Mt'neers claim Class 3 District 12 title - Lawrence County Record : Sports

Mt'neers claim Class 3 District 12 title

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Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 12:30 pm

The Mt. Vernon boy's basketball team has gotten hot at the right time of the season, as they have now won nine straight games, including the last three in the Class 3 District 12 tournament over Diamond (75-13), Stockton (66-48) and Lamar (71-58).

In the semi-final against Stockton, neither team came out on fire offensively, as the first points of the game came at the 5:41 mark of the first quarter on a Cale Miller jump shot. The cold shooting was short-lived however, as Mt. Vernon's Cale Cornell caught fire from beyond the arch, hitting two 3-pointers to end the first quarter and give Mt. Vernon a 14-10 lead after one.

Mt. Vernon hit five 3-pointers in the second quarter, including two more from Cornell and only gave up a total of nine points to the Tigers in the second to lead by 18 at the half, 37-19.

The two teams played evenly throughout the second half and they Mt'neers were a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line late to seal the semi-final win 66-48 and advance to the title game against Lamar.

Corell led Mt. Vernon in scoring with 19 points, followed by 18 for Kyle Bushman.

Lamar and Mt. Vernon battled evenly through the first quarter with the Mt'neers leading by just one after one quarter, 17-16.

The Mt'neers used a key offensive run late in the second quarter, scoring 11 straight to close out the quarter to turn a 1-point deficit into a 10-point halftime lead. During that stretch, Mt. Vernon got two 3-point buckets from freshman Mason Ballay and one from senior Kelly Vaughn.

The Tigers never recovered and Mt. Vernon took advantage, extending its lead to 15 by the end of the third quarter, 49-34.

In the final period, Lamar put together one final run, cutting the Mt'neers lead down to seven, 54-47, but a Miller 3-pointer and four straight free-throws from Bushman pushed the lead back to 11 with just under three minutes left in the game.

Mt. Vernon (19-8) hit nine out of 12 free-throws in the final minutes to earn the win and the district title.

Bushman led the offensive push for Mt. Vernon, scoring a team-high 20 points. Ballay added 16, including 3 3-pointers.

The Mt'neers will face Springfield Catholic, a team they half split two contests against this season, in the Class 3 state sectional game at Willard, Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7:45 p.m.

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