LLOYD A change of tempo redirected Raceland’s fortunes in its first 63rd District seeding game of the season.
Down 38-22 at the 5:00 mark of the third quarter, the Rams rattled off 19 of the next 20 points to end the frame with the advantage.
Raceland’s offensive rally allowed it to crank up the pressure and the speed of the game. The Rams never relinquished the lead in the final period to secure a 55-48 victory over Greenup County on Saturday night.
“We finally could get into some pressure because we were making shots,” Raceland coach Bob Trimble said. “It changed the way Greenup County was playing. The same guys weren’t getting the same shots. They were taking some quick shots. We were rebounding and getting some good looks.”
The Musketeers found great success in the paint during the opening half at the Greenhouse. They produced a quick 10-0 spurt in the second stanza to grab a double-digit lead, but produced the same number of points in the final 13 minutes of the contest.
“We were up 13 points at the half, and I told them (Raceland) was going to turn the heat up,” Greenup County coach Steve Barker said. “They went with a 2-2-1 zone press and it sped us up. We turned the ball over and let them back in. We really struggled scoring in the third and fourth quarter.
“We did a decent job on (Kirk) Pence and (Andrew) Floyd, but when the time came for them to ice and win the game, those two stepped up and beat us.”
Floyd experienced some early foul trouble with the Rams already shorthanded with the absence of sharpshooter Kyle Broughton, who is still out due to COVID-19 protocol.
As much as a faster game contributed to the victory, Floyd said the team needed to slow down offensively.
“We missed a lot of easy shots in the first half that we usually make,” Floyd said. “It’s just how the ball bounces sometimes. There’s really not much you can do about it. We came back in the second half. We were taking a lot of quick shots in the first half. It’s what killed us.”
Raceland (4-4) received critical contributions from its bench, especially 6-foot-6 big man Jacob Gauze. The sophomore helped negate the Musketeers’ advantage inside and ignited the Rams’ pivotal third-quarter run with a pair of second-chance buckets.
“He is very capable of doing that,” Trimble said. “It’s all about confidence and effort with him. He is athletic and moves well. He still makes some young mistakes, but we are working through that. I thought he was huge tonight. He got some steals and a couple of big putbacks.”
It set the stage for Floyd to heat up from the perimeter. The guard followed with an and-1 and a wing jumper. Pence supplied the next five points, and Floyd hit from downtown to end the frame and put his team back on top to stay.
“It’s not really about stepping up,” Floyd said, “as much as trusting my game and trusting the guys around me to get the job done. “
“He got us going and brought us back,” Trimble added about Floyd. “He hit some big shots. We are still trying to find our way as a team and figure out just how we want to play. … Andrew made them pay coming off our ball screens. He found Kirk and Isaiah (Perkins) for open looks.”
Trenton Hannah made consecutive buckets for Greenup County (4-8) to trim the Rams’ lead to 45-44, but the Musketeers couldn’t get even.
Perkins swished a deep bucket and Pence splashed another. Raceland hit all eight of its free throw attempts in the final minutes to hold off Greenup County.
“It was a good team effort,” Trimble said. “Isaiah Perkins hit a big basket in the fourth. Landyn Newman stepped up to hit two crucial free throws. We needed the win. We had been struggling. We are playing a lot of new guys. In the long run, it’s going to help us. We are getting deeper.”
Floyd finished with a team-high 16 points. Pence followed with 15 points, Perkins had nine and Gauze recorded nine boards to go along with six points.
Hannah netted 24 points for the Musketeers to lead all scorers. Carson Wireman added eight points.
Barker said Hannah’s physicality around the basket will keep leading Greenup County to offensive success.
“He was our leading scorer tonight and he beat and banged around down there (in the low post),” Barker said. “From a JV player that averaged just 1.4 points a game last year to having 24 tonight in a district game, I have to give him a lot of credit.”
Raceland starts 1-0 in district play. The Musketeers fell to 0-4.
The Rams had not tasted victory since Jan. 11 after missing several games because of COVID-19 and losing their last three outings.
“It really helps a lot, especially after (Friday) night’s loss in the All ‘A’ (final),” Floyd said. “And not having Kyle, our third-leading scorer, hurt us last night and tonight. We miss him, but it really felt good winning this game.”
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RACELAND FG FT REB TP
Floyd 5-15 5-5 4 16
Pence 6-15 2-4 9 15
Newman 1-5 2-2 5 4
Gallion 1-2 0-0 3 2
Reed 1-1 1-2 1 3
Perkins 4-9 0-0 3 9
Gauze 3-3 0-0 9 6
TOTAL 21-50 10-13 34 55
FG Pct: 42.0. FT Pct: 76.9. 3-point FGs: 3-15 (Floyd 1-6, Pence 1-4, Newman 0-2, Perkins 1-3) PF: 17. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 9.
GREENUP CO. FG FT REB TP
B. Gibson 1-6 0-0 6 2
Wireman 3-6 0-0 6 8
Bays 2-7 1-2 8 5
Barker 3-11 1-3 0 7
Hannah 9-12 6-13 3 24
Howard 0-0 0-0 0 0
Hunt 1-1 0-1 1 2
Adkins 0-0 0-0 0 0
J. Gibson 0-2 0-0 1 0
TOTAL 19-45 8-19 27 48
FG Pct: 42.2. FT Pct: 42.1. 3-point FGs: 2-9 (B. Gibson 0-2, Wireman 2-4, Barker 0-2, Bays 0-1) PF: 16. Fouled out: Wireman. Turnovers: 10.
RACELAND 9 11 21 14 — 55
GREENUP CO. 13 20 6 9 — 48
Officials: Kenny Kegley, Kenny Huddleston, Henry Bacon.