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BASKETBALL: Balanced Bearcat barrage blasts Frankfort

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Four Anderson players reach double figures

By John Herndon

Anderson County needed this one. And the Bearcats needed a win in the worst way.

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The broad smiles pasted across their faces showed the Bearcats had delivered Saturday night with a 66-47 win over Frankfort.

It was the Bearcats' first win at home since Dec. 17, a record that as much as anything had to do with the on-again-off-again nature of a schedule that has experienced numerous disruptions because of winter weather, and only their third since Christmas. But Anderson, now 8-8 on the year, has been short-handed much of the year, having the entire team together just four games.

“The kids have worked hard, they really have,” Anderson coach Glen Drury said.

Not everyone was in uniform Saturday, but Anderson got an unexpected lift when senior guard Christian Estes, who had missed the two previous games with chicken pox, suited up. Estes came off the bench to score 15 points, but his presence energized the Bearcats in a way that cannot be measured on the score book.

“He came in here this afternoon and didn't have any fever,” Drury said of Estes. “He said his doctor said he was good to go because he was scabbed over.”

Estes, an all-region performer last year, entered the game late in the first quarter and promptly bagged a 3-pointer. It was one of seven the Bearcats recorded in the first eight minutes.

“Oh, Estes just loves to play the game,” Drury said. “We are a much better team with him in the lineup. He has that shooter's mentality. He is going to make shots.”

Just like Austin Cummins did in the first quarter. Cummins hit five threes in the opening frame and ended up leading all scorers with 17 points.

“We tried to get him some shots early. He got on one of those rolls when everything was going in. If he is hitting shots and Estes is hitting shots, we can be a pretty good team.”

Anderson jumped out to a 23-10 first quarter lead, kept doubling the score through much of the second stanza, then cruised to the win. Darius Harvey scored 13 points in a reserve role while Luke Mann added 12.

“What I like about tonight's game was the balanced scoring,” Drury said. “That is really is what this team has to be about. We can't be as successful with one person scoring 30 or 35 points then everybody else way down here. Tonight, we were balanced. I have been preaching that all year.

“If we really want to win the (30th) District, we have got to work harder on balanced scoring.”

Anderson dished out 20 assists against the Panthers. Many of those extra passes came feeding Harvey and Mann in the low post.

“We are a much better team when we have Darius Harvey as a low post player,” Drury said. “He didn't take any plays off tonight. He played like he wanted the basketball and he was doing things I know this young man can do.”

While Anderson cruised, the Bearcats were fortunate that Frankfort, now 5-16, was unable to capitalize on a Bearcat lull to start the second half. “We started the third quarter out slow,” Drury noted. “We turned the ball over and we were lucky they didn't come back on us and cut it down quick.”

Still, Drury believed the Bearcats could have turned a corner Saturday.

“Our defense was so much better. Our application of the scouting report was better,” Drury said. “Tonight, we paid attention to detail and to what the other club did. We have to do that to be successful.”

 

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