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Boys basketball: Lloyd snaps Holy Cross win streak; CovCath rolls to sixth straight double-digit victory

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

In a preseason questionnaire, Lloyd boys basketball coach Michael Walker said the Juggernauts would be “the surprise team” in the 9th Region this year and they’re living up to his claim.

Lloyd defeated Holy Cross, 89-71, on Friday to run its record to 15-3, a remarkable turnabout for a team that finished 7-11 last season. The Juggernauts have won four in a row following back-to-back losses by margins of one and two points.

Lloyd forward EJ Walker tries get off a shot against Holy Cross center Sam Gibson. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Holy Cross (14-6) had won five straight games before the loss to Lloyd. The Juggernauts gave up more points than any other game this season, but they countered that with their best offensive performance in 18 outings.

Lloyd had four double-figure scorers and two of them — freshman forward EJ Walker and senior guard Teyon Neal — more than doubled their season averages.

Walker, the coach’s son, finished with a team-high 27 points and Neal netted 21, including five 3-point goals.

Both of those players scored eight points in the first quarter when Lloyd took a 23-20 lead. In the second quarter, the Juggernauts outscored Holy Cross, 25-15, to extend their advantage to 48-35.

In the second quarter, senior forward Garrett Vogelpohl scored nine of his 19 points and junior guard Jeremiah Israel got seven of his 15 for the Juggernauts.

Holy Cross rallied to pull within 66-58 at the end of the third quarter. Junior guards Jacob Meyer and Javier Ward did all of the scoring for Indians in that period. Meyer finished with a game-high 34 points and Ward ended up with 25.

Lloyd guard Jeremiah Israel eyes the basket for a left-handed layup. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Lloyd responded by outscoring the visitors, 23-13, in the fourth quarter to come away with the victory. Freshman guard Elijah Collins scored all five of his points in that quarter and Neal had seven points, including his fifth 3-pointer

Both teams have district seeding games early next week. Holmes will visit Holy Cross on Monday and Lloyd will visit Dixie Heights on Tuesday. Holy Cross will play Lexington Sayre in the opening round of the All “A” Classic small school state tournament at 9:30 p.m. Thursday at Eastern Kentucky University.

CovCath riding six-game win streak into Saturday’s rematch with Louisville Male

Covington Catholic will take a six-game winning streak into a rematch with Louisville Male at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Louisville.

In this week’s Associated Press statewide media poll, CovCath was voted No. 2, one spot ahead of Male. The Colonels won the previous game between the two highly ranked teams, 68-56, during the King of the Bluegrass tournament in late December.

Both teams won home games on Friday. CovCath defeated Madison Central, 68-52, to push its record to 17-2. Male defeated Louisville St. Xavier, 85-77, for its ninth consecutive win since the loss to CovCath. The Bulldogs now have a 15-3 record.

CovCath senior center Mitchell Rylee scored 24 points and junior guard Evan Ipsaro had 23 in the win over Madison Central (10-7). Those two players made 18 of their team’s 27 field goals. The Colonels shot 49.1 percent (27 of 55) from the field compared to the Indians’ 44.4 percent (20 of 45).

Rylee scored 15 points in the first half that ended with CovCath ahead, 43-23, and the Colonels maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game. Rylee’s first field goal in the second half gave him a career total of 1,000 points.

CovCath junior forward Chandler Starks posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Riley snagged nine rebounds and Ipsaro had six assists for the Colonels, who posted their sixth straight win by a double-digit and 15th of the season.


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