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Knights defeat Green County in a nail biter

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Bardstown holds off Marion County boys in the regional semifinals

By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County Knights varsity basketball team traveled to Central Hardin High School to take on the Green County Dragons in the first round of the 5th Region Tournament Thursday. After taking down the Dragons earlier in the season by 30 points, the Knights found themselves in a close battle that came down to the final minute of the game. Sophomore Latrelle Irvin led the way with 20 points for the Knights in the 50-49 win.
Each team made runs of at least five unanswered points during the first quarter.  The lead went back and forth until a late bucket by Green County gave them a 13-11 advantage after the first period. In the second period, the Knights regained the lead and momentum. A 10-0 spurt by Marion County late in the half propelled them to a seven point halftime lead.
A three-pointer by sophomore Alex Smith midway through the third period gave the Knights their biggest lead of the night with a score of 38-25. Green County responded with a 10-0 run to cut the lead back to just three points. The third frame ended with a free throw by Irvin that gave the Knights a 43-40 lead.
The opening bucket of the final frame gave Marion County their biggest lead of the quarter at five points. The Dragons connected on three-pointers on their next two possessions to cut the lead to just one point with five minutes remaining in the game. Marion County connected on three free throws to push the lead back to four points before Green County nailed another three-pointer with under one minute remaining to trim the deficit to one point once again. After a last ditch effort by the Dragons came off the rim, the Knights were relieved and advanced to the semifinals with the one-point victory.
"We came out flat and never got it together," Head Coach Montrelle Irvin said. "It's one of those games where nothing seems like it's working, but at this time of year you just want to advance to the next round."
Irvin also commented on the defense of Green County.
"They did a great job chasing John Southall all night, and they hit big shots too," Irvin said. "We have to hit our shots and get to all of those 50/50 balls."

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Green Co    13     8    19     9 - 49
Marion Co  11   17    15     7 - 50
Marion County (20-11): Latrelle Irvin 20, Vincent Collins 10, Clay Lanham 7, John Southall 6, Carlos Litsey 4, Alex Smith 3
Green County (8-23): Colton Bush 14, Samuel Jones 12, Brennen Milby 7, Weston McDermott 6, Jordan Buckner 5, Levi Ratliff 4, Cody Houchens 1

For the second straight season, the Marion County Knights and the Bardstown Tigers met in the semifinals of the regional tournament, and for the second straight year, the Tigers got the best of the Knights.  After last year's 59-31 loss to Bardstown, the Knights looked to make a game of it this year.  After charging out early to a 10-3 lead, the Tigers scored the next nine points to take the lead back.  The Knights struggled to keep pace with Bardstown in the second and third quarters, and found themselves in a 13-point hole heading into the fourth period.  Marion County mounted a comeback in the final frame and trimmed the lead to just five points with one minute remaining.  After a Bardstown free throw made the score 63-60 with just over four seconds remaining, a last ditch three-point effort by John Southall was off the mark, and the Knights season ended in the regional semifinal game.

Marion Co.  10   12   11   27 - 60
Bardstown   12   18  16   17 - 63
Marion County (20-12): John Southall 22, Latrelle Irvin 13, Carlos Litsey 10, Clay Lanham 6, Vincent Collins 4, Alex Smith 3, Patrick Gribbins 2
Bardstown (25-9): Devonte Grundy 17, Anthony Myrks 14, Marcus Cosby 12, Cody Ramos 10, Jordan Brewer 6, Drew Stark 2, Justin Hubbard 2

Bardstown will face John Hardin in the regional final game on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.  For their efforts in the tournament, John Southall and Latrelle Irvin were selected to the all-tournament team.  Also, Danny Marks will be inducted into the 5th region hall of fame prior to tip off of the Bardstown and John Hardin game.