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Rosspoint upends JACES in county finals

Three matchups against James A. Cawood during the regular season did not end well for the Rosspoint Wildcats, who suffered three losses by a combined eight points.

A fourth game, this one for the seventh- and eighth-grade county championship Thursday at Harlan County High School, followed a much different path.

Led by a 22-point effort from eighth-grade point guard Thomas Jordan, the Wildcats led all the way in a 48-35 victory.

“This bunch has worked so hard all year. We’ve had our ups and downs, but they fought through it. They had the heart and want to,” Rosspoint coach Hobie Boggs said. “I told them Tuesday night that if they followed the gameplan we’d win this thing.”

Cameron Lester scored 15 points and Jeremiah Clem added for the 20-4 Trojans, who suffered their first loss against a county league opponent.

While Jordan controlled the Rosspoint offense by using his quickness to beat the Trojans off the dribble, the Wildcats’ defensive work on JACES forward Nathan Daniels may have been the difference. Daniels had scored 40 points in the three previous games against Rosspoint but was held to two on Thursday.

“I did the same thing I did against Wallins (in the semifinals), because they had a big guy. I wanted them to shoot 3-pointers to beat us because he beat us the last time we played. We tried to take him out and tried to take the ball to him on offense to get him in foul trouble,” Boggs said.

Rosspoint scored the game’s first nine points on a 3-point by Cooper McHargue, a basket by Noah Brewer and three-point play by Isaac Kelly. Jordan’s 3-pointer late in the quarter gave the Wildcats a 12-5 lead.

Kelly and Jordan helped Rosspoint push its lead to 25-14 at halftime. Clem led the Trojans with two free throws and a 3-pointer.

After a flurry of 3-pointers to open the third quarter, Lester’s three-point play cut the deficit to eight before a basket by Jordan made the score 33-23 going into the final period.

Jordan put the game away in the fourth quarter with four baskets, answering several JACES runs by taking the ball all the way to the basket.

“Thomas scored for us, but he also made some great passes. He didn’t force any shots,” Boggs said.

The Wildcats improved to 17-6 in winning their seventh county title in Boggs’ 17 seasons as coach.

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Tanner Griffin scored 18 points and Daniel Carmical added 11 as Wallins captured third place with a 47-33 win over Cumberland.

Jonah Swanner led the Redskins with 16 points.

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Rosspoint (48) — Thomas Jordan 22, Cooper McHargue 7, Isaac Kelly 8, Noah Brewer 5, Samuel Henson 4, Connor Blevins 2.

James A. Cawood (35) — Nathan Daniels 2, Cameron Lester 15, Jeremiah Clem 14, Tristan Cooper 2, Jared Rhymer 2.

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Wallins (47) — Cadyn Duncan 3, Gavin Napier 2, Tanner Griffin 18, Josh Sergent 8, Daniel Carmical 11, Hunter Collett 5.

Cumberland (33) — Brayden Blakley 2, Braydon Burton 2, Akime Sanderson 4, Jonah Swanner 16, Darius Akla 5, Nazareth Sanchez 2, Patrick Mandrell 2.