By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
It was the third loss in as many games for the Washington County Commanders as they fell 67-40 to North Bullitt on the road Saturday night after opening the 2008-09 season at home with an 86-59 loss against Taylor County on Dec. 2 and a 73-58 loss to Madison Southern at Berea College on Thursday night.
The Commanders’ lack of size is going to be a big hurdle to overcome this season, a fact that became all too clear as WC opened the season against Taylor County.
Despite double-digit scoring by Lee Mudd, John Hamilton and Will Purdom, the Commanders were never able to stay within striking distance as Taylor County pulled away early in the game and maintained their lead throughout.
Taylor County was led by big center Leonard Macon, who dominated in the post and by the scoring of Chase Cox.
“They’re a good team, probably one of the top three teams in the region,” said WC head coach Paul Bodenhamer. “We just can’t compete with their size.”
Washington County’s approach was to try and beat them from the outside, tossing up 21 three-point attempts, connecting on seven of them – five by senior Lee Mudd and two by Will Purdom.
Taylor County 26 19 24 17 86
Washington County 16 11 16 16 59
Taylor County (86) – Cox 27, Macon 19, McDonald 14, Moss 7, Morris 7, Stotts 5, Coulter 5, Webster 2
Washington County (59) - Mudd 18, John Hamilton 10, Purdom 10, A. Simms 7, H Simms 4, Osborne 4, J. Simms 2, Hale 2, Grigsby 2
Next up for Washington County was a trip to Berea College to face Madison Southern on Dec. 4. The Commanders kept pace with the Eagles for the first quarter of play, but lost some momentum in the second quarter and Madison Southern built a 41-24 lead at the half.
“We got off to a good start,” said Bodenhamer. “Then we kind of lost steam in the second quarter, and that’s where they got us. But for three quarters we were pretty solid.”
The Commanders kept pace in the third and were able to outscore the Eagles 20-16 in the final quarter, but the deficit was too much to overcome as Madison Southern got their first win of the season at the expense of Washington County.
Matthew Osborne provided some solid play for the Commanders in the loss.
Washington County 14 10 14 20 58
Madison Southern 18 23 16 16 73
Washington County (58) – John Hamilton 17, Osborne 13, Mudd 8, Purdom 6, J. Simms 5, Hale 4, A. Simms 3, H. Simms 2
Madison Southern (73) – Cox 27, Macon 19, McDonald 14, Moss 7, Morris 7, Stotts 5, Coulter 5, Webster 2
It was a tough Saturday night for WC as nothing they threw up ever seemed to go through the basket against North Bullitt. The Commanders had trouble shooting from all areas of the floor, especially from three-point range and the free-throw line.
The odds looked to be in WC’s favor for pulling out a win against a North Bullitt team that was 0-2 in their first two games, being outscored 156-97, but the Eagles were ready to sink their talons into a reeling Commander squad.
Washington County was also plagued by turnovers that resulted in North Bullitt scores. The Commanders never found their rhythm and the Eagles took advantage. WC sank two of 16 three-point attempts (12.5 percent) and made only six of 21 free throws (28.5 percent).
Washington County 8 10 13 9 40
North Bullitt 12 20 20 15 67
Washington County (40) – Mudd 11, Hale 9, Sexton 1, John Hamilton 8, Joe Hamilton 1, J. Simms 3, H. Simms 2, Clements 5
North Bullitt (67) – Aubrey 15, Dewitt 9, Thomas 5, Sutton 4, Parker 14, Mudd 9, Whitfill 8, Higdon 5, Hardy 4, Montgomery 4, Shoemaker 5, Puga 3
The Commanders will travel to Marion County on Friday night to take on the Knights at 7:30 p.m. If you can't travel to the game, catch all the hoops action live on WYSB 102.7 FM. It will be a radio double-header as the girls' game hits the airwaves at 6 p.m., followed by the boys' game.