South Warren was hot from the start.
The Spartans, who hosted Allen County-Scottsville on Tuesday night in their season opener, came out of the gate firing on all cylinders and controlled the game from start to finish en route to a dominant 87-68 win over the Patriots at South Warren High School.
“That’s the way we want to play,” South Warren coach Blane Embry said. “We want to play loose and free. That’s what I told the guys, I said, ‘Hey, we’ve practiced this way all year long – we’re not gonna start the first game out holding the ball and passing it around.’ We’re at our best when we do that. We’re gonna try to play more up-tempo this year.
“I was really pleased just overall how we communicated with each other.”
South (1-0) built a 31-12 lead after the opening quarter, took a 49-30 advantage into the locker room at halftime and cruised throughout the second half to wrap-up its 19-point win.
Jace Carver scored 18 points in the first quarter alone and finished with a game-high 24 to lead the Spartans, while Tayshaun Jones scored 20 points and Mitchell Franklin tallied 19. Jonathan Hill scored 10 points to give SWHS four players in double figures.
“It was very nice,” Carver said. “We finally got to play against somebody other than our teammates. We’ve just been itching to play somebody. We just showed everybody what we can finally do.”
Michael Smith led Allen County-Scottsville (0-1) with 17 points, while Mason Shirley finished with 16, Owen Stamper scored 13 and Jax Cooper added 10.
“That South Warren team is really good,” Allen County-Scottsville coach Brad Bonds said. “They’ve got the pieces to be an exceptional Fourth Region contender, if not a state team. They shot the ball really well early, knocked us back on our heels – kind of had that deer in headlights. Got us playing at a speed that we really didn’t need to have to play at.”
South Warren will look to remain hot Friday when it travels to Barren County for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. The Patriots will try to bounce back Saturday on the road at LaRue County. That game is slated for a 7 p.m. start.
ACSHS – 12 18 15 23 — 68
SWHS– 31 18 16 22 – 87
ACS: Michael Smith 17, Mason Shirley 16, Owen Stamper 13, Jax Cooper 10, Tyler Ford 5, Kayden Whitney 4, Wyatt Coffee 3.
SWHS: Jace Carver 24, Tayshaun Jones 20, Mitchell Franklin 19, Jonathan Hill 10, Parker Stobaugh 7, Will Faulkner 3, Caden Veltkamp 3, Joel Davis 1.
Girls: South Warren 62, Allen County-Scottsville 43
Lexi Button scored a game-high 19 points and was one of four in double figures on Tuesday for the South Warren girls’ basketball team, which rolled to a 62-43 season-opening win over Allen County-Scottsville.
“It’s early in the season and there’s always gonna be a lot of mistakes,” South Warren coach Lane Embry said. “Allen County came out and hit a lot of shots early on us. They did a really good job breaking our pressure and (Chloe) Cook and (Allison) Meador did a really, really good job of hitting shots when they were open.
“It took us a little bit to get into the flow of the game offensively, but that’s what we tell our girls, ‘We’re not gonna change anything ‘cause we’re missing shots. We’re gonna keep playing.’”
South Warren (1-0) jumped out to an 8-2 lead at the 4:04 mark of the first as Taylor Enlow had already scored 4 points, but Allen County-Scottsville responded and got within 13-8 after eight minutes of action.
The two sides played an aggressive, back-and-forth second quarter – and the Spartans held a tight 26-24 lead at the break. Enlow was up to eight points and five rebounds, while Meador had 9 points and five boards for the Lady Patriots.
While Button led the way for SWHS, Jessica Bush and Karson Deaton each finished with 11 points, while Enlow added 10. Meader scored 15 points for ACS and Cook tallied 14.
“Our shots really just started falling,” Button said. “We took advantage of the defense that our coach called and we got steals, got some stops late in the game and that made us pull through”
South Warren came out hot to open the second half, putting together a 13-0 run to take a 39-24 lead near the midway point of the third quarter. Cook’s jumper ended Allen County-Scottsville’s drought, but Bush soon hit a 3-pointer on the other end to put the Spartans up 42-26.
Kaylee Bullington’s free throw brought the Lady Patriots to within single digits at 48-39 with 4:44 remaining, but Elly Bennett soon answered with a 3 on the other end to put South Warren up 51-41. Deaton followed up with a triple of her own to make it 60-43 and seal it.
“We did fight back and got it to single digits, but just didn’t have much left,” Allen County-Scottsville coach Greg Dunn said. “We gotta give ‘em credit – they shot the lights out of the 3 in that second half. I’m probably not as deep right now as they are, we were kinda gassed, but that’s my fault for not going a little deeper on the bench to give us some rest.
“I’m so proud of our kids for their effort and they did exactly what I asked them to do.”
ACSHS – 8 16 11 8 — 43
SWHS– 13 13 20 16 – 62
ACS: Allison Meador 15, Chloe Cook 14, Taylor Carter 6, Kaylee Bullington 5, Jae McReynolds 2, Grace Tuttle 1.
SWHS: Lexi Button 19, Jessica Bush 11, Karson Deaton 11, Taylor Enlow 10, Emily Reynolds 5, Elly Bennett 2, Gracie Hodges 2, Brooke Stevenson 2.