Rebels outlast Garrard County in 45th District semifinals

Published 11:46 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The first half went according to plan for Garrard County.

The Golden Lions held a one-point lead over Boyle County at halftime, but a defensive switch and key injuries helped the Rebels move on to the 45th District championship with a 55-48 victory.

It’s the seventh-straight year that the Rebels have made the district title game.

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But it was the Golden Lions who were the aggressors early, particularly in the second quarter. Garrard led 29-28 at halftime after a 20-point second quarter.

“It’s one of those days where, no matter what you tell 15-17 year old kids, they think these games are going to be easy,” Boyle head coach Steve Adams said. “When you’re not mentally focused and you play a team like Garrard that is well coached, plays hard and does nice things, they’ll cause problems. We were very fortunate.

“But like I told the kids, to be in a position to where we are, you might have to win an ugly game. That’s what we did. The pressure’s off, now you can go play.”

The win gives Boyle at least two more games this year, the district championship and the first round of the region tournament.

Early in the third quarter, Garrard was dealt its first injury blow of the night: Senior point guard Trevor Jones went down with an injury and couldn’t finish the game. He played just 15 minutes.

“Right off the bat, our rotations got screwed up pretty early in the third quarter,” Garrard head coach Ryan Young said. “That hurt us. I thought they outrebounded us, it seemed like they got the clutch ones down the stretch.”

Shortly after Jones went down, Boyle switched to a 1-2-2 three-quarter-court press, forcing Garrard’s secondary ballhanders into tough situations.

“Really, it comes down to our point guard gets hurt. Coach Adams does a great job, he threw the 1-2-2 three-quarter court press out there,” Young said. “We knew they had run it in the past, not so much this year, and that took advantage of our significant weakness at that time.”

Adams said he saw his team refocus in the second half and make plays down the stretch.

“First half, we just didn’t do a good job, we were going through the motions,” he said. “We talked about how we didn’t want to let them get happy and feel good about themselves, but we went right out and let them do that and then the game was on.”

Garrard’s defense kept the Golden Lions in the game: Boyle led 42-40 after three quarters.

In the fourth, Garrard had another starter go down: Center Charles Jones had a cramp in his calf muscle and did not return to the game.

“I’ll be honest with you, that’s probably the most minutes he’s had all year,” Young said of his big man. “But we had to have it, usually we spell him with Dalton (Sebastian) and we had to have Dalton in there. We’re not super deep, so when we have one go down, our seven goes to six and it makes it challenging.”

Charles Jones finished with a season-high 29 minutes. He scored four points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Brayden Sebastian led the Golden Lions with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Dalton Sebastian scored seven points, all in the first half.

“I’m proud of all of them,” Young said. “Charles battled his tail off in there tonight. Dalton is just a warrior for us, made a couple shots. I know a lot of people viewed us as the underdog in this game, I didn’t really view it that way. I thought our kids competed and we were up for the challenge. Some breaks went their way and that’s what happens in big games.”

The Rebels finished 17-for-24 (70.8 percent) from the foul line, including some key free-throws down the stretch to put the game away.

Young said he was proud of the way his team came out and fought against the district’s top seed, and said that his team continues to grow in his second year as coach.

“I’m proud of the progression we’ve made in our first two years,” he said. “I think we’ve shown that we can be competitive in this district. We’ve got good pieces coming back, a good big man, a really good wing player. I’m excited for the future of our program and I think we’ll be able to be a mainstay soon.”

Garrard has four seniors who played their last high school game on Tuesday: Trevor Jones, Carter Moss, Justin Preston and Dalton Sebastian.

“I was their freshmen coach and we won one game as freshmen,” Young said. “Just to see their progression as players and as people, even though we didn’t accomplish our goal to get to the region, these guys laid a great foundation for our younger kids. They have nothing to hang their heads about.”

Boyle will face the winner of Danville and Lincoln County in the 45th District title game on Friday.

“Right now I’m just more concerned about taking care of ourselves. This is a tough game. It’s a tough game, you went through the whole regular season and you know if you don’t come out and perform, there’s a chance your season ends. They’re a tough team, there’s some nerves. But we made plays when we needed them to get the win.”


45th District semifinals


At Danville


BOYLE COUNTY 11 17 14 13 55

GARRARD COUNTY 9 20 11 8 48



BOYLE (18-7, 7-0): Reese Smith 21, Jason Alexander 15, Bryce Slone 11, Will Bramel 5, Grant Hotchkiss 3.

GARRARD (12-19, 2-6): Brayden Sebastian 15, Justin Preston 7, Dalton Sebastian 7, Carter Moss 7, Trevor Jones 5, Charles Jones 4, Brice Burkhart 3.



BOYLE: Will Bramel 7, Bryce Slone 5, Grant Hotchkiss 5, Reese Smith 3, Jason Alexander 3, Team 6.

GARRARD: Brayden Sebastian 10, Charles Jones 7, Justin Preston 3, Dalton Sebastian 3, Team 3.