Nyekan leads Barren County past Greenwood

Barren County is starting to come around.

Entering Tuesday night’s game at Greenwood having won nine of their last 10 games, the Trojans remained hot – defeating the Gators 74-69 to push their win streak to three and record their 10th victory in 11 outings.

“I think it’s good for our confidence, but I feel like the stretch we just finished up – we beat some good teams and played eight games in 13 days and went 7-1 in there – and I feel like that early on it was important to win some of those games, but after we won some of ‘em I feel like we’ve been good,” Barren County coach Warren Cunningham said. “We’re in a good stretch and we just want to keep improving at the end.”

Four players finished in double figures for Barren County (17-7 overall), led by Aden Nyekan’s 27 points. Alongside him, Will Bandy scored 14 points, Jacob Shaw finished with 11 and Tyler Bush had 10.

Greenwood (14-10) also had four finish in double figures as Noah Stansbury had 20 points, Cade Stinnett scored 16, Marc Grant tallied 15 and Ben Carroll finished with 13.

“They’re a very good team, very hard to guard,” Nyekan said of Greenwood. “But I just think we played collectively good as a team and just did what we had to do.”

Barren County led 14-10 after the opening quarter, but Greenwood opened the second with a 9-0 run – highlighted by a basket from Grant – to take a 19-14 lead at the 5:24 mark.

The Trojans battled back and used a pair of Shaw free throws to tie it at 26-26, and Jacob Hester’s fast-break layup put the Trojans up 28-26 with 1:22 left in the half. However, Grant closed the frame with a 3-pointer to send the Gators into the break leading 29-28.

Nyekan’s bucket gave Barren County a 36-33 lead midway through the third quarter, but Carroll converted an and-one to help Greenwood tie it 36-36 at the 3:43 mark.

Stansbury knocked down 3 3-pointers to put the Gators in front, but Nyekan continued to execute – and later closed the period with a deep triple to send Barren County into the fourth up 50-48.

“It was good – it gave us a confidence boost,” Nyekan said of his big shot. “We just fed off that.”

Shaw and Bandy netted back-to-back 3s to put the Trojans up 57-48 at the 6:31 mark of the fourth, but Carroll answered with one of his own to cut Greenwood’s deficit to 57-51. Grant soon hit one to bring the Gators closer – but just before Barren County scored inside to go up 61-54.

Stinnett and Stansbury hit a pair of 3s to bring Greenwood within 69-67, but Cody Lane converted a three-point play to put the Trojans up 72-67 and seal it.

“My problem with tonight is our lack of toughness,” Greenwood coach Will McCoy said. “It was a real simple message in our locker room tonight – either we get tougher and decide to step up and do little things or else our season’s gonna end in seven games. It’s that simple as this point.”

BCHS –  14    14    22    24   —   74

GHS –    10    19    19    21   —   69

BC: Aden Nyekan 27, Will Bandy 14, Jacob Shaw 11, Tyler Bush 10, Cody Lane 7, Jacob Hester 5.

GW: Noah Stansbury 20, Cade Stinnett 16, Marc Grant 15, Ben Carroll 13, Will Gaddis 2, Dakota Ware 2, Parker Williams 1.

Girls: Greenwood 58, Barren County 57

Megan Une scored 20 points and Leia Trinh finished with 17 to lead the Greenwood girls’ basketball team to a hard-fought 58-57 win over Region 4 powerhouse Barren County on Tuesday night.

Une started hot and scored the Lady Gators’ first 11 points, but Barren County responded with a 9-0 run – highlighted by back-to-back baskets from Karleigh Delk and Raven Ennis – to take a 14-13 lead with 1:23 left in the first quarter.

“Our coach (Zach Simpson) told us to go in there with toughness and be ready to play with them because they’re one of the best teams,” Une said. “We kind of like to show everyone that we’re here to play and we’re not here to mess around. I think it was really good.”

Greenwood (11-9 overall) led 17-16 after eight minutes of action and opened the second quarter with a 10-1 run to go up 27-17 at the 3:39 mark. Emma Hughes’ and-one cut the Trojanettes’ deficit to 27-20, but the Lady Gators took a 29-22 lead into the locker room at the break.

Elizabeth Bertram’s and-one brought Barren County within 29-27 at the 6:24 mark of the third, but an Annee Lasley put-back soon put Greenwood up 36-27 midway through the quarter.

The Trojanettes answered with back-to-back Katie Murphy buckets to trim their deficit to 36-33 at the 3:15 mark, but Trinh scored to put the Lady Gators in front 41-35 with 1:08 left in the third – and they led 41-37 entering the fourth.

Une’s basket with just over five minutes remaining gave Greenwood a 48-38 lead, and Trinh made a runner to make it 52-42 with 3:39 left. Trinh scored again with 1:13 left to make it 56-46, but Bertram’s bucket with 34.6 seconds to go cut the Lady Gators lead to just 56-54.

Rachel Evans hit a pair of free throws to make it 58-54, and although Murphy hit a 3 to bring the Trojanettes within 58-57, Greenwood was able to hold on.

“I’m very proud of these girls,” Simpson said. “They never stopped fighting. When we first talked to them before the game, we didn’t write anything on the board – just ‘fight’ and ‘effort.’ We said we had to have both fight and effort tonight in order to play with a very good Barren County team. We showed that from the opening tip.”

Bertram finished with a game-high 26 points to lead Barren County (20-5).

BCHS –  16     6     15    20   —   57

GHS –    17    12    12    17   —   58

BC: Elizabeth Bertram 26, Raven Ennis 10, Katie Murphy 7, Karleigh Delk 6, Macy Lockhart 5, Emma Hughes 3.

GW: Megan Une 20, Leia Trinh 17, Nicole Milam 7, Annee Lasley 5, Kayla Grant 4, KK Keener 3, Rachel Evans 2.

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