By RYAN INGRAM
The Indiana Stars had four players score in double-figures but found themselves behind more often than not Saturday night against the Kentucky team at the Battle of the Bridges basketball tournament at the MidAmerica Sports Center in Louisville.
Indiana cut the lead to one late in the fourth quarter but couldn’t sustain the rally and fell short, 67-62.
Jeffersonville’s Keenan Williams was awarded the Most Valuable Player for the Indiana squad with 12 points in the game. Andrew Jones and D.J. Coleman — both of Clarksville — and Jennings County’s Brad Hunt each had 12 points, as well.
Two early 3s by Jones put Indiana ahead 6-2, but Kentucky was able to keep pace by getting to the foul line, where they were 5-of-6 in the first quarter.
Jeffersontown High’s Daniel Williams hit a three to tie the game at 10, and on the next possession, Brandon Marshall — also of J-town — gave Kentucky a 12-10 lead with a mid-range jumper. Kentucky never trailed again.
Clarksville’s Kegan Fetz layed in a basket to cut the lead to one at 14-13 as the first quarter came to a close.
Coleman answered a Kentucky 3-pointer with one of his own to keep the lead at one point early in the second quarter, but Kentucky’s Daulton Peters drew a foul on a made basket down low and converted at the line to give Kentucky a four point lead at 20-16.
With Kentucky up 26-20, Williams drew a foul on a shot from the left block and made both attempts from the charity stripe. On the ensuing inbounds, Williams shot the gap and picked off the pass, laying it in to cut the lead to a single basket at 26-24.
After a made Kentucky basket, Hunt got the ball in the post, turned and threw down an authoritative dunk to cut the Kentucky advantage to 28-26. On its next possession, Jones drove to the hoop and got a reverse layup to fall to tie the game at 28.
Kentucky then went on a 7-0 run to close out the half and take a 35-28 lead into the break.
A 5-0 run to start the third quarter gave Kentucky a 12-point advantage at 40-28. A bucket by Dre McBirth, who finished with six points, got Indiana on the board in the second half and cut the Kentucky lead to 10. However, Kentucky countered with a 7-3 run to push the lead to 47-33.
Then Indiana went on a 9-0 run. Fetz hit a baseline jumper then found Coleman behind the arc for another 3 to get the deficit under ten at 47-38. Back-to-back layups by Coleman and Jones got it down to five at 47-42.
Peters got an offensive board and putback to give the Kentucky squad a 49-42 advantage as the third quarter expired.
Coleman hit his third 3-pointer of the game to start the fourth quarter and cut the gap to four at 49-45. Kentucky pushed the lead to six at 53-47 on a layup by Fern Creek’s Demetrius Stanton.
Indiana answered with a 6-0 run. Williams drove the baseline put a reverse layup in. That hoop was followed by a basket from Hunt in the paint. On the next possession Williams pulled down an offensive rebound and went back up with an up and under layup to tie the game at 53.
Kentucky — as it had all night — found a way to answer. Caleb Wigginon of Taylor County was fouled and made the first free throw. When Wigginton missed the second, Peters pulled down the board and put it back in to give Kentucky a three-point lead at 56-53.
McBirth hit a 15-footer from the left side to cut it to one, but Wigginton found himself open behind the arc and sank the 3 that made it 59-55 Kentucky. That sparked a 7-0 run for Kentucky and it once again had a three-possession lead at 63-55.
After Hunt was fouled and converted both shots, Fetz hit a shot from the left wing to get Indiana back within four with a minute to play, 63-59.
Kentucky scored four quick points, however, to push the lead back to eight at 67-59.
Williams hit a 3 with 29 seconds remaining that gave Indiana a chance, but a Jones 3 with ten seconds left was off the mark. Kentucky was able to run out the clock and come out with the 67-62 victory.