With a 71-44 loss to Bowling Green, the Todd County Central Rebels’ season ended in the semifinals of the 4th Region tournament at Diddle Arena on Monday night. Todd County was looking to return to the regional title game for the first time since the 2001/02 season, when it advanced to the final and lost 70-64 to Warren Central. The Rebels finish the season 19-13, while the Purples improve to 23-10 and will meet Warren Central on Tuesday night with a trip to Rupp Arena on the line.
Senior guard Tashaun Foster opened the game with a jumper, and the Rebels took their first and only lead of the game at 2-0. Down 7-2, junior center Jon Calvery scored the next 7 Rebels points, knocking down two free throws, scoring in the paint, drawing a charge on the defensive end, and capping it with a three-point play to cut the Bowling Green lead to 13-9 with :28 seconds left in the first quarter. However, the Purples hit an off-balance three pointer at the buzzer to take their largest lead at 7.
The Rebels struggled with turnovers in the first quarter, seemingly suffering from nerves, but began to settle in midway through the second quarter. The more pressing problem was the their inability to control the backboard against the taller Purples. Senior guard Nolan Barrow hit two threes to keep the Rebels within 7, before consecutive layups by Foster off Bowling Green turnovers trimmed the margin to 22-19. With 2:55 until halftime, junior guard Clayte Weathers scored to cut the lead to 1, but neither team would score over the next 2:49. The Purples hit two free throws with :5.6 on the clock, taking a 24-21 lead into the locker room.
Neither team had a player in double figures at the break, with Bowling Green freshman Isaiah Mason’s 8 leading all scorers. For the Rebels, Calvery scored 7, followed by Foster and Barrow with 6 each.
Bowling Green scored off a rebound, but a Calvery bucket and a Barrow layup, off a steal and assist by Foster, again cut the lead to 1 at 26-25. From there the game turned, as Purples’ junior Trevor Dennis nailed two three pointers in just over :30 to stretch the advantage to 7, igniting a 12-0 run to send the Rebels reeling. DJ Johnson drove and scored for the Rebels to stop the skid, but Bowling Green closed the period on a 9-0 run to take a 47-27 lead. Todd County was outscored 23-6 in the first eight minutes of the second half.
Rebels’ senior Collin Sharp hauled down a rebound and scored and was fouled, cutting the lead to 17, but they wouldn’t get any closer. Sophomore guard Kimahri Briggs hit one of two free throws for the Rebels’ last point of the season, before the Purples added a late basket for the 71-44 final score.
The Rebels were outrebounded 43-25, allowing 19 offensive boards. Bowling Green scored 44 points in the paint, compared to 24 for Todd County, and the Rebel bench was outscored 36-12.
Barrow was the only Rebel in double figures with 11, followed by Calvery with 9. Foster finished with 6 points, and his 5 rebounds led the team. Weathers had 4 points, Sharp and sophomore guards Bryce Nolan and Tanner McCuiston had 3 each, Johnson and sophomore guard Dominique Morrow had a basket each, and Briggs added a p0int.
Dennis finished with 19 for the Purples, including four three pointers in the third quarter. Mason had 16 and 5 rebounds, and senior Jarius Key notched a double-double with 10 and 10.