By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
Marion County came to Springfield Friday night and there was the usual bantering, taunting and teasing going back and forth. And that was just the fans!
To say that Washington and Marion counties enjoy a good old-fashioned rivalry is to grossly understate the situation. It was definitely a lively atmosphere inside the Washington County High School gym as the frenzy reached a fever pitch. In the end, it was the invading Knights who left town with a 57-46 victory.
Junior Alex Simms got WC on the board first, hitting one of two free throws. Marion County kept pace with the Commanders through the first quarter. The Knights took a brief 12-8 lead until senior Lee Mudd hit a three pointer with 1:30 left in the period to pull WC within one. A pair of free throws by Simms tied the score at 15 to end the quarter.
As the second quarter opened, senior Matthew Hale put WC ahead 17-15 with a layup. Again, the Knights battled back and padded their lead to five points, finishing the first half with a 30-25 edge over the Commanders.
As the second half started, Washington County was down by five, but managed to stay in the game, keeping pace with the Knights through three quarters, trailing 40-33 at the end of the third. A trey by Mudd early in the fourth pulled the Commanders to within four, but that would be as close as they would get as Marion County pulled away to earn a 57-46 win on the road.
D.J. Hall had a double-double for Marion County, recording 16 points and 12 rebounds on the night. Other Knights in double figures were Chris Southall with 12 and Chuckie Elder with 10. Marion shot 44 percent from the floor, hitting 18 of 41 shots, including three of 16 from three-point range.
Mudd and John Hamilton both had 11 points on the evening for Washington County. Joe Joe Simms finished with nine points while Will Purdom led the Commanders with eight rebounds. WC shot 34 percent from the field, hitting 14 of 41 shots, including three of 13 three-point attempts.
MCHS 15 15 10 17 - 57
WCHS 15 10 8 13 – 46
Marion Co. (57) – Hall 16, Southall 12, Elder 10, Reed 7, Spalding 6, Buckman 4, Porter 2
3-point shots: Hall 1, Southall 1, Reed 1
Washington Co. (46) – Mudd 11, Hamilton 11, J. Simms 9, A. Simms 7, Purdom 6, Hale 2
3-point shots: Mudd 2, J. Simms 1
The following night, the Commanders traveled to Campbellsville, where they came up short against the Eagles, losing 61-30.
Campbellsvile had a decisive 20-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, and the Eagles outscored the Commanders 12-9 in the second to lead 32-14 at the end of the first half.
Washington County could only muster three points in the third quarter as the Eagles took a 44-17 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play. Campbellsville kept the game out of reach by outscoring WC 17-13 to take the game 61-30.
The Eagles’ Bryton Taylor led Campbellsville with 23 points, while Thomas Downs had 19 rebounds.
Alex Simms led Washington County with 14 points.
WCHS 5 9 3 13 - 30
CHS 20 12 12 17 – 61
Washington Co. (30) – A. Simms 14, Sexton 4, Spalding 4, Mudd 3, Abell 2, Joseph Hamiton 2, J. Simms 1
3-point shots: None
Campbellsville (61) – B. Taylor 23, Downs 8, J. Taylor 8, Percell 6, Rice 6, Davis 5, McCubin 5
3-point shots: B. Taylor 3, J. Taylor 2, Rice 2, Davis 1
Early last week, Washington County went to Taylor County High School to face the Cardinals. The Commanders got behind early and were never able to get in the game, trailing 38-16 at the half.
Despite a better showing in the second half, the Cards were too much for WC as Taylor County won 67-37.
WCHS 8 8 10 11 - 37
TCHS 23 15 14 15 – 67
Washington Co. (37) – Mudd 13, Hale 6, J. Simms 5, Abell 5, A. Simms 3, John Hamilton 2, Purdom 2, Osborne 1
3-point shots: Mudd 1, J. Simms 1
Taylor Co. (67) – Cox 24, Stotts 10, Morris 9, Coulter 9, Moss 9, Seaborne 2, Bradshaw 2, Chewning 2
3-point shots: Cox 4, Coulter 3, Moss 3
As the Washington County Commanders finish up the regular season this weekend, they’ll be preparing to host the 19th District Tournament starting Tuesday when the Commanders face Bardstown in the first round.
“We know what they’re about,” said WC head coach Paul Bodenhamer. “They’re a lot more athletic than we are. We’re going to have to limit their number of possessions and play solid on defense. We have the advantage of playing at home, and we’ll definitely look to exploit that home-court advantage.”
Catch all 19th District Tournament action on WYSB 102.7 FM starting Tuesday night with a girls doubleheader, as the Bethlehem Banshees meet the Nelson County Lady Cards at 6 p.m., followed by the Washington County Commanderettes and Bardstown Lady Tigers at 8 p.m.
See next week’s issue of The Springfield Sun for the rest of the 19th District Tournament schedule, as well as highlights and photos online at www.readthesun.com.