the game open.
“You’ve got to give Johnson Central just a tremendous amount of credit,” said Chris Renner, coach of Ballard (32-2). “We knew they were a good basketball team. We knew that they had some tough seniors. They were prepared for this game. We knew they weren’t going to back down.
“Our big keys, we felt, were to just be able to apply enough pressure, get the tempo of the game going to where hopefully our depth would play a little bigger role. They hung on with us a little longer than I would have wanted it to happen, but that’s a credit to them.”
The Bruins, now 27-0 against in-state competition, will take a 27-game winning streak into Friday’s quarterfinals in Rupp Arena.
Jalen Perry, a 6-foot-1 senior, led the winners with 23 points. Corey Douglas, a 6-7 senior, totaled 14 points and 15 rebounds, including eight of the Bruins’ 21 offensive boards.
Anthony Eaves also scored 14 points, while Jamil Wilson had 13 points and four assists.
Jake Ramsey led the Ballard subs with five points and seven rebounds.
Kyle Gullett, a 6-6 senior, topped the Golden Eagles with 23 points and seven rebounds. Braxton Blair had 17 points and seven assists, while his cousin Mason Blair had 12 points.
Johnson Central was making its fourth straight appearance in the tournament.
“Just a really hard-fought game,” Coach Tommy McKenzie said. “This game we felt like was an opportunity for our guys to make a pretty good statement here. It’s not often that your team gets an opportunity to play that David and Goliath role. It’s not often that you get an opportunity to write this type of an ending to a story that these (four seniors) have written here. They’ve had an awesome road here over the last four years, and you hate to see it end. But we’d rather it end here at Rupp Arena than anywhere else.”
Ballard’s 40-34 halftime lead was its biggest to that point.
The Bruins scored the first three points of the second half to widen the margin to nine points, but Johnson Central rallied to within 55-52 through three quarters.
Ballard’s fourth-quarter 14-2 knockout punch was fueled by nine Perry points, including a pair of dunks.
“We’re really a good second-half team,” Perry said. “We’ve had a lot of games where we struggled the first half. But we knew we were going to wear them down eventually.”
“It was a big factor,” McKenzie said of Ballard’s depth. “They are very athletic and very quick, and it seemed like whenever they went to their bench they didn’t lose a whole lot. … I just thought as the game went on, some of that depth hurt us. And that’s unusual for us. We’re usually that team that has more depth than the teams that we’re playing.”


CovCath gets past Campbell County 64-43

March 18, 2015

Too much Cole VonHandorf meant the Camels would not be getting over on Hump Day.
VonHandorf scored 29 points Wednesday to lead defending champion Covington Catholic to a 64-43 victory over Campbell County’s Camels in the first round of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ State Basketball Tournament.
VonHandorf, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, hit 10 of 16 field goals, including 2 of 3 three-pointers, and went 7-for-9 at the free-throw line as the fifth-rated Colonels (30-5) cruised into Friday’s quarterfinals.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year, so I knew I had to step up, along with my senior point guard Cooper (Theobald),” said VonHandorf, who scored his 1,000th career point in the first half. “I knew we had to kind of control the game. And we came out early and we were clicking all together, passing it around and then we were all making our shots. So  they made it easy for me.”
Theobald finished with 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Andy Flood added 10 points.
The Colonels, winners of seven straight, fired in 21 of 41 shots (51.2 percent), while holding Campbell to 16 of 42 (38.1 percent). CovCath also turned the ball over only six times, while Campbell had 14 errors.
“Early, we did some good things to stay in the game,” Camels Coach Aric Russell said. “We were playing some 2-3 matchup, trying to force them to shoot a little bit. They hit some shots. VonHandorf was killing us, hitting everything. We let him get away from us too much.
“So we came out second half, tried to play some man-to-man on him. Didn’t do too well with that either.”
Matt Wilson led No. 8 Campbell (25-10) with 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. De’Ondre Jackson had 11 points and three assists.
CovCath led 32-26 at halftime, getting 14 points from VonHandorf.
Campbell County used an 8-0 run to build a 20-14 lead early in the second quarter.
The Colonels soon answered with an 11-0 spurt to take a 28-22 lead.
VonHandorf started the rally with a three-pointer.
After Matthew Shumate scored on a slash across the lane, VonHandorf scored on a put-back. Baskets by Bo Schuh and Theobald capped the run.
A third-quarter run of 12-0 pushed the lead to 44-28 and the Colonels never lost control.
“I think second half we really came out with a lot of energy,” winning coach Scott Ruthsatz said. “I think we started the game with some energy, hitting the boards real hard, and that kind of set the tone. Then we kind of took our lull.”
That may have been due to a week off and/or playing under the bright lights of Rupp Arena, but the lull didn’t last.
“Second half, we just really talked about our defense,” Ruthsatz said. “If we can really hang in there defensively, keep Wilson from (scoring) inside, force them to take perimeter jump shots, then we should be able to get some rebounds and really start our offense.”
CovCath wound up with scoring advantages of 34-24 in the paint, 14-3 on second-chance shots and 15-4 in points off turnovers. The Colonels also cashed in on 19 of 29 free throws, while the Camels went 9-for-12.
“We were on our heels all night on defense because we couldn’t make any shots,” Russell said. “… When you’re missing shots on a team like them, they’re going to push it the other way. It puts way too much pressure on your defense and then it just starts snowballing. I felt like we gave up too many offensive boards also.
“But VonHandorf handled this game and it was his tonight, and we didn’t have an answer for him.”