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Gallatin ends Bearcat dream

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By John Herndon

NEW CASTLE -- Gallatin County ended Anderson County's Sweet 16 dream with a 63-56 win in the first round of the boys' Eighth Region tournament Thursday night at Henry County High School.

In a game that was tied at the half, Anderson opened a 32-25 lead midway through the third quarter, but Gallatin's Taylor Jones buried back-to-back 3-pointers to pull his team within 34-31. Jones later made a sensational flip just before the end of the third quarter to tie things.

"Those were two really big shots," Anderson coach Glen Drury said of Jones' long ball barrage. "We didn't answer that."

Anderson had four consecutive turnovers to start the fourth quarter and then missed four consecutive shots, three on one possession. Gallatin made the Bearcats pay with a 7-0 run that made it 45-38 with 3:34 to play.

"Anderson is such a disciplined team and we had talked to our kids about having to capitalize when they make a mistake," said Gallatin coach Jon Jones.

Gallatin spread the floor after getting the lead and utilized its superior one-on-one skills to repeatedly get open for layups. Gallatin shot 68 percent on shots inside the 3-point arc.

Anderson senior Seth Goodlett led a furious Anderson rally as he nailed three 3-pointers in the final 2:27 but the Bearcats never got closer than 2 points.

Gallatin put four players in double figures, led by Trent Maddox's 20 points. Anderson's C.J. Penny, battling a lingering illness, led Anderson with 18 points.

Gallatin, now 23-7, moves on to Monday's semifinal, where it plays North Oldham, a 70-61 winner over Walton-Verona in the second game.

Anderson finished at 20-6.

See the March 12 edition of The Anderson News for complete coverage.