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Rebels score 77 but can’t slow Pulaski offense

LIBERTY — Casey County came out firing Thursday against 47th District leader Pulaski County.

But the Rebels didn’t have quite enough firepower to keep up with the Maroons, falling 89-77 in a boys basketball matchup.

Both teams scored 21 points in the first quarter, but it was the second frame that Casey’s offense struggled to find a basket, scoring just 10 points to Pulaski’s 20.

“I’m proud of our guys, we came out and competed. We had a little lull in the second quarter and that came back to bite us,” Casey coach Jason Price said. “But we kept fighting. We’re not real deep and in that fourth quarter, we came out and pressed and fought. I know they were spent but I’m proud of my team.”

Casey senior Jake Smith led all scorers with 17 points at halftime and 31 points for the game. He hit five 3-pointers.

“He’s been playing really well lately, we put a lot of scoring responsibility on him, we need him every night,” Price said. “He steps up to the plate, even though I know they’re focusing on him. He’s just a top-notch high school player and he’s showing that for us.”

Pulaski County (15-4, 3-1) had a balanced scoresheet — Trevon Sylvester had 23 points, Steven Fitzgerald had 21, Danny Butt and Landon Powell each had 15 points.

Casey’s district slate is completed, with the Rebels finishing 3-3. The Rebels beat Somerset twice and split with Rockcastle County.

Now, Price said he’s focused on building depth behind his starters.

“A lot of the guys we count on stepped up tonight,” Price said. “I wish I could grow a couple of my kids, but I can’t. They’ve got a lot of heart. Colby Brown and Chance McQueary come in and battle, and I know they’re going to give 100 percent effort all the time.”

Matt Overing/matthew.overing@amnews.com Casey County's Breece Hayes goes to the basket in Thursday's game.

Matt Overing/matthew.overing@amnews.com
Casey County’s Breece Hayes goes to the basket in Thursday’s game.

More notably, Price said he needs his players to battle with Breece Hayes on the glass.

“We’ve got to get more help on the glass for Breece because he’s going in there every play,” the coach said. “He’s a warrior for us. His shoulder came out (tonight), and I saw it pop out and I saw him pop it back in and he goes, ‘I’m good.’”

Senior guard Collin Miller scored 20 points for the Rebels. Hayes added 17 points.

“He is so hard to handle getting to the rim,” Price said of Miller. “I feel like that’s how each night he has to make his game, getting to the rim. That opens everything else up. We put him in some high ball screen situations and he made some good decisions for us tonight.”

Casey will host Perry County Central on Saturday before a five-game road trip.

“We’ve got to put some things together and do it every night,” Price said. “I feel like we come up big when we’re playing Pulaski, but when we’re playing a team that they think might not be that caliber, I don’t know that we bring it the same way. We’ve got to be mature enough to bring it every night, no matter who we play.”

Follow Matt Overing on Twitter @MOvering

At Casey County

PULASKI 21 20 20 28 — 89

CASEY 21 10 19 27 — 77

Pulaski County (15-4, 3-1): Trevon Sylvester 23, Steven Fitzgerald 21, Danny Butt 15, Landon Powell 15, Colton Fraley 9, Hagen Elmore 6.

Casey County (6-15, 3-3): Jake Smith 31, Collin Miller 20, Breece Hayes 17, Max Reyes 9.