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CovCath visits St. Henry for Tuesday night showdown; Colonels own nine-game winning streak

By Don Owen
NKyTribune sports editor

A showdown between two of the top basketball teams in the 9th Region is set for Tuesday night, when Covington Catholic visits St. Henry at 7:30 p.m.

CovCath enters Tuesday night with a nine-game winning streak after rolling to a 76-48 victory over Oldham County on Saturday. Mitchell Rylee scored 22 points on 11-for-13 shooting from the field to lead the Colonels, who improved to 16-2.

CovCath senior guard Donovan Stocks (5) averages 10.5 points per game. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Rylee, a 6-foot-7 junior center, is shooting 74.6 percent from the field this season. He also averages 16.6 points per game.

Donovan Stocks added 13 points for CovCath, which shot 61.2 percent from the field. Evan Ipsaro and Colin McHale each finished with 11 points as the Colonels upped their home record to 7-1 this season.

St. Henry is 10-2 this season and is coming off a 68-55 win over Campbell County on Friday. The Crusaders — who are scheduled to meet Walton-Verona in an All “A” Classic sectional game on Thursday night — have won eight of their past nine contests.

One of St. Henry’s two losses is an 80-78 overtime defeat at Lexington Catholic — which is unbeaten (13-0) and ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press state poll. CovCath is ranked No. 3 in the state poll, while St. Henry is No. 8.

CovCath and St. Henry met twice last season, with the Colonels winning both contests. Neil Green and Grant Disken combined for 31 points in the first meeting as CovCath posted a 64-38 victory.

In the second meeting, CovCath cruised to a 74-51 win over St. Henry during the semifinals of the 9th Region Tournament. Green poured in 19 points to lead CovCath, while Disken added 16 points.

Jude Bessler scored 13 points to lead St. Henry, while Connor Shea and Wyatt Vieth each added nine points.

Jude Bessler

CovCath has not lost to a 9th Region team since Feb. 26, 2019, when Beechwood posted a 57-53 win over the Colonels in the 35th District Tournament championship game. CovCath’s only loss to a Kentucky team this season is an 89-87 overtime setback at North Laurel.

CovCath is seeking its fourth consecutive 9th Region championship. The Colonels captured last season’s 9th Region crown with a 59-54 win over Highlands in the championship game.

BEECHWOOD DEFEATS CAMPBELL COUNTY: Will Downton drained seven 3-pointers and finished with 29 points to lead Beechwood to a 73-55 victory at Campbell County on Saturday.

Scotty Draud added 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Beechwood, which improved to 15-5. Cameron Boyd scored 12 points as the Tigers bounced back from a 77-75 loss at Gallatin County on Friday night.

Campbell County dropped to 11-6 with the loss.

RYLE VISITS COOPER IN GIRLS BASKETBALL SHOWDOWN: The Ryle girls basketball team plays at Cooper on Monday night in a 33rd District seeding game. Ryle is 13-2, while Cooper owns a 12-2 record.

Cooper is 7-1 against 9th Region opponents this season, with the only loss a 47-45 overtime setback at Conner. Ryle, the three-time defending 9th Region champion, is unbeaten against regional foes (6-0) this season.

A year ago, Ryle defeated Cooper three times, including a 63-45 win during the 33rd District Tournament.

Ryle is also scheduled to play host to unbeaten Anderson County (17-0) on Thursday night. Anderson County is currently ranked No. 1 in the state.

Don Owen is sports editor of the Northern Kentucky Tribune. Contact him at don@nkytrib.com and follow him on Twitter at @dontribunesport.

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