PARIS An 11-point deficit with less than four minutes to play?
Not a problem for Rowan County on Saturday.
The Lady Vikings trailed Bourbon County, 46-35, with about 4:45 to go, but they uncorked their contender for comeback of the season. Their 13-0 run over the rest of the way gave them a 48-46 win and the Kentucky 2A Section 5 crown on the Lady Colonels’ floor.
“It’ll just be a big memory,” senior Brooke Blevins said. “This is a big moment, it’s my senior year, and I was just playing hard as I could because I’ll never get to do it again.”
Rowan County coach Matt Stokes added some humor.
“I’m about to keel over,” Stokes facetiously said. “We’ve had some pretty close ones, but (Saturday) was pretty intense just because the caliber of players (the Lady Colonels) have.”
Rowan County’s Haven Ford, meanwhile, was a little anxious, but not so much to keep her from hitting the game-winning 1-and-1 free throws with 9.9 seconds to go. She finished with 17 points.
“I was nervous from the time I got the foul and (the official saying) 1-and-1,” Ford said. “I’ve just gotta relax, tune out the noise.”
Stokes has told his team all year not to stand around and expect Ford to pull out a win. Maybe Saturday’s final four minutes should become an instructional video for decades to come.
Bourbon County’s McLain Murphy’s 3 (she led her team with 14 points) gave Bourbon County its 46-35 lead.
Especially Blevins and Hailey Rose. Blevins’ steal and layup made it 46-37, which Hailey Rose followed with a 3-pointer from the right wing on a cross-court pass courtesy of Blevins.
Bourbon County, 46-40, 3:30 left.
Rowan County had been playing “55 Man,” a full-court man-to-man press, for much of the fourth quarter. It worked with about two minutes left, when
Blevins’ steal became Ford’s layup just four ticks later.
Bourbon County, 46-44, 1:56 to go. A Blevins steal-and-layup with 47 seconds to go tied the score.
On its next possession, Ford took the ball to just across half-court. Jadyn Goodwin guarded Ford, but Lyndsay Johnson came late to double-team.
Ford saw Johnson coming. She dribbled to Johnson’s right, and Johnson drew her fifth foul.
The Lady Colonels had a chance at overtime, but Jhaven Meade and Murphy both missed 6-footers.
Next for Rowan County: Mercer County in the state quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Friday in Owensboro.
Ford was thinking about “to not stop fighting, keep pushing through.”
“We got in foul trouble, so we had to keep fightin’ through, pushing through,” Ford said. “You never know what happens.”
ROWAN CO. 8 7 14 19 — 48 BOURBON CO. 14 12 8 12 — 46
Rowan Co. (48) — Rogers 8, Ricer 8, Rose 12, Blevins 3, Ford 17. 3-Pt. FG: 4 (Rose 3, Ford). FT: 10-14. Fouls: 14.
Bourbon Co. (46) — Jadyn Goodwin 6, Murphy 14, Meade 6, Hamelback 8, Johnson 12. 3-Pt. FG: 4 (Murphy 3, Johnson). FT: 10-18. Fouls: 13.