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Winners of nine of their last 12 games, including five straight, the Grant County Braves enter Region 8 Tournament play with momentum on their side. And they’ll need it with Collins High School waiting for them in opening round action, which is set to tip off tonight at Henry County High School.
Collins, one of the newest high schools in the state of Kentucky, had more victories in Region 8 during the current season. Collins finished the season with a record of 24-4 overall, which includes an 8-1 mark against regional foes.
The Titans also come into the tournament with plenty of momentum after winning 14 of their last 15 games heading into post-season play.
But the Grant County Braves know the key to success against Collins, and anyone else they may face in the region tournament, is to stick with what got them here in the first place.
“We ended the season real well, but we can always do better,” said Grant County junior Jordan Saylor. “We’ve just got to keep working hard if we want to win region and go to Rupp.”
Senior Logan Cummins, who was named MVP of the District 32 Tournament, agrees.
“We have a chance to do well and go far in the region,” Cummins said. “We just have to play our game.”
For Grant County’s seniors, who know their next loss will be their last at the high school level, the confidence gained from beating Simon Kenton in the district championships will go a long way towards success in the region tournament and, hopefully, beyond.
“Playing the way we did against Simon Kenton shows we can play with anyone,” said Aaron Hicks. “We’re going to be competitive and we’re going to be a team to beat.”
Collins, which is in its fourth year of existence, lost just one regional game this season. That loss was a one-point defeat to Shelby County in the district finals. Other than that, a loss to Louisville Trinity is the only blemish on the Titans’ record since the Christmas break.
Collins is widely considered the top defensive team in Region 8, allowing just 49 points per contest. The Titans allowed 60-plus points only three times all season, easily the best in Region 8.
Grant County, meanwhile, comes into the game as one of the better offensive teams in the region. The Braves scored a total of 1,856 points so far, the third highest total in the region.
Grant County and Collins have never met on the hardwood.
Gametime is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6. The winner will move on to face the winner of the Owen Co.-South Oldham matchup in the region’s final four.