MAYSVILLE, KY — Augusta came into Thursday’s game after taking two losses to two top 25 teams in the state, McCracken County (who is 22x larger than Augusta enrollment-wise) and Highlands, in the Mason County Invitational Tournament.
They lost both those games by a combined 58 points. Augusta would turn that around in the last day of the MCIT and roll past Greenwood in a 72-47 running clock win.
“Today, I thought we came out with some energy. We were a little concerned about the game being at 11:00 o’clock in the morning. We shared the ball extremely well and finally shot the ball well like we know we’re capable of,” said Hinson.
Augusta was down 15-12 with 45 seconds left. Kylan Hinson would throw one down, and Conner Snapp would be fouled on a three-point shot and hit all three free throws to give them the 17-15 lead over Greenwood.
Augusta would end the quarter on an 8-0 run after LJ Conner got an and-one with 9.6 seconds left which gave the Panthers a 20-15 lead after one.
The young but athletic Gators of Greenwood lost all three games in the MCIT. They would have their biggest trouble scoring in the 2nd quarter against Augusta, only putting up 4 points.
Five different Augusta players would score in the 2nd quarter. Kylan Hinson put up 7 points in the four minutes until halftime. Augusta led Greenwood 39-19 going into the locker room.
Greenwood would get the first basket coming out of the locker room. However, Augusta would score the next 20 behind four threes.
The Panthers made 8 threes total, including one from LJ Conner at the buzzer to extend their lead in the 3rd quarter 64-27.
Hinson said, “I just told them to keep their foot on the gas. Keep running your stuff, don’t take bad shots, share the ball, and good things will happen. And that’s what they did the entire game.”
Another three from Keeton Bach to start the 4th quarter gave Augusta their largest lead of the game at 39 points. Augusta would empty their bench with four minutes left in the game, leading 72-35. Augusta’s bench was unable to score, and Greenwood scored the last 12 points of the game.
The final score was Panthers 72, Gators 47. Augusta admittedly went through some growing pains in their losses to two top 25-ranked teams. Three, including Bracken County.
“It’s 68-59 with 6 minutes to go against Bracken, who’s a top 25 team in the state. It’s a 10-point game at halftime against McCracken. It’s about getting better, learning from your mistakes, and I thought everything we had done poorly before we did better today. That’s what happens when you play good teams; you get better.”
Augusta was also able to play three games on the floor of the district and regional tournaments, which will both be held at the Mason County Fieldhouse.
“That’s why we’re here. That’s why we come here every year. We play well here. We shoot the ball well here. As long as they (Mason County) keep inviting us, we’ll keep coming.”
Augusta will have three straight home games against St. Patrick, Carroll County, and Campbell County before heading into the 10th Region All “A” Classic. They will face Paris on the road on Friday, January 6th, at 7:30 pm.
Augusta (72) — Kylan Hinson 25, LJ Conner 18, Conner Snapp 12, Will Kelsch 6, Noah Nelson 5, Keeton Bach 3, Chan Conner 2.
Greenwood (47) — Kyan Troutman 9, Asher Pettus 8, Nick Simpson 7, Garrett Hatcher 5, Chase Huff 5, Zach Davis 4, Cole Phillips 4, Lofton Howard 2, Dajari Murrell 2, Hunter Haycracft 2, Brady Clark 2.