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Cov Cath Has No Trouble With Ryle

Covington Catholic got their second win in as many nights as they frazzled Ryle with their full-court defense, and beat the Raiders, 61-39, in Park Hills on Saturday night.

It was not a particularly pretty game for either side, but was especially ugly for Ryle who committed 25 turnovers on the evening. It was clear from the start that the Colonels were determined to put the screws to the Raider ball-handlers every time they inbounded the ball. The score should have been even further apart had it not been for a rather mediocre scoring performance for the Colonels in the first half.

Whether Cov Cath was fatigued some from outlasting top-ranked New Cath in the late game Friday night at The Bank of Kentucky Center was hard to say, but the team seemed short on a lot of their shots and had two airballed free-throws in the second half.

Nonetheless, they collectively put the pedal to the metal not only on defense, but also on every rebound as senior forward Bo Schuh showed his ability to deliver accurate and quick outlet passes that materialized into many transition baskets by both sophomore shooting guard Cole Von Handorf who had a quality night leading all scorers with 23 points and Cooper Theobald who finished with 10. Schuh also had his regular night of well-rounded play with eight points and 11 rebounds and was pivotal at setting the pace off of those many rebounds.

Ryle, on other hand, couldn't maintain possession long enough to find any kind of rhythm offensively and they hit a low when they were only able to score four total points in the second quarter. They had a heck of a time dealing the tenacious pressure the Colonels brought to the defensive end their guards had to make frantic decisions with the ball every time they touched it. Had it not been for a sub-par shooting performance by Cov Cath, the game would have been a blowout in the first half.

It's no secret that the Colonels like to get out an run, and their built do just that. When they pick up the tempo, it's easy to see head coach Scott Ruthsatz's vision of a team in transition come to life, but the three-point shooting may be a concern for the Cov Cath coaching staff. They certainly have capable shooters on the roster, and VonHandorf is a natural scorer, but last night against New Cath they went 3-11 and tonight went 0-13. Also because of the preferred pace Cov Cath would like to play, guards on both ends of the floor are often forced to drive the lane to the hoop which creates a lot of charge/block scenarios where invariably at least two players hit the deck as a result. It puts the pressure on the officials to make the calls and the flow of the game becomes jilted when this happens. It isn't unreasonable to suspect that this kind of steady pounding from the hitting the floor may take some of the wind out of the players and they aren't able to shoot the ball from the outside because of it.

The three-point woes for the Colonels did not effect the outcome in this one against the Raiders, though. The guards were shaken all night long, exemplified by the starting combo giving up 14 turnovers of their own. Frustrations came to a head when a Ryle player pushed Bo Schuh in the second half after a foul call. Cooler heads prevailed and the Colonels used the occasion to make an 11-point lead into a 20-point lead in very little time.

Cov Cath (13-4) gets to rest until Tuesday when they host Conner and then play again at The Bank of Kentucky Center on Friday night in a big matchup against Holmes.

Ryle (4-13) hosts Conner on Friday night.

Story & photo by Bryan Burke, associate editor