Covington’s 3-point run propels Cards
LEXINGTON — With his Scott County Cardinals up by only one in the third quarter Friday in the quarterfinals of the state tournament, junior guard Glenn Covington found his touch and Corbin’s upset bid faded away in a barrage of 3-pointers.
Covington had three 3-pointers and a three-point play in the decisive 27-6 run that sent the Cardinals to the semifinals with a 73-62 victory over the 13th Region champions.
“I’m a streaky shooter,” said Covington in the postgame press conference, “but once I get going it’s over with.”
Covington hit five of 11 3-pointers in a 20-point performance that led the 36-1 Cardinals, ranked first in the state. Junior forward Bryce Long added 18 points. Senior guard Cooper Robb and junior center Michael Moreno contributed 11 points each.
Senior guard Andrew Taylor closed his stellar Corbin career with a 25-point, 12-rebound performance. Chase Sanders and Chandler Stewart added 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the 26-8 Redhounds.
“Give Corbin a lot of credit. Their kids played hard,” said Scott County coach Billy Hicks, a Harlan County native who previously coached at Evarts, Harlan and Corbin. “I was surprised Taylor could beat us off the dribble like he did, especially in the first half.”
“Corbin played harder than any teame we’ve played all year,” said Moreno.
Taylor had 12 points in the first half as he kept Corbin close with the game tied at 17 after one period and Scott was up by only five, at 31-26, going into the second half. A basket by Taylor and two free throws from Stewart pulled the Redhounds within one early in the third quarter.
Scott took over from there with nine straight points to start the decisive run. Covington had the final 12 points in the 27-6 spurt that put the Cardinals in control with a 22-point advantage late in the third quarter.
“We contained Taylor a little better, and I thought they may have gotten a little tired,” Hicks said. “Covington hit some shots. I think Glenn’s, pound for pound, the best athlete on the team.”
“Scott County can hurt you in so many ways,” said Corbin coach Tony Pietrowski. “We battled right to the end, and I’m proud of my kids.”
Scott County will advance to Saturday’s semifinals to play Warren Central, a winner over Pikeville in the second quarterfinal game Friday.
Pietrowski played for Hicks at Corbin in the early 1990s and noted at the postgame press conference that he has yet to beat his former coach.
“I’ve got to get him at least one time,” Pietrowski said with a laugh. “This is the second time we’ve played here. He’s one of the best in the state and the nation. He’s a guy I can always lean on, and I will pull for him the rest of the way.”
Scott County 73, Corbin 62
SCOTT COUNTY (36-1)
Diablo Stewart 8, Cooper Robb 11, Glenn Covington 20, Bryce Long 18, Michael Moreno 11, Cam Fluker 0, K.J. Tucker 0, Lorenzo Williams 4, Kobi Harris 1, Jaylen Barber 0, Landon Easley 0, Terrin Hamilton 0, Michael McKenzie 0.
Andrew Taylor 25, Chandler Stewart 14, Matthew Taylor 4, Brody Barton 2, Chase Sanders 15, Cameron Maguet 0, Ethan WIne 0, Jacob Unthank 2, Abe Barnes 0, Grant Morton 0, Alex Bryley 0, Max Barnett 0.
Scott County 17 14 27 15 — 73
Corbin 17 9 15 21 — 62