The Aces are moving on to the All “A” quarterfinals for the first time in three years after rolling over West Carter 62-33 in Thursday morning’s early first-round game.
Owensboro Catholic (12-6) never trailed, using 3-pointers from Drew Hartz and Gray Weaver plus a jumper by Brian Griffith to take an 8-0 lead out of the gate.
“We didn’t have trouble with the early game time,” Aces head coach Time Riley said. “We came out and hit back-to-back 3s, so it was a good way to start.”
Catholic really blew the game open in the second quarter and put it away for good in the third, outscoring the Comets 44-17 during that stretch.
Already up 42-25, the Aces went on a 14-0 run — with the final eight points coming from Brian Griffith — over the last 3:46 of the third period.
“West Carter got in a little foul trouble, and we started to play zone more,” Riley said of distancing themselves during the dominant stretch. “We talked to some people that told us they struggle against zone.”
A jumper by Sam McFarland gave Catholic their biggest lead at 62-27 with 4:09 left in the fourth and marked the last goal of the game for the Aces.
Hartz and Weaver eached hit three 3-pointers and Griffith added one, combining to go 7-for-10 from deep. The Aces also got 26 points in the paint, using an inside-out attack to score from all over the floor.
“That’s just kind of how it played out,” Riley said of the balanced attack. “You try to take the best shot you’re given. Sometimes it’s a 3, sometimes it’s at the rim. But you have to try to get the ball to the rim because inside-out 3s are better than side-to-side 3s.”
Griffith led Catholic with 19 points, including making eight of 10 free throw attempts. Hartz finished with 14 points and shot 5-for-7 from the field, adding six rebounds. Weaver had 11 points and was 4-for-7, also finishing with four blocks. Ji Webb chipped in seven points and a team-high seven rebounds.
As a team, the Aces finished 21-for-43 from the field, though they did only shoot 13-for-27 at the free throw line.
Catholic finished with 39 rebounds, 14 assists, seven steals and six blocks. They outscored West Carter 19-5 on second-chance points and 15-8 on points off turnovers.
Catholic now moves on to the quarterfinals, where they’ll play at 4 p.m. Friday against Frankfort (9-12). Frankfort beat Bishop Brossart 57-52 in their first-round game Wednesday.
Riley said it was exciting to get back to the quarterfinals after falling in the opening round the last two years.
“We’ve played pretty tough opponents in the first-round games the last two years,” Riley said. “We wanted to win and advance, and we’re ready to keep going”
WCHS (33): Braden Leadingham 8, Trevor Callahan 6, Trace Tackett 6, Jackson Bond 4, Tyson Webb 3, Evan Jordan 2, Ben Wilburn 2, Kaleb Rayburn 2
OCHS (62): Brian Griffith 19, Drew Hartz 14, Gray Weaver 11, Ji Webb 7, Sam McFarland 5, Andrew Riney 4, Luke Scales 2
Stay up to date on all your local sports coverage by following @OwensboroSports on Twitter and by liking us on Facebook.
2019-20 basketball coverage is presented in part by Rhoads & Rhoads Attorneys at Law.