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In a season filled with hot and cold streaks, the Grant County High School boys' basketball team finds itself in another slump.
The Braves' most recent slide continued last Friday with a 68-51 loss to Anderson County High School. GCHS opened the game with a 16-8 first quarter lead and turned it into a 23-10 advantage midway through the second quarter. Anderson took control in the third quarter with an 8-0 run, sparked by C.J. Penny, who is drawing attention from Xavier University and Louisville. Penny finished with 26 points.
Grant County (6-13) opened the season 2-2 before dropping six of its next eight games. During January, the Braves are 2-5, but they have dropped three in a row. Of the losses, four are by a margin of 10 points or less.
"I was hoping the record would be better, but we are a pretty inexperienced team. With that said, we are making progress. We are understanding our roles and playing better. I feel the tough competition we have played has and will help as we progress this season," head coach Ron Kinmon said.
Despite the record and recent results, the players and Kinmon are confident that the team will close the regular season on a positive note.
"We started off a little slow, but now we are playing better. I think the losses will motivate us," senior Lucas Sharp said.
A positive note, according to the players, begins with putting four quarters together, something juniors Cody Kinman and Kody Thompson say has not been done yet.
"We have the ability to do a lot better. We have to build up the intensity and have that carry over to four good quarters," Thompson said.
Sharp agreed with Thompson's assessment.
"We have to put together a whole game. We have to play harder and play our best this part of the season," Sharp said.
Grant County will look to put together four quarters and earn a win this week as the Braves hosted Oldham County on Tuesday and travel to Carroll County on Jan. 31.
"Both games will be a challenge for us. We need a win in a close game. If we can get one, it will make quite a difference. Our kids are still working hard and their attitudes are great," coach Kinmon said.
Sharp said that his teammates are approaching this week's games the same as always, but did say, "we need to get rolling."
After this week's games, the Braves have six games remaining in the regular season before turning their attention to the 32nd District Tournament, which will be played at Grant County High School.
Both Thompson and Kinmon are hopeful that GCHS will be peaking at the right time heading into the district tournament.
"We'll prepare for the district tournament. The pre-tournament games do not matter as long as we are ready," Thompson said.
Kinmon believes the Braves will be playing their best basketball in late February.
"We have not played to our potential, but come district time, we should be ready, and I think we are going to shock the 8th region this year. In late February, we will be strong enough and ready to go as a team," he said.