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Orrick Coach Morgan Dickson knew his Bearcats would have a tough task ahead of them in the semifinals of the Class 2, District 15 Tournament at Santa Fe. After a convincing win in the first round, the fifth-seeded Bearcats faced the top-seeded Chiefs on their home court Wednesday night in the semifinals. The 23-2 Chiefs advanced to the finals with a 76-46 win while ending Orrick’s season at 8-18.
“Our goal going in was to limit them to one shot per possession,” Dickson said. “We did a pretty good job of this in the first quarter, but could not hold them off in the second. The kids competed hard and I’m proud of their effort.”
Santa Fe grabbed an 18-10 lead in the first period thanks to the 3-point shooting of Brett Case, who knocked down three of his four on the way to a 15-point effort. Case’s fourth 3-pointer came in the second frame as the Chiefs erupted for 21 points as Santa Fe opened up a 39-21 cushion at the intermission.
Ben Catlett paced the Santa Fe scoring in the third quarter with 10 of his 14 points to help the Chiefs build their lead to 61-38 entering the final 8 minutes. Two other Chiefs reached double figures to help them advance to Friday night’s championship game against Wellington-Napoleon as Taylor Wesley and Matt Lovercamp scored 12 points each.
Clayton Jones tied for game scoring honors with a 15-point effort for Orrick, with Cameron McGlothlin hitting for 9 and Dakota Harth adding 7. Also scoring for the Bearcats were Eric Rodenberg with 5, Ty Griffin with 4, Joe Kaufman with 3, Kalija Rogers with 2, and Preston Karnes with a free throw.
Dickson said it was a tough final year for his five seniors (Anthony Sevart, Rodenberg, Kaufman, Justin Pierson and Nick Lafferty), but they had a lot to look back on.
“You always hate for the season to end and also the careers of our seniors,” he said. “But I’m glad I got to coach these fine young men. Even though this year didn’t go as we had hoped, the past four years we’ve seen a conference championship and our first ever district championship.”
Dickson thanks his seniors and added his team improved as the season continued, and believes the future looks bright.
PHOTO: Orrick’s Clayton Jones (11) tries to work his way around a double-team from Santa Fe’s Jeff Knipmeyer (14) and Brett Case (12) early in the Bearcats’ district semifinal loss to the top-seeded Chiefs. (Photo by Martin Barrett/Lexington News.)