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By CHUCK JONES email@example.com
After Tuesday night’s loss to John Hardin, Central Hardin coach J.C. Wright vowed his team would find its “fire” again.
Wright will get a chance to see if the Bruins have rekindled that fire tonight when they play the Fort Knox Eagles in the first game of a boy/girl doubleheader at Bruin Gym. The boys’ game is slated for 6 p.m. followed by the girls’ game at 8.
“We came back Wednesday and we talked about being more aggressive with and without the ball,” Wright said. “I thought there were a lot of loose balls that they got. We weren’t playing hard and I hope we got their attention Wednesday. We had a good day of practice Wednesday and a good day today.”
The Bruins (9-5 overall) need this game to keep pace with North Hardin and John Hardin, the top two teams in the 17th District, respectively. The Bruins are 2-2 in the district, while North Hardin is 5-0 and John Hardin 2-1.
“You can’t take any district games lightly,” Wright said. “They are coming off a big win over (Bardstown) Bethlehem. If they are hitting (shots), they can cause you some problems.”
It’s also a big weekend for the Lady Bruins (9-5, 0-3), who play two district games. In addition to playing Fort Knox (1-11, 0-4) on Friday, they turn around and play at John Hardin (2-10, 1-2) on Saturday.
Central Hardin hasn’t played since last Thursday – a 51-34 loss to Elizabethtown – but coach Terry Buckles said his team used the time wisely.
“We used this time to concentrate on us more than the teams we were playing,” Buckles said. “We played a lot of games in a short period of time. The good thing about it is I got a pretty good evaluation of the things we needed to work on. We had a good week of practice. I think we’ve gotten better, but we’ll find out this weekend.”
Central Hardin and Fort Knox isn’t the only doubleheader this weekend as LaRue County plays host to Hart County in an important 18th District twinbill. The girls’ game is set for 6:30 p.m. followed by the boys’ at 8 p.m.
LaRue County boys’ coach Paul Childress said this game is important for several reasons. The Hawks (14-2, 3-1) still control their own destiny when it comes to district seeding, but they can ill afford a loss.
“I don’t think we were satisfied with our effort (against Green County) last Friday,” Childress said. “We need to have that fire in our belly. We need to be ready to play. The one seed is still open. We need to show that grit and desire tomorrow night.”
Childress said the Hawks, who dropped two games last week after opening the season with 13 consecutive wins, need to improve in two areas.
“We didn’t rebound or play defense at all last week,” Childress said. “If you are going to beat good quality teams, you need to do those two things. That’s two big areas we need to improve upon down the stretch.”
The Lady Hawks (8-5, 2-2) have won three of their last four games, while Hart County (11-4, 3-2) has won three straight. If the Lady Raiders win, they secure the second seed for the district tournament.
In other action:
n North Hardin (11-6) travels to take on one of the top teams in the 5th Region on Friday night when the Trojans play Taylor County (10-4), which is led by senior guard Chase Cox and senior forward Leonard Macon. Cox is averaging 23.7 points a game.
n Elizabethtown (5-9) will play a pair of 3rd Region teams this weekend. The Panthers play at Owensboro (11-3) on Friday and host Breckinridge County (6-7) on Saturday.
n Central Hardin, John Hardin and North Hardin all play Saturday in the Outback Steakhouse 5th/6th Region Challenge at Bullitt East. John Hardin (12-3) plays North Bullitt (3-13) at 4 p.m. followed by North Hardin and Bullitt East (8-8). The nightcap will be Central Hardin against Bullitt Central (1-12).
n Meade County plays a doubleheader Friday night against 11th District foe Cloverport Frederick Fraize. The Lady Waves (5-11) are looking to snap a three-game slide, while the Green Wave (9-5) are looking for their third consecutive victory.
Chuck Jones can be reached at 505-1759