Cardinals escape Thomas Nelson 60-59 at region

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Taylor County advances to semi-final on Monday at 6 vs. E-town

By Bobby Brockman



The play-by-play sheet in the last 10 minutes did not favor Taylor County, but somehow the Cardinals escaped with a 60-59 victory over Thomas Nelson in a Fifth Region Tournament first-round game at Marion County on Thursday night.
The Cardinals (25-6) led by 10 points (42-32) midway in the third quarter and still held a 49-42 on a Quentin Goodin dunk off an Austin Webster steal and assist with 2:17 left in the frame.
“I thought that was the ballgame and we were going to pull away,” coach Richard Gatewood said. “But, we missed some free throws and then it was a game.”
Taylor County mis-fired on eight of its next 12 free throws and fell behind 56-53 with 2:02 left in the contest.
However, the Cardinals hit five of six free throws (2-2 by David Sloan at 52.2 and Caleb Wigginton at 9.9) and saw two of the Generals’ top players (Kevin Ndahiro and A.J. Youngman) foul out to post the regional win.
“We may have needed a game like that tonight,” Gatewood said. “They played better (than they did earlier in the season) and they made shots and we didn’t.”
The 6-9 Ndahiro had a triple double with 16 points, 10+ rebounds and 10+ blocked shots. (Thomas Nelson does not have statistics until two days after a game.)
“Our guys knew we had to go into his body and chin, but we didn’t,” Gatewood said. “We lost complete focus. Our immaturity stood out tonight.
“And, this time of the year it’s more about getting stops than it is scoring.”
Taylor County got off to a strong 11-4 start as freshman Ezra Oliver tallied nine Cardinal points. He finished with 14 as did Goodin (plus 10 rebounds) while Sloan led the Cardinal arsenal with 16 and Wigginton totaled 10 and Webster nine rebounds.
“We’ve got their attention 100 percent for sure after tonight because we could have gone home,” Gatewood said.
Taylor County advances to the Fifth Region Tournament semi-finals on Monday (6:00) vs. Elizabethtown. John Hardin, who upended 18th District champion Green County (58-47) on Friday night, will tangle with Bardstown, who bested Adair County 55-41, in the 8:45 second game. (There will be admission for each contest on Monday.) The championship game is Tuesday at 7:00.

Down the stretch, there was several interesting plays and calls.
• After a Quentin Goodin free-throw jumper (Taylor County’s only basket in the game’s final 10 minutes) brought the Cardinals within 56-55, Kevin Ndahiro was whistled for his fifth foul after an apparent basket at 1:37.
• Two free throws by David Sloan and one by Goodin put TCHS up 58-57 with 39.6. In between, Thomas Nelson was whistled for a mid-court walk at 44.0.
• After a Caleb Wigginton block out of bounds at 19.9, a jump ball was called in the corner in front of the Generals’ bench at 10.9.
• After two Wigginton charity tosses (at 9.9), making the score 60-57, Thomas Nelson tallied on a put-back at 1.8 for a 60-59 score.
• Goodin was called for an offensive foul on the in-bounds play and Thomas Nelson mis-fired on a desperation shot out of the right corner and the potential game-winning follow came after the final horn.

Taylor County 60, Thomas Nelson 59
Fifth Region Tournament at Marion County
First round
Thomas Nelson    11    16    17    15    —    59
Taylor County    16    15    19    10    —    60
Thomas Nelson (59) —
Willett 5-11 1-2 11, Price 3-6 1-1 7, Ndahiro 7-13 2-3 16, Youngman 5-10 4-6 15, Morgeson 4-11 0-1 8, Greer 0-0 0-0 0, Fletcher 1-1 0-0 2, Clark 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-52 8-13 59.
Taylor County (60) —
Oliver 6-8 0-0 14, Wigginton 2-9 5-6 10, Webster 2-7 2-3 6, Sloan 6-13 3-4 16, Goodin 5-18 4-12 14, Franklin 0-0 0-0 0, Turpin 0-1 0-0 0, Rafferty 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 21-57 14-27 60.
3s —
Thomas Nelson 1 (Youngman 1), Taylor County 4 (Oliver 2, Wigginton 1, Sloan 1). Officials — Ronnie Saylor, Ryan Morris, Robert Swanigan.