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The North Hardin Trojans are coming off a 50-47 victory over Elizabethtown, but coach Ron Bevars told his team after the game it was only halftime.
To earn the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 17th District Tournament, the Trojans needed to beat Elizabethtown and Central Hardin this week. With part one completed, North Hardin turns its attention to the Bruins.
“I told them to enjoy the win, but it’s only halftime,” Bevars said. “We’ve got to get the next one. There was not much celebration in the locker room. I told them they played good and I was proud of them, but now we have to get ready for the next one.”
The next one is tonight when North Hardin (15-7, 4-3 district) hosts Central Hardin (8-9, 3-3) at 7:30 in Ron Bevars Gymnasium. The Bruins can earn the second seed with a win tonight and Tuesday at Fort Knox.
“The next two games are important,” Central Hardin coach J.C. Wright said. “We sort of control our own destiny. We want to finish up the district playing well, so the next two games we need to begin playing well again.”
Central Hardin needs to turn things around as it enters on a three-game losing skid. The Bruins have been without senior center Tyler McCullough and senior forward Alex Crowder because of injuries during the slide. McCullough, who has a left shoulder injury, will not play tonight, while Wright said Crowder, who has a sprained ankle, will be a game-time decision.
“Alex gives us that spark,” Wright said. “I think we’ve missed him. He creates turnovers and gets steals. We’ve missed that the last three games. We’re not shooting well lately. We haven’t been taking care of the basketball and not making shots. When you’re not hitting shots, you’re not going to win too many games.”
Despite Central Hardin’s recent trend, Bevars said the Trojans can’t take the Bruins lightly. North Hardin rallied late in the first meeting to pull out a 57-54 victory Jan. 2 at Bruin Gym.
“I think the biggest thing with them is they play as hard as you can play,” Bevars said. “You know when you play them, they are going to play with grit, determination and will power. You have to admire that kind of spirit. We have to come ready to play.”
LaRue County plays at Caverna tonight at 8 in an 18th District game with the winner earning the top seed for the district tournament. The Colonels (11-8, 3-2 district) won the first meeting, 53-48 on Dec. 14, but the Hawks (11-6, 3-1) topped Caverna, 67-64 in the championship of LaRue County’s National Guard Classic 15 days later.
Other boys’ games tonight are: Elizabethtown (11-7) at Adair County (14-7); and Meade County (6-14) at Breckinridge County (14-4). On Saturday, No. 11 John Hardin (16-3) plays No. 4 Madison Central (16-3) in the Joe B. Hall Classic at Montgomery County.
Chuck Jones can be reached at (270) 505-1759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.