Montgomery County splits games at Kentucky Bank Challenge

2019 Kentucky Bank Challenge

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

December 22, 2019

The Montgomery County Indians traveled to Morehead this weekend to compete in the Kentucky Bank Challenge. Friday night the Indians faced off in the opening game against Lewis County where they dominated from the start. We got our first look at big man Zach Benton and he went to work early and finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Senior Trey Ishmael came off the bench with lots of intensity to provide 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Rickey Lovette continues to put up consistent numbers each outing and fished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Another solid defensive performance from Austin Eichenberger as he finished with just 8 points but added 8 steals to his stat line. Hagan Harrison went to work early on and never looked back as he finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals as the Indians picked up a victory 77-62 over Lewis County. The Indians struggle from the charity stripe and will need to get that cleaned up as they move into mid-season, their defensive effort continues to make things happen as they got 19 steals. This team continues to be one to watch as we head into the holidays but not before another back to back game this time against Marion County.

The afternoon match-up against the Marion County Knights was a back and forth from the beginning. The Indians bench didn’t produce like they have in recent games, foul trouble and a 50% free throw percentage hurt down the stretch. Brandon Dyer finished the afternoon with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Hagan Harrison added 16 points and 5 rebounds. Zach Benton has 8 points and 8 rebounds all on the defensive end of the floor and fouled out late in the game. Rickey Lovette also fouled out before putting up 13 points and grabbing 11 boards in a losing effort 57-60 taking their record to 6-3 on the season. The Indians get a few days off before plays kicks off at home in the Gateway Holiday Classic on Friday, December 27th at 6:00 pm against Dixie Heights.

Montgomery County Indians and Lady Indians battle Bourbon County

MOCO Blue Crew Student Section (photo credit Mike Hanson)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

The Montgomery County Indians Boys’ Basketball team faced Region powerhouse Bourbon County Colonels at the Arena in an early season match up. This was a back and forth game most of the night, the Indians were headed to the locker room down 5 before Senior Trey Ishmael hit a buzzer beater to cut the lead to just 2 points. It took both teams some time to get things going coming out of the half. The Colonel went on a run midway through the 3rd quarter before the Indians fought their way back and made a run of their own. Caleb Webb came off the bench to give the Indians a lift and finished with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Austin Eichenberger didn’t have a great night offensively finishing with only 6 points, but he made up for it with 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 assists. Rickey Lovette had a quite 17 points and 7 rebounds while the back court had dominate play from Hagan Harrison for the second straight game and finishing with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. The Indians came up short down the stretch falling 67-62 and will have to regroup for a back to back game 2 hours down the road against Trimble County. Keep an eye on the Indians as the season moves forward, they will end up surprising some people come tournament time.

The Montgomery County Lady Indians are very young team who start all underclassman except for their Center Savannah Parker who is a junior, 9/15 player on their roster are in middle school. All but one of their first six games was decided by 10 points or less, which proves this team has lots of potential. They have been able to battle back into each game so far this season but have fallen short in 5 of their first six games. Last night against Bourbon County Lady Colonels the Lady Indians fell at home 46-41 with some late game turnovers. Freshman Shaelynn Harris finished with 16 points and 5 rebounds, while 8th grader Allie Dillon finished with 14 points and 3 rebounds. 8th grade guard Hayden Barrier added 7 points and 7 rebounds. The Lady Indians look to snap a 5 game losing streak Friday as they travel to North Bullitt to take on Western Hills in the Wesbanco Bank Holiday Classic.

#8 Kentucky solid win against the Yellow Jackets

Keion Brooks battles for the basket (photo credit Michael Huang – KSR)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets come to Rupp to take on #8 Kentucky Wildcats with 20,111 in attendance. The Wildcats and Yellow Jackets went back and forth in the first half with the Cats up 36-30 going into the break. The Cats remained focused on the leading scorer for the Yellow Jackets, Michael Devoe who finished with only 5 points and 2/11 from the field. Ashton Hagans finished the night with 21 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 steals and also ended the night 80% from the field. Guard Immanuel Quickley got the start and ended the game with another strong performance of 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. The man in middle Nick Richards continues to battle each game and finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 5/6 from the field. Freshman Tyrese Maxey had a solid outing and contributed many things not seen in the stats, he finished with 6 points, 6 assists and 7 rebounds. The Cats have a big road test coming up as they head out West to Las Vegas to take on University of Utah on Wednesday, December 18th in the Neon Hoops Showcase, the game can be seen on ESPN2 at 11 pm EST. they then take on Ohio State Saturday, December 21st in the CBS Sports Classic, that game can be seen on CBS at 5:15 pm EST.

