January 7th, 2019

Holy Cross Advances to All "A" State Defeating Shawnee 60-46

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 


Holy Cross Advances to All "A" State Defeating Shawnee 60-46
Holy Cross claims their third All "A" 6th region championship/ photo by Dalton Pence

On Monday night, Holy Cross defeated Shawnee in front of a home crowd 60-46 to claim their third consecutive ll "A" sixth region championship. The Cougars will advance to play in the All "A" state tournament against Walton-Verona at Eastern Kentucky University in two weeks.

"This group of seniors always do a good job gearing up when it comes to All "A" time", Holy Cross coach Kent Foushee said, "tonight I thought we executed our game plan about as well as we possibly could have."

The game started out very slow; in fact, Shawnee led after the first quarter by a score of 11-6. Then the tide turned. "I think we were a little surprised that they came out and tried to slow the game down", Foushee explained the low score.

 

Cade Crawley's three-pointer capped off a 10-2 run that put Holy Cross ahead. Three charge calls all in a short span against Shawnee made it hard for them to get any sort of offense going. Jaren McDonald's tough layup gave the Cougars a 25-11 lead; his eight first half points would be behind only Keeton Thornsberry (10) in scoring as Holy Cross carried a 28-13 advantage into halftime.

 In the second half, the Cougar offense started to click. Less than two minutes in, Sam Bearden was fouled on a successful put-back, which served as the catalyst for his offensive production. Huge three-pointers from Thornsberry and Crawley led to a commanding 48-26 lead, with one quarter to play.

Crawley and Bearden took turns scoring in the fourth quarter, cutting down a late Shawnee run. However, Holy Cross was able to hang on and come out victorious 60-46. On his second half performance, Bearden said, "whenever I had a mismatch they got me the ball. We ran a couple of plays to get a screen to get a mismatch, I knew I was going to score."

Thornsberry and Crawley led all Cougars with 15 points apiece. Bearden and McDonald contributed 14 and nine, respectively, while Chaz Geraghty also added seven points.

"Chase (Davis) getting in foul trouble I thought would really hurt us", Foushee said, but credited the play of Geraghty, Bearden, Barrett Emberton, and Josh Minor as big reasons for success in the front court.

"I have three unbelievable senior guards (Thornsberry, McDonald, and Crawley) and they never panic", Foushee said, "those guys have been playing together since the fourth grade so there is a ton of continuity between the three of them. Jaren has always been the point guard and the other two have always moved off of him. I said before these guys came in and even before I became the head coach that this senior class was the turning point for the program."

Josiah Bivens (20) and Robert Pillow (14) led the way in scoring for Shawnee. Foushee was very impressed by their performance. "I respect the heck out of Shawnee", Foushee said, "one of our former players is on the coaching staff there (Norman Ellis) so I knew that they were going to be prepared and executing their game plan."

"This was one of our goals coming into the beginning of the season", Crawley said, "we all have to be locked in (moving forward)." Bearden echoed those thoughts by saying, "last year we were just happy to be down there; this year I think it's a different mindset."

 

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