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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
The past week was filled with important district match-ups for the Washington County Commanders. WC lost a hard-fought contest at Bardstown last Tuesday, with everything coming down to the wire. As the Commanders held a slim 53-52 lead with 16.5 seconds left in the game, a three-pointer by Tiger sophomore guard Nathan Hall found the net with seven seconds left, sending the stunned WC faithful home with a heartbreaking loss.
“That was a tough loss to take,” said WC head coach Russell Burkhead. “We played pretty good defense, even when Bardstown took that last shot, Trae Abell had his hand in the kid’s face. What really killed us was offensive rebounding. In the first half, we were up by seven. If we would have taken care of offensive rebounding, we would have been up by 14.”
The Commanders had the game in hand through the early-going, edging the Tigers 15-14 in the opening quarter of play. WC padded its lead in the second, outscoring Bardstown 18-12 to take a 33-26 lead into the break.
WC lost a little ground in the third as Bardstown cut the lead to six, trailing the Commanders 46-40 entering the final period.
The Tigers rallied in the fourth quarter, tying the score at 46-46 at the 5:19 mark. Bardstown kept pace and took a brief lead, but a three-point shot by WC sophomore Connor Riney knotted the score at 50. The Tigers added two to take a two-point lead, but a foul sent junior Will Purdom to the free-throw line for WC. Purdom hit one of two to draw WC within one point. Another Bardstown foul put senior guard Alex Simms at the line, and he connected on both shots to put the Commanders up by one.
For the rest of the story, see this week's print edition of The Springfield Sun.