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Holmes, Scott, Newport Win Big at Lloyd Invitational

The Lloyd Memorial Invitational kicked off Saturday and it was a day of big wins for the local teams.

Holmes 79, Collegiate 34

Holmes blasted Collegiate (Lou.), 79-34, in the first round of the Lloyd Memorial Tournament at Lloyd High School on Saturday.

With star shooting guard James “Beetle” Bolden not in uniform, the question immediately became who would step up in the senior's place. Freshman guard Raavai Commodore started in his slot and played well, but it probably wouldn't have mattered had he played poorly simply because the Bulldogs were so much more talented than Collegiate. Junior guard Marcus Mullins got things going with an early three and the game was essentially over.

Collegiate only dressed seven players on the evening, and Holmes was far too quick in transition for Collegiate to handle. This combination led to a quick trouncing as the Bulldogs' early full-court trap proved so challenging for the Titans, even getting the ball across halfcourt proved hard to accomplish.

Collegiate took a time out right away after being bothered by the Holmes full court trap, then threw a turnover on a bad inbounds pass. Collegiate lacked confidence passing the basketball in the early going and committed a ton of fouls. At one point they had three straight turnovers before even crossing the half court line.

Holmes annihilated Collegiate in every phase of the game, forcing them into terrible ball handling and very difficult shots. The game was impossible for them to win with such a speed and athleticism advantage for the Bulldogs.

Head coach Mike Listerman used a heavy rotation of reserves in the game giving a number of deep bench players ample minutes in the blowout. Every Bulldog on the team scored in the win. Senior guard Markel McClendon ended up as the game's top scorer with 16 points and senior center Rod Avery chipped in 13, including many impressive transition finishes. Avery is the team's tallest player but handles the ball well in the open floor and has a soft touch on shots where he draws contact.

The Bulldogs advance to the second-round of the Lloyd Memorial Tournament where they will play Walton-Verona​, which beat Woodford Co. 49-40, at 4:30 on Sunday.

Scott 78, (Richmond) Model 34

Scott followed Holmes' lead by blowing out Model, 78-34, at the Lloyd Invitational.

Any concerns Scott head coach Brad Carr had about his team shooting the ball well almost immediately evaporated as his team came out of the game on fire, knocking down 11 three-pointers in the first half and gaining a lightning fast 59-20 halftime advantage.

The Eagles moved the ball superbly, swinging it around the parameter and finding the open man for quality shots which they made the vast majority of. In pregame warmups, Scott practiced passing to the open man and it showed up right away once the game time began .Guard Jake Ohmer was especially impressive as he displayed a deft touch from the outside, converting on five three-pointers and 17 points in the half. Ohmer finished with a game-high 23 points and eight assists in less than three quarters of accumulated minutes.

Teammate Andrew Trame was only barely outdone by Ohmer as he knocked down four from three-point land himself and wound up with 14 by the half. Forward Darlan Witherspoon also cracked double-digits by halftime, finishing with 10.

Model fell victim to sloppy ball handling which resulted in enough turnovers to make for an almost immediate blowout thanks to the sharpness of the Scott Eagles. Model head coach Wes Scarberry blew a fuse when talking to his team during an early time out as he slammed his clip board to the floor, screamed at his players' faces and punched a nearby padded wall in frustration. The feeling was likely shared by the rest of his team as their faces grew longer and longer after watching so many shots fall for the Eagles.

By the third quarter, Coach Carr had subbed in the back of his bench and watched his team coast to an easy victory. There were ten different Eagles that scored in the game, and as a team they totaled a healthy 28 assists on the game.

They will play Boone County, which beat Augusta 74-40, in the second round of the winners bracket in the Lloyd Invitational on Sunday.

Newport 64, Iroquois 47

Newport junior guard Ethan Snapp once again led the Wildcats in scoring with 22 points and also had seven rebounds and four assists in the 64-47 win over Iroquois at the Lloyd Memorial Invitational Tournament. Snapp is one of the region's top scorers and has helped Newport battle back to an even 5-5 record on the season. Guard Paul Price helped out mightily with 18 points of his own and also had six boards and four assists.

Newport plays Conner, which beat Bracken Co. 88-76, in the second round on Sunday.

In other games at Lloyd, Stewart Creek (TN) beat Lloyd 68-38, while at the Ashland Invitational, Dixie Heights beat East Carter 47-38, and Holy Cross took care of Ashland Blazer 65-59 in overtime.

Heritage Academy fell to Beth Haven 62-39 in the Beth Haven Classic and Highlands won against Danville 41-40 in the Coach Bob Classic. Simon Kenton and Covington Catholic both fell in the first round of the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic with the Pioneers losing to (Cincinnati) Aiken 71-61, and the Colonels being downed by Boyle County 69-58.

St. Henry beat Ludlow 67-46 and Beechwood was in Frankfort to face Franklin Co. 

-Bryan Burke, associate editor, and staff reports

Photo: Holmes takes on Collegiate on Saturday/RCN