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As their game against Simon Kenton wound down in the final seconds, the GCHS boys’ basketball team were given something to remember if the two teams meet again.
A Simon Kenton player waved his hands for the crowd to get louder and then after the buzzer sounded, walked off the court yelling, “This is our district!”
“We’ll take something from that,” coach Ron Kinmon said. “Right now, we’re planning on being the number one seed in the district tournament if we win two more games and we’ll let our game do our talking.”
“We’re going to take care of it when we play them again,” Caleb Kinmon said. “Throwing their hands up was the worst thing they could do.”
Against Simon-Kenton on Jan. 16, the Braves were hoping to sweep the reigning district champion after beating them at home 56-47 on Dec. 12. A month later, the Pioneers got some payback with a 73-60 win.
“I thought we had really good effort,” coach Kinmon said. “I didn’t think we executed down the stretch and were unable to come back. Simon Kenton played really well.”
The Braves played from behind a majority of the game, ending the first quarter down 22-21. The Pioneers added to their lead in the second quarter, going ahead 41-33 at the end of the second quarter. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Braves were down 58-49.
Although they were down, the Braves worked to stay in the game, relying on Kinmon, Kody Thompson and Jared Livingood for a majority of their scoring. The Braves were without their second leading scorer, Cody Kinman, who was out with a sprained ankle.
“We missed his offense,” coach Kinmon said. “But I think Jared stepped up and played a really good game.”
Against Owen County on Jan. 13, the Braves fell 67-58.
“I didn’t think we played with great effort,” coach Kinmon said. “I thought we came out a little flat and Owen County did a good job of executing and just beat us.”
“It was a disappointing loss,” Caleb Kinmon said. “It was a learning experience. We have to play hard all the time and we got satisfied with where we’re at in the season and it came back to haunt us with the loss. We have to keep working hard in practice and stay motivated for each game.”
“We came in unprepared,” Cody Kinman said. “We haven’t been practicing good for a couple weeks. We’ve been slacking off. We came in unprepared and they whooped us. It all starts with practice. We have to be hungry and want more, even if we win games. We can’t be satisfied with where we’re at.”
With their two losses, the Braves learned that they can’t take any opponent lightly and hope to keep building on their season.
“I thought our intensity was as good as it’s been in a while,” coach Kinmon said. “I told the team after the game that I thought they had great effort. If we play with that effort, we’ll win a lot of ball games for the rest of the year. We just have to transfer that effort from the game into practice. We played them tough on their floor and we just have to work on executing a little bit better.”
Against Owen County, Kinmon led the Braves with 16 points and had nine rebounds, Thompson scored 11 points, Kinman scored 10 points, Livingood scored seven points, Mike Davis scored five points, grabbed seven rebounds and had four steals, Adam Prince scored four points, Sean Henry scored three points and Justin Loomis scored two points.
Against Simon Kenton, Thompson scored 23 points, Livingood scored 16 points, had nine rebounds and had five assists, Kinmon scored seven points, Isaiah Wartman scored six points, Davis scored four points and Prince scored four points.