Turnovers are brutal in a basketball game because they take away an opportunity to even get a shot up at the basket. That impact is magnified even more in a low-scoring, defensive contest. University Heights Academy’s defense limited Christian County to 14 field goals while forcing the Colonels into 20 turnovers, on their way to a 52-34 win in an 8th District boys’ semifinal Monday night at Hopkinsville High School.
The Colonels committed 15 of their 20 turnovers in the first half as UHA was able to gain control of the game. The Blazers used an early 7-0 run to take a 7-2 lead and then closed out the first quarter by scoring the final five points to hold a 14-8 margin after the first eight minutes of the contest.
UHA used an 8-0 run in the opening moments of the 2nd quarter to move the lead out to 22-10. Christian County would get no closer than eight points for the rest of the night, as the Blazer defense, in addition to forcing turnovers, did not allow the Colonels many good looks at the hoops. UHA’s would hold a 24-15 lead at the half.
The Blazers got a big opening half from both K.J. Crump and Amani McGee. The senior duo combined to score 16 points in the first 16 minutes.
While Christian County’s defense did enough to keep them in range early in the second half, and the offense did better with ball security, the Colonels still had trouble getting shots to fall. On the other side, UHA could not find a way to put the Colonels away for good. JaSean Riley and Herb Forte got Christian County enough offense to hang around at 37-26 at the end of the third quarter.
However, the Colonels could not find a way to make a run to take a big bite out of the lead in the 4th quarter. Once Christian County started gambling on defense and having to foul to try and get back in the game, the Blazers knocked down enough free throws to close out the win. In fact, UHA’s final ten points of the game came at the line, as they pulled out to the final 18 point margin.
UHA’s K.J. Crump led all scorers in the game with 18 points. Amani McGee chipped in with 16, while William Bryan added 9.
Herb Forte was the only player to reach double figures for Christian County, finishing the night with 11 points. JaSean Riley had 7, all of them coming in the second half of play.
Christian County finishes their COVID impacted season with a record of 0-11.
UHA improves to 11-9 and will play Hopkinsville in the 8th District championship game Wednesday night. The Tigers won the only meeting this season between the two teams 82-78 on March 4th in Blazer Gym. The win also gives the Blazers their 4th straight trip to the 8th District title game and 2nd Region tournament.
CCHS — 8 7 11 8 – 34
UHA — 14 10 13 15 – 52
Christian County (0-11) – Forte 11, Riley 7, T. Vaughn 4, Bateman 4, K.J. Vaughn 3, Leavell 3, Miles 2
University Heights (11-9) – Crump 18, McGee 16, Bryan 9, Grubbs 5, Quarles 2, Braxton 2