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BASKETBALL: Bearcats sizzle nets, fizzle down stretch

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Collins rallies for district win

By John Herndon

Even a night when Anderson County was burning the nets was not enough in a district matchup at Collins last Tuesday.

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The Bearcats shot better than 73 percent (19-for-26) and missed just one two-point field goal attempt all night but still came up short in a 63-55 decision that dropped the Bearcats to 0-2 in 30th District play.

Anderson had led 49-44 early in the fourth quarter, but Collins rallied to sew up the top seed in the district tournament, to be held at Shelby County in late February.

Collins (15-2, 3-0) held Anderson scoreless over a six-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.

“Our execution was tremendous until the game was on the line,” said Anderson coach Glen Drury. “Give Collins the credit. They were able to create turnovers when they were behind.”

In a back-and-forth game, Anderson was not able to salt the upset away in the final minutes. “We are playing better. Our execution has gotten better, but we are not playing well down the stretch,” Drury said.

Guard Austin Cummins led Anderson with 20 points, hitting five 3-point shots on the night. Christian Estes added 13 points and sank a trio of threes.

Ralphie Stone led Collins with 28 points.

“We are struggling at times because we are playing with a point guard by committee. We have not learned how to close games out,” Drury said. “But at Collins we did play more as a team than we have been.”

Games with Carroll County at home and at Mercer County were victims to last week's inclement weather. At press time, no make-up dates had been announced. Drury said he has tried to make the best of the situation.

“This club is behind in practice and working on their execution,” Drury said, “but playing games is so much different than practices.

“You deal with what you can deal with,” he said.

Drury was reminded that his 2009 state tournament team also faced significant weather woes in January. He says there is one huge difference, though. “That 2009 team had more experience and had an experienced point guard in Will Ruggles. They had played together three or four years. This team will be together a year or year-and-a half. That is big difference.”

Anderson will travel to Western Hills Friday night and then go to Spencer County for a huge district game on Tuesday night. The winner of that game will play Shelby County in the first round of the district tournament, but the loser will try to derail Collins in the district opener.

 

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