The Mason County boys’ basketball team opened the season with a rebounding clinic in an 80-31 win against St. Patrick, coming down with 36 more than the Saints.
Since then, it hasn’t been going that well.
On Friday, the Royals gave up 25 offensive rebounds in a 75-72 loss to Simon Kenton and on Tuesday when they returned home against Bourbon County, the poor rebounding and sloppy play continued as the Colonels were able to come out on top in overtime, 73-68.
“We had 20 turnovers against basically a 2-3 zone. They didn’t do a whole lot – they did some pressing – but not a whole lot. We just weren’t very patient against the zone. When we were, I thought we got some good looks in the middle and on the blocks and in the short corner, things like that,” said Mason County coach James “Buddy” Biggs.
Bourbon County held a 31-19 rebounding advantage after the first half, with 18 of those rebounds coming on the offensive end for a 10-2 edge in second chance points. They also scored 16 points off turnovers in the half compared to the Royals’ two.
“We gave up way too many offensive rebounds. I think they had 24,” said Biggs. “In the second half we did a better job, we were plus three in the second half, but we were minus 12 in the first has and that really killed us.”
Despite that, the Colonels only led, 33-27.
After Mason County was able to get within two after a Jayden Steward layup and a Jaylen Lofton put back in the third quarter, Bourbon County closed out the frame with a 51-46 lead.
The Royals started clicking in the fourth, starting on a 9-0 run with the help of six points from Leevi Dunaway and an and-one from Lofton to take a 55-51 lead. They made it 62-58 with under three minutes left after Steward finished a shot while being fouled and converted the free throw.
The Colonels tied the game with a Titus Ransom put back and two free throws from Parker Estes, but the Royals got the ball back with over a minute remaining and held it for the last shot, getting a good look on a baseline jumper from Steward, but it didn’t fall.
Bourbon County collected the rebound and got a timeout called with 0.3 seconds left, but the inbound pass was deflected by Caleb Boyd to force overtime.
Ransom gave the Colonels an early 64-62 lead in the period, before Elijah Chenault extended the lead to four with a bucket of his own.
The lead eventually grew to five at 70-65 after two Ransom free throws, but Dunaway hit a 3-pointer with 18.4 seconds left to make it 70-68.
After a Mason County foul, Wade Chapman hit one-of-two free throws, giving the Royals a chance to tie the game with 16.2 seconds left, but another costly turnover gave Bourbon County - who outscored Mason County, 26-6, on turnovers - the ball back with 4.9 seconds left, and they were able to close out the 73-68 win.
“We really do a good job in practice of working on getting downhill when forcing those turnovers. We live off transition points. That’s who we’ve got to be. We’re not the biggest team, we’re not the fastest team, but if we can have for sure possessions,” said Bourbon County coach Lamont Campbell. “We can really value the basketball and score those in transition.”
Bourbon County was led by Ransom’s 24 points and 13 rebounds. Zach Workman added 14 points, while Chenault had 12 and Jeremy Moran had 10. The Colonels improve to 2-0 and will return to action when they host Paris on Friday.
Steward led Mason County with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Dunaway had 21 points and Lofton had 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Royals fall to 1-2 with the loss and will host Scott on Friday.