Kentucky Women fall to Louisville at Rupp

Kentucky Women on a Mission (photo credit Kentucky WBB

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

The #14 Kentucky Women’s Basketball team takes a loss 67-66 to #7 Louisville at Rupp Arena. Kentucky fought but they couldn’t come away with the win at home as Louisville got key rebounds and steals on the defensive end of the floor. Rhyne Howard had another outstanding game with 26 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Sabrina Haines had 12 points, 4 assists, and 1 rebound. Jaida Roper brought the intensity off the bench and made clutch plays on defensive end down the stretch. Tatyana Wyatt finished with 12 points, and 5 rebounds in a mis-match down low most of the night. Kentucky’s 10 game win streak comes to an end, but heading into their next game we will see a new face on the floor as Junior Guard Chasity Patterson becomes eligible and will be another offensive threat. The Cats head West to take on University of California on Saturday, December 21st at 7 pm EST, broadcast schedule is TBD.

Montgomery County dominates at Paris High to go 3-1 on season

Coach Wright coaching to #700 (photo credit Mike Hanson)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

Montgomery County Indians went on a 10-0 run at Paris and never looked back as they pick up an important District win on the road 82-46 taking their record to 3-1. Four Indians finished in double figures. Austin Eichenberger got off to a hot start going 3-3 from behind the arch and finishing with 14 points and 3 rebounds. Hagan Harrison finished the night with 16 points and 4 rebounds and was the floor general for much of the night. Brandon Dyer had another solid outing with 10 points but much of what he added won’t be found on the stat sheet. The Player of the Game was Rickey Lovette as he owned the paint defensively finishing with a game high 23 points, several of those being dunks, he also had 14 rebounds giving him a double-double on the night. The highlight of the night was career win #700 for Coach Steve Wright, putting him second on the list of active career wins. The Indians will travel to West Jessamine Friday, December 13th to take on the Colts at 7:45 pm and are back home at the Arena Tuesday, December 17th to battle the Bourbon County Colonels at 7:30pm

Kentucky Women put smackdown on Winthrop at Rupp

Jaida Roper owned Rupp Arena tonight (photo credit Teresa Fraley)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

It didn’t take the Winthrop Eagles long to realize who’s house they were in as Kentucky rolled to a 91-36 victory taking them to 10-0 on the season. Kentucky outscored the Eagles 32-14 after 1 quarter and never looked back. Kentucky played 9 players and they all got into the scoring column, 5 hitting the double-digit mark. Rhyne Howard finished with just 12 points after her career high of 30 in her last outing. Tatyana Wyatt had a big night finishing with 10 points and 6 rebounds, while Sabrina Haines added 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Blair Green continues to improve as the season moves on and finished with 13 points and 4 rebounds. But tonight, belonged to Senior Jaida Roper who finished with a career high 30 points and 4 assists, it looked like Roper’s night was over at the 25 point mark but a late game injury by Haines forced her back into the game to reach that milestone. Winthrop had 35 turnovers and 12 bench points to just 15 turnovers and 50 bench points for Kentucky. Now that this game is in the books it’s time to look to instate matchup against Louisville on Sunday, December 15th at Rupp Arena, game time is 1pm and can be seen on ESPN.

Kentucky Women cruise to victory on Ugly Sweater Day

Rhyne Howard drives to the basket (photo credit Michael Boggs Photography)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

#15 Kentucky shuts down Samford 79-49 at Memorial Coliseum to take them to 9-0 on the season. Kentucky fans and coaches arrived at Memorial with their favorite ugly sweater on today to cheer on the Cats and the festive atmosphere seemed to work. Kentucky went on a 9-0 run to start the game but then Samford’s Paige Serup gives Kentucky a taste their own medicine with 2 straight threes to put an end to the run. Rhyne Howard had a career high 30 points, 3 steals, 3 assist, and 6 rebounds on a 5-8 shooting from behind the arch. Sabrina Haines finished the game with 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals but only shot 3 of 10 from the field. Amanda Paschal had a great passing afternoon with 5 assists, 9 points, and 4 rebounds. Tatyana Wyatt got into early foul trouble which limited her time on the floor. Ogechi Anyagaligbo had another solid outing and we continue to see streaks of tough play, once she put a full game together the Cats are going to be hard to stop inside. Kentucky’s next game will be a change of scenery as they will play in the great Rupp Arena and face Winthrop Wednesday, December 11th at 7 pm it can also be seen on the SECNetwork as the Cats look to go 10-0 before playing rival Louisville in Rupp.

