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Cov Cath Handles Cooper, Holmes Upset by Boone County

Covington Catholic 61, Cooper 42

Covington Catholic extended their winning streak to 11 games, taking care of Cooper on Tuesday night at home, 61-42.

The Colonels got a fight from the Jaguars early on as Cooper played without their best player, sophomore Sean McNeil, who averages over 18 points a game this season. Nonetheless, the Cooper defense looked to have found something in the first quarter when their 1-3-1 zone and its ability to cut off driving lanes and collapse into the paint, frustrated the Colonels into 13 points in the first period.

Cov Cath sophomore guard Cole VonHandorf still managed to reach double figures in the first half with 11 points, mostly by attacking the rim to the left side on breaks, but the rest of his Colonel teammates were slow to become active on offense themselves. By halftime, Cov Cath had a five-point lead, 27-22, but the team needed a spark by someone other than VonHandorf to keep the defending state champions on the right side of their winning streak.

Fortunately for Colonels head coach Scott Ruthsatz and the rest of the team, senior forward Bo Schuh became that man who carried his squad to the finish line with a very strong second half, finishing with a game-high 23 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. He had two meaningful dunks in the game as well, the first coming off of a steal that put Cov Cath in the lead for good in the second quarter and the other on an ally-oop pass from senior guard Cooper Theobald that extended the lead to 19 points in the final quarter and all but sealed the deal for the Colonels.

Schuh found openings in the Cooper zone in the second half that allowed him to get easy looks at the basket and put him at the free-throw line where he, like the rest of the team, were excellent on the night. Schuh was 9-11 from the charity stripe and the rest of the team went 17-19. Conversely, Cooper appeared to have tired legs in the second half, partly from the CCH full-court man-to-man defense, and hit just 11-18 free-throws after halftime and 4-17 from the field over the final two quarters.

Schuh's 23 points, VonHandorf's 20 and Theobald's 12, accounted for 55 of the Colonels' 65 points in the game and made it possible to win without really any bench scoring. Without McNeil on the floor for Cooper, the Jaguars simply did not have enough firepower to hang with the top-ranked team in the region for the full 32 minutes of the game.

Cov Cath (22-4) will travel to Newport next on Thursday, while Cooper (15-7)  will play at Campbell County on Thursday.

 

Boone County 97, Holmes 83

The third-ranked Holmes Bulldogs were shocked by Boone County on the road, 97-83 on Tuesday night. The Rebels rained in points, nearly eclipsing the century mark with five players scoring in double digits. It seemed like they made everything, shooting over 70 percent from the field in the game with only one three-pointer scored on the night.

The Bulldogs shot well themselves, with junior guard Markel McClendon leading the team with 26 points and senior guard James Bolden just behind him at 23, but it was not enough as they were pounded inside both for points and for rebounds. The Rebels nearly doubled the rebounding total, 28-15 in the end.

With the loss, Holmes (20-6) further distances itself from the top-two teams in the Ninth Region, Cov Cath and Newport Central Catholic, who are each on long winning streaks. The Bulldogs have a chance to change that when they play New Cath on Friday night at The Bank of Kentucky Center.

Boone County (17-9) hosts Paris (KY) on Friday night.

 

Other Scores:

Simon Kenton 85, Campbell County 78

Bullitt East 62, Dixie 59

Grant County 74, Conner 64

St. Henry 58, Beechwood 53

- Story and photo by Bryan Burke, associate editor

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