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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Bearcats avoid Senior Night trap with win over KCD

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Linzy a bright spot for Anderson

By John Herndon

The trap had been set for Anderson County last Tuesday.

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It was Senior Night for Bearcat basketball, a time when emotions can run rampant and get the best of any team.

A starting guard, sophomore Austin Cummins, who had led Anderson in scoring for much of the month of February, used crutches to hobble to the end of the Bearcat bench and stayed there the whole game after a possible knee injury.

Most of all, another set of Bearcats, these hailing from Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville, had come to town. Despite being dwarfed by their much more powerful basketball neighbors, Anderson coach Glen Drury had warned sticking to the task at hand, beating a team that was better than its reputation.

“There is no doubt our focus was not there. The energy level was there but our focus was not,” Drury said. “I kept telling the kids, 'Don't be surprised by how good they are.'”

It might have taken Anderson two quarters to completely buy into Drury's warning. Anderson rallied from a 28-25 halftime deficit to post a 62-49 win in the home finale.

Anderson improved to 20-2, the fifth time in seven years the Bearcats have captured at least 20 victories.

Yet, Anderson did not take the lead for good until Austin Linzy's layup put Anderson in front 36-35 inside the final minute of the third quarter.

“I wanted to do whatever it took,” Linzy said. “I got the ball and was aggressive. The ball just went in.”

“It was just one of those plays. In the game of basketball, there are so many 50-50 chances you have to cume up with those,” Drury said. “I thought Austin Linzy was one of our bright spots.”

Fittingly, Linzy's play came exactly in the middle of a decisive 10-0 run that put Anderson in control.

Anderson went on to extend the lead to 48-38 – Linzy punctuated the 18-3 spree with a quick spin move on the block for a layup – then coasted home.

Anderson had nearly stepped into the trap with a lack of focus. Country Day forged a 19-12 lead after a quarter and appeared to have Anderson still reeling three minutes into the second half. Following a flurry of turnovers, poor shots and missed defensive assignments, a spell from which Anderson was lucky to escape only down 34-30, Drury called time.

“We came out thinking, 'It is Senior Night. We will get a big win,'” Linzy said. “We were thinking they're not that good. They came out with their best punch. We took their best punch and came back.”

Anderson got a nice lift from sophomore guard Josh Brown, who saw his first extended varsity playing time in Cummins' absence. “We found Brown off the bench to energize us. Without Brown, we probably don't win this game,” Drury said. “Brown started making hustle plays. He was getting the 50-50 balls I didn't think we were getting.”

Junior Christian Estes led Anderson with 21 points while Jay Smith tallied 18 in his final game on Glen Drury Court.

 

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