EJ Montgomery has career night as the Cats win #600 at Rupp

EJ Montgomery is finding his groove (photo credit Michael Huang – KSR)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

Kentucky takes a satisfying win against Fairleigh Dickinson 83-52 at home and improves to 7-1 on the season. The Cats reached a milestone of 600 wins in Rupp Arena tonight getting to that mark in a single venue quicker than any other team taking their Rupp record to 600-70. Kentucky missed their first two shots before they began to take control of the game. The front court duo of EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards showed up in a big way tonight as they combined for 37 points and 19 rebounds. Montgomery finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds, one short of a double-double, and went 12 of 16 from the field, including 5 dunks. Richards lead the team in rebounds with 10 and had 12 points, and 2 blocks, securing yet another double-double, his fourth of the season. Ashton Hagans had a good outing as he led the team in assist with 11 and 11 points with 2 turnovers. The surprise breakout player of the night was Keion Brooks Jr. who finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot. Kentucky has a tough stretch of games coming up, having the week off will give Coach Calipari some extra practice time to get everyone healthy and recovered (note: walk-on Ben Jordan was missing from the bench tonight with a reported head injury suffered at practice this week and Dontaie Allen is suffering from knee soreness after 2 days of practice). The best part of the night was seeing the team come back out onto the floor after the game to take pictures and exchange high fives with some special needs fans with the Special Olympics. Kentucky’s next game will be on Saturday, December 14th as they take on Georgia Tech at 5 pm in Rupp Arena and can be found on ESPN.

Montgomery County Indians pick up BIG win in home opener

Brandon Dyer directing traffic (photo credit Lukas Witt)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

Montgomery County Indians Boys’ Basketball gets a commanding win in home opener against Whitley County 75-38. The Indians went out on a 10-0 run and never looked back. Junior guard Brandon Dyer went on his own 3-point run finishing with 21 total points (2/4 from inside the arch and 5/8 from behind the arch). Junior Forward Ricky Lovett went 5/6 from the floor and finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds as Senior Forward Preston Adams came off the bend to provide 12 points and added 7 rebounds. There are lots of bright spots on this team as they have depth in the back court and a full court press that puts pressure on the other team. The Indians shot 63.8% from the field if they can get their free throws to drop down the stretch, they will be a team that can make a good run in post-season play. The Indians will face Greenup County in The Showcase at GRC on Dec 7th at 2pm, they will travel to Paris and West Jessamine next week as we head into the holidays.

#15 Kentucky cruises in win over Charlotte

Rhyne Howard career game (photo credit Kentucky WBB)

By Lukas Witt (11 years old)

I got firsthand media access to Kentucky’s commanding win against the Charlotte 49ers 86-39 on Education Day at Memorial Coliseum, with 1000 local students in attendance sending their record to an impressive 8-0. Kentucky started out quick and went on a 10-0 run and didn’t look back as the Cats took their biggest lead of 47 in the 4th quarter with just 10 seconds left to play in the game. Kentucky spent 39 minutes and 36 seconds leading the game and was tied at the 0-0 mark. In the press conference Coach Mitchell stated, “if Rhyne Howard is open I want her to shoot, if she is open 1000 times I want her to take 1000 3s, she shoots 3s when she is on a roll like others shoot layups, so if she’s open from the 3 I want her taking that shot.” With that said Howard had another outstanding performance and finished with 29 points, 7-8 from the charity line, 2 assists, 4 steals, and 7 rebounds. Sabrina Haines is continuing to be efficient on both ends of the floor and added 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in another great game. Jaida Roper continues to come off the bench and add valuable minutes, she finished the day with 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists. Amanda Pascal and Tatyana Wyatt both bring aggressive play on both ends of the floor and things you won’t see on the stat sheet. It says how hard this team plays from tip to the final buzzer, up 45 points with just at a minute left in the game Nae Nae Cole dives on the floor after a loose ball. Grit, toughness and solid play continues to carry this team as they look to go 9-0 against the Samford Bulldogs on Sunday, December 8 at 2 pm in Memorial and can be seen on the SECNetwork.