Wildcats face Crittenden County Thursday in semifinals
by Scott Brown, Sports Editor Email Scott
Mar 02, 2005 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A win Thursday by Trigg County would put them into Friday’s championship game of the Fifth District Tournament and into the Second Region Tournament for the third straight year. The last time Trigg County appeared in three straight region tournaments was an eight-year stretch from 1974-81.

However, in order for the Wildcats to win their second district title in three years, they’ll have to knock off Crittenden County.

The two teams meet Thursday night at 6 p.m. in the semifinals of the Fifth District Tournament at Wildcat Gym.

The winner advances to Friday’s title game and next week’s Second Region Tournament in Hopkinsville.

Trigg County owns a pair of wins over the Rockets this year, but neither came easy.

The Wildcats overcame a seven-point first quarter deficit to beat the Rockets 61-57 Jan. 18 in Wildcat Gym, behind 19 points from Jeremy Jones.

Trigg County completed the season sweep Feb. 11 with a 54-50 win in Marion, outscoring the Rockets 17-8 in the fourth quarter.

Wildcat coach Bill Chumbler has liked the outcome of the past two games, but doesn’t want to fall behind for a third straight game Thursday.

"We’ve started slow, because Tim Hill has gotten off to such a good start for them," Chumbler said. "We’ve got to try and clamp down on their guards and use our inside game to our advantage," Chumbler said.

The Wildcats have handled senior Rocket guard Peyton Croft well, holding him to 12 points in two games – five below his season average.

Hill, on the other hand, has almost did the Wildcats in twice. The senior guard, who became Crittenden County’s all-time leading scorer earlier this year, scored 21 points in the first game and had 26 in the second contest.

"It will take some kind of effort against them, because they are not an easy matchup," Chumbler said. "We have to keep Hill off the free throw line and not let them beat us there."

If the Wildcats do have an advantage, it’s their frontline of Jamaal Boyd, T.J. O’Hara, and Kenny Turner.

Boyd scored 21 points in the game at Marion, while both O’Hara and Turner have hovered around double figures in both scoring and rebounding.

"Kenny is in better shape than when we played them before, and T.J. is playing better here lately. And Jamaal was the difference there. We can score on them inside if we have some patience and get the ball in there," Chumbler said.

Trigg County comes into the game with a 17-9 record but are just 3-5 in their last eight games. They have alternated wins and losses in their last four games.

Crittenden County is 14-10 and have won four of their last five games, including an 86-84 overtime win over Fort Campbell last Friday in Marion. Hill scored a school-record 42 points in the victory.

"They’ve got a little momentum coming in with that win," Chumbler said. "We’ve had some time to get the (71-62) Hopkinsville loss off our minds and three days to get ready for Crittenden. I like that preparation time, and we’ll see how it plays out."

Trigg County leads the all-time series with Crittenden County 67-36, which includes a 15-7 record in district tournament games. Trigg is 4-0 against the Rockets in tournament games at Wildcat Gym.

The Wildcats also have a little bit of history on their side.

Trigg County has won the district tournament on their home floor every ten years going back to 1965. Titles in 1975, 1985, and 1995 were also won at Wildcat Gym.

"I think the home floor will help us, especially if the fans turn out and get behind us," Chumbler said.
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