A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Subpar shooting topples Newport in state tournament game that features player breaking scoring record

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

LEXINGTON — There were several reasons for Newport’s subpar shooting performance in a first-round game of the boys state basketball tournament on Thursday and they resulted in a 61-46 loss to Lyon County at Rupp Arena.

The Wildcats had problems dealing with interchanging defenses used by Lyon County and they got just 10 offensive rebounds that limited them to seven second-chance points. The fact that several of Newport’s shots swirled in and out of the basket was another factor in the team shooting 32.1 percent (17 of 53) from the field.

Newport guard Taylen Kinney drives to the basket against Bradin Nelson of Lyon County. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

“They kind of pushed us a little bit out of our comfort zone and our shots were a little bit further out than what we’re used to doing, ” said Newport coach Rod Snapp. “We always talk about anticipating the miss so you’ve got to crash (the boards) and get some offensive rebounds. But (Lyon County) did a really good job of (us) getting one shot.”

The afternoon game drew 13,964 fans. A lot of them came to see if Lyon County junior guard Travis Perry would break the state’s career scoring record of 4,337 points set by “King” Kelly Coleman that had existed since 1956.

Perry got a standing ovation when he made a free throw that surpassed Coleman’s total with 3:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 23 points that lifted his career total to 4,340.

“Scoring is fun, but winning a game is a lot more fun,” Perry said. “That’s the thing I’m most proud of today. I’m proud of the way we fought and proud of the way we stepped up on the big stage.”

After Perry’s historical free throw, his teammates made back-to-back field goals that gave the Lyons a 57-37 lead. That put the game out of reach for Newport’s young team that was 9 of 30 from the field in the second half.

Lyon County guard Travis Perry launches a 3-point shot in front of Newport’s bench. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

Marques Miller, the only senior starter for the Wildcats, scored 17 points. Two freshmen, one sophomore and one junior were the team’s other starters. Freshman guard Taylen Kinney finished with 11 points and four assists.

“The two freshmen here play high-level AAU so they’re used to playing against elite players,” Snapp said. “But it is a little bit different coming here and playing in this environment — playing in Rupp Arena, playing on the big stage.  You could tell they were a little out of sync, but again after we got rolling and playing, the youth stuff is over with.”

With 4:12 left in the second quarter, a field goal and free throw by Miller put the Wildcats on top, 18-17, but that was their last lead in the game. Lyon County was ahead, 26-20, at halftime and opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run that pushed the margin to 32-20.

Newport pulled to within eight points, 38-30, on a 3-point goal by junior Jabari Covington late in the third quarter, but that was the last gasp for the Wildcats, who were making their first state tournament appearance since 2010.

Newport senior Marquez Miller gets off a shot over Brady Shoulders of Lyon County. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

“I was real pleased with our guys’ fight,” Snapp said. “It’s definitely not fun getting beat. We had a lot of wins, a lot of success and had a lot of fun. And then the balloon explodes, that’s exactly how it feels.”

Lyon County coach Ryan Perry said Newport was one of the best defensive teams the Lyons faced this year, but they were able to shoot 43.4 percent (23 of 53) from the field to offset 11 turnovers.

The Lyons also had a 40-26 rebounding advantage thanks to juniors Brady Shoulders had Jack Reddick, who both posted a double-double. Shoulders finished with 13 rebounds and 12 points. Reddick had 11 rebounds and 17 points.

Coach Perry’s decision to alternate between zone and man-to-man defenses was also a factor in the outcome.

“I felt like it kind of kept them off-balance a little bit,” he said. “Our plan was to keep them off-track and keep their guys guessing every other possession down the court what defense we were in.”

This is only the second time in 10 years that the 9th Region representative in the boys state tournament has been knocked off in the first round. Seven local teams made it to the semifinals, four of them reached the championship game and three won state titles during that span.

NEWPORT          11    9  10  16 — 46
LYON COUNTY  13  13  14  21 — 61

NEWPORT (28-7): Turner 1 1 3, Miller 6 4 17, Kinney 4 0 11, Anderson 2 1 6, Covington 3 0 7, Lowe 1 0 2. Totals: 17 6 46.

LYON COUNTY (31-5): Shoulders 5 2 12, Reddick 7 0 17, Perry 8 3 23, Nelson 1 0 2, Bray 1 3 5, Downing 1 0 2. Totals: 23 8 61.

3-point goals: N — Kinney 3, Miller, Anderson, Covington. LC — Perry 4, Reddick 3.

James Turner of Newport wins a battle for the ball under the basket. (Photo by Bob Jackson)


Related Posts

Leave a Comment