By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
The Montgomery County Indians continued to show progress this past week, winning two of three games and getting back over the .500 mark for the second time this season.
“We’re continuing to get better,” said Coach Matt Daniel. “We had a little backset at Madison Southern last week, but it didn’t stay with us. We got right back up and moved forward again.”
The Indians defeated Garrard County last Tuesday night at the MCHS Arena and then lost to Madison Southern Friday night at Berea in a game where they got into early foul trouble and never could recover.
Then came the win on Monday night that set the stage for a Tuesday night battle at home with Bath County before they go on the road to Clark County for a 40th District game Friday night.
Then Saturday the Indians will travel to Southwestern High School at Somerset to play in the Iron Man Classic where they’ll meet defending 12th Region champion Pulaski County in one of four games being played that day.
Here’s a look at the games from this past week:
MCHS 85, Menifee 61
Eight different Montgomery County players hit three-point shots Monday night as the Indians got off to a good start and never looked back in topping the visiting Wildcats.
The Indians hit 10 of 12 field goal attempts in the first quarter as they jumped out to a 22-12 lead and never looked back.
Menifee County got to within eight points at 26-18 but never any closer.
The Tribe built the lead to 42-29 at the half and then exploded in the second half to move in front 66-45 after three quarters.
By the time the game was over Daniel had sent 14 players into the game with 13 of those players scoring.
“We really needed a game where we could get more guys into a varsity game,” Daniel said. “We’ve actually been shortening our bench a little but this game gave us a chance to keep everyone involved at this level.”
Duce Ralls, Jon Kosier, Will Cockrell, Austin Eichen-berger, Brandon Dyer, Hagan Harrison, Luke Fuller and Trey Ishmael all made at least one three-pointer as the Indians finished 11 of 22 from behind the arc and made 33 of 55 shots overall.
“We haven’t always had the greatest shot selection,” Daniel said. “I thought we did a good job tonight of getting good shots and you see the results.”
Ralls led the Indians with 14 points and Will Cockrell added 13 points without missing a shot.
Jon Kosier had eight points and he hit all three of his field goal attempts.
Junior guard Ethan Fugate had a big night for the Wildcats. He hit eight of 13 field goals, including a three-pointer, to score 17 points while sophomore guard Drake Jenkins scored 13 and senior guard Travis Trimble added 10.
Trimble came in averaging almost 18 points per game but Dyer turned in another outstanding defensive assignment as his primary defender.
The Wildcats played without third leading scorer Dalton Martin while their second leading scorer Trey Abner was limited to five points.
Menifee County (51) — Travis Trimble 5-13 0-2 10, Trey Abner 2-7 1-2 5, Ben Rose 2-5 0-0 4, Drake Jenkins 5-11 0-2 13, Ethan Fugate 8-13 0-0 17, Ty Ledford 0-1 0-1 0, Eli Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Zack Clemons 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Craft 1-3 0-1 2, Joseph Davis 0-3 0-0 0, Ty Abney 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 1-8 51.
MCHS (86) — Duce Ralls 5-11 3-3 14, Jon Kosier 3-3 0-0 8, Will Cockrell 6-67 0-0 13, Austin Eichenberger 2-4 1-2 6, Brandon Dyer 3-5 0-0 8, Hagan Harrison 3-7 0-0 7, Luke Fuller 2-5 0-0 6, Pharoah Davis 3-4 3-4 9, Trey Ishmael 2-2 0-0 5, Caleb Webb 0-1 0-0 0, Trey Carroll 1-1 0-0 2, Trevor Igo 2-3 1-2 5, Nolan Kendall 1-1 0-2 2, J.T. Woosley 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 33-55 9-15 86.
Menifee 12 17 16 6—51
MCHS 22 20 24 20—86
Three-point field goals — Menifee County 4-15 (Jenkins 3-3, Fugate 1-3); MCHS 11-22 (Ralls 1-5, Kosier 2-2, Eichenberger 1-2, Dyer 2-3, Harrison 1-3, Fuller 2-5, Ishmael 1-1). Rebounds — Menifee County 31 (Abner 8); MCHS 38 (Davis 7, Cockrell 4); Turnovers — Menifee County 21, MCHS 19. Total fouls — Menifee County 14, MCHS 11. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — Jenkins, Eichenberger.
MCHS 76, Garrard County 68
The Indians never trailed after taking a 12-11 lead midway through the first quarter last Tuesday night as they beat the Garrard County Golden Lions at the MCHS Arena.
Four players scored in double figures, led by Pharoah Davis with 17, as the Tribe built the lead to 20 points, 48-28, at the half, and held on from there.
Garrard County, led by junior standout Braden Sebastian, got to within six points at 66-60 and again at 68-62 before the Indians knocked down several free throws in the final two minutes to secure the win.
Montgomery County hit better than 50 percent from the floor and made eight of 20 three-point field goals, including three from junior Austin Eichenberger who connected on three of six from long range.
Duce Ralls added 16 points for the Indians followed by Eichenberger with 14 and Will Cockrell with 13. Brandon Dyer came off the bench to score seven, followed by Jon Kosier with four, Luke Fuller with three and Hagan Harrison with two.
Sebastian hit nine of 15 field goal attempts, including both of his attempts from behind the three-point line and went nine of 12 from the charity stripe along with 12 rebounds to almost single-handedly keep the Golden Lions in the game.
He did get support from senior post player Charles Jones who tallied 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds but the rest of the team combined for just 16 points.
Garrard County out-rebounded the Indians 40-35 with Davis pulling down eight to lead the Indians while Montgomery County had just 11 turnovers compared to 13 for the visitors.
The Indians improved to 7-6.