Holmes Rolls Over Ludlow, Honors Last Year's Regional Champs
In the team's final game of the regular season before their defense of the regional title crown, the Holmes Bulldogs hoisted a new banner in the Field House.
Holmes won the 9th Region tournament in 2013 and represented Northern Kentucky in the state Sweet 16 before falling to eventual champions Madison Central in the quarterfinals. The team won a school-record twenty-five straight games (the first 25 games of the season) and finished with a 32-3 record.
Three graduated players from that team returned to Holmes on Saturday and were recognized before the Bulldogs cruised to victory over Ludlow, 71-38.
Quan Palmer, BJ Coston, and Chris Englemon reunited with Head Coach Jason Booher prior to the game as the banner was hung on the wall, now part of a collection in Holmes's tradition of basketball excellence that includes district and regional titles throughout the decades and the 2009 state championship.
Meanwhile, this year's team made a defensive statement as the post-season arrives. The Bulldogs forced turnovers and converted, though it was not the best shooting display of the season.
Holmes bolted to a 22-9 lead at the end of the first quarter after an 8-0 run. That run turned into twelve unanswered points as the second quarter got underway and the Bulldogs extended their lead to twenty-two at the half, 39-17.
The out-manned Panthers (16-10) never threatened and Holmes (24-5) continued to pull away for the 33-point victory.
Quinton Chames led all scorers with 16 points for the Bulldogs while teammates Markel McClendon put in 14, and Daequan Glover sunk twelve points.
Ludlow shot just 33% from the field. Holmes had ten steals on the day while the Panthers had none.
Holmes next plays on Wednesday in the 35th District semifinals against Beechwood. That game is at the Bank of Kentucky Center at 7:30 p.m. The winner plays the winner of the Covington Catholic vs. Holy Cross or Covington Latin on Saturday at 7:30.
Ludlow travels to face St. Henry at St. Henry in the semifinals of the 34th District tournament at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News
Photos by Brian Frey, RCN contributor: