By JAMES BROWN
Bowling Green turned the defensive screws on Scott County in the fourth quarter of their Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen quarterfinal game Friday at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
The result was an 18-6 run in the final period and a 68-53 victory for the Purples. They have punched their ticket to the semifinal round Saturday at 5:30 p.m. central and will play Scott High.
A close game through three quarters broke loose in Bowling Green’s favor midway in the fourth. Terry Taylor nailed a jumper then Deangelo Wilson stole the ball and got it to Zion Harmon, who was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. Harmon hit all three free throws to give the Purples a 55-49 lead with 4:52 left in the final period.
Scott County, which was rated as the No. 1 team in the state tournament, did not go away immediately. Michael Moreno hit a pair of feebies for the Cardinals before Kyran Jones tipped in a missed layup by Taylor.
Moreno next missed a layup, but Lorenzo Williams was there to clean up with a layup. With 2:52 to play, Scott County was still within four points of Bowling Green, 57-53. But it was the Cardinals final points scored in the game.
From there, the Purples put the game away at the foul line.
Wilson was fouled with 2:27 left and he hit both free throws. After a missed jumper and missed 3 by the Cardinals, Harmon was fouled and he hit both charities.
Bowling Green led 61-53 with 1:31 left in the game, but the run wasn’t done.
Wilson stole the ball and assisted Trey Jones on a jumper. Wilson next came up with a defensive rebound. He was fouled and hit two free throws with 54 seconds left in the game.
Taylor added another free throw and Wilson buried two more to set the final score of 68-53.
The Purples never trailed in the game, but also did not lead by more than 8 points until Trey Jones’ layup with 1:05 left in the game.
Taylor and Wilson each scored 20 points for Bowling Green, while Harmon added 16. Taylor also had 14 rebounds and three blocks, while Kyran Jones grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Purples are in the state semifinals for the third time in four years.
(NOTE: Stats and play-by-play information for this story is courtesy of the Kentucky High School Athletics Association.)
James Brown is digital director for Commonwealth Broadcasting. He spent 20 years covering high school sports in Kentucky and Mississippi. You can listen to his show Brown Sports Bag on ESPN 1230 AM in Glasgow at 4 p.m. each Monday. He is joined by veteran basketball coach John Butler. Follow him on Twitter @JbrownESPNKY.