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North Hardin’s guards weaved their way through Meade County with seniors Ruben Gosa and Scotty Sterusky and sophomore Tyronn King running the show Tuesday night.
Gosa scored game-highs of 22 points and recorded five steals, while Sterusky added 17 points and King had 11 and a game-high six assists in the Trojans’ 79-53 victory over the Green Wave.
The trio accounted for 63.3 percent of North Hardin’s points, 85.7 percent of its assists and 90 percent of its steals as the Trojans raced past Meade County for the fourth time in their last five meetings.
“They always say defense wins championships so we try to play hard defense and get in the passing lanes. And really, when we’re fast tempo, that’s our game,” said Gosa, who also totaled three assists. “We love running the floor, cause we run suicides all practice. So we don’t get out of shape at all.”
The Trojans had little trouble putting a blitz on Meade County (6-13). North Hardin (14-6) won its second consecutive game and fifth out of its last six as it prepares for a huge battle against 17th District rival John Hardin at 7:30 p.m. Friday. John Hardin is unbeaten in district play at 4-0, while the Trojans are 3-2. The Bulldogs blew out North Hardin, 76-45 on Dec. 14.
Gosa and King said Bevars has been working the Trojans extra hard in practice this week, doing a lot more sprints.
“We’ve got this big game coming up,” Gosa said. “We’ve just been running a lot and going over plays and realizing that we don’t have to blow the team out, we just want to stay in the game with them.”
North Hardin ran away from Meade County with three spurts.
Tied at 5 with 6:13 left in the first, the Trojans went on a 10-2 run to take an eight-point lead with 3:23 to go. They added an 8-0 run with just over 3 minutes left in the second quarter to push their advantage to 40-24 before it was cut to 11 points at halftime. Gosa was a factor in both – scoring the final four points of the first-quarter run and the last six in the second.
But the Trojans put the game away in the third when they outscored the Green Wave, 12-2 over the first 5:30 to take a 52-31 advantage. Gosa hit two free throws and Sterusky made a layup off a Gosa assist before Meade County senior guard Bryce Garris made a basket. Sterusky answered with another basket, Gosa made a layup after a steal and King and senior center Tyler Landry, who scored 12 points, each added baskets off assists from Sterusky and King.
“At halftime really, he (Coach Ron Bevars) just said to keep doing what we’re doing and just don’t let up,” King said. “So we just came out just thinking we had to even pick it up a bit more to bring our lead up and everything.”
The Green Wave, who have lost six of their last eight games and three straight by double digits, struggled from the field. They finished 17-of-50 (34 percent), including going just 4-for-14 (28.6 percent) from 3-point range. Bryce Garris led the Green Wave with 14 points. No other Meade County player reached double figures.
“We’re not going to beat anybody, no matter who it is, shooting 35 percent. They shot it well. That’s what we do, I think. We can’t put enough pressure on people and you can just see other teams they get comfortable,” Green Wave coach Jerry Garris said. “You can tell they’re comfortable playing against us because we just can’t put enough pressure on people to get them out of their comfort zone and they’re relaxed and in rhythm.”
NORTH HARDIN 79, MEADE COUNTY 53
Meade County 10 19 10 14—53
North Hardin 17 23 16 23—79
Meade County (6-13)
Bryce Garris 14, John Wilson 5, Micah Kaiser 5, Charles Mattingly 5, Zeb Wilson 4, Luke Wilson 4, Will King 4, Kase Mattingly 4, Connor Williams 3, Trevor Yates 3, Jacob Bewley 2. FG: 17-50. FT: 15-20. 3-pointers: 4-14 (B. Garris 3-9, J. Wilson 1-2, Z. Wilson 0-3). Rebs: 29 (B. Garris 6, Williams 6). Assists: 8 (J. Wilson 3, Z. Wilson 2, Mattingly 2). Steals: 7 (L. Wilson 2, Mattingly 2).
North Hardin (14-6)
Ruben Gosa 22, Scotty Sterusky 17, Tyler Landry 12, Tyronn King 11, Khalil Rasheed 5, Kobe Spruiell 4, Joseph Freeman 4, Malik Thomas 2, Will Alexander 2. FG: 30-56. FT: 15-21. 3-pointers: 4-15 (King 1-2, Sterusky 1-2, Gosa 1-7, Thomas 0-1). Rebs: 32 (Sterusky 8, Landry 7, King 6). Assists: 14 (King 6, Gosa 3, Sterusky 3). Steals: 10 (Gosa 5, Sterusky 4).
UP NEXT: North Hardin hosts John Hardin at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Meade County hosts Muhlenberg County at 8 p.m. Saturday.
John Groth can be reached at (270) 505-1754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.