Photos: New Cath Takes Down Cooper; Holy Cross Beats Dixie
The 9th Region boys basketball semifinals are set. Holy Cross and Newport Central Catholic advanced Friday night with relative ease and will face each other on Sunday in the second game, following Covington Catholic and Conner.
In Friday night's first game at BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University, two of the region's top teams collided. Cooper entered with a record of 24-4 against New Cath's 25-4, the Jaguars demise in the district title game against Conner landing them in a first-round match-up with the Thoroughbreds. Cooper was also recovering from some injuries with Sean McNeil and Adam Kunkel returning to action after being hurt. Junior guard Dante Hendrix remained on the sidelines with a broken wrist.
New Cath took full advantage.
A Luke Moeves three put the 'Breds up 19-2 late in the second quarter, a runt hat was finally stopped by Sean McNeil and Kunkel baskets. New Cath went to the locker room leading 26-9.
In the second half, Cooper would get as close as 8, when Sean McNeil hit a 3 to cut the lead to 30-22. A Ben Weyer three gave New Cath a 10-point lead at 35-25 as the third quarter expired.
The 'Breds were able to maintain a comfortable distance from there and pulled away for a 48-34 win. New Cath improves to 26-4 on the season while Cooper's run ends at 24-5.
Weyer led all scorers with 16 while Moeves and Brennan Hall chipped in 11 and 12, respectively. Sean McNeil led Cooper with 14 points.
In the night's second act, Holy Cross found themselves back in the regional tournament for the first time since 2004. That year, the Indians were ousted by Dixie Heights. On Friday, the result would be different.
The first half was competitive with Holy Cross taking a 4-point lead into the intermission at 25-21 but the Indians opened up the game in the third quarter using a 14-0 run, including 4 consecutive 3-point baskets, to lead 44-31 with one quarter to go.
Dixie couldn't get anything going to mount a comeback and Holy Cross finished the game with a 58-46 victory.
Holy Cross improves to 23-8 while Dixie's season ends at 18-11. Leighton Schrand put in 13 and Tyler Bezold scored 11 for Holy Cross. Dixie was led by Tyler Schreck and his 14 points while A.J. Plitzuweit and Hunter Meyer each scored 10.
The Indians will take on the Thoroughbreds of New Cath at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, after the 1 p.m. match-up between Covington Catholic (27-6) and Conner (18-10).
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher
Photos by Brian Frey, RCN photographer