The Mercer County Titans basketball team got the win on their first road game Thursday, Nov. 30, over the Danville Admirals, 77-62.
The Titans played aggressive defense, which led to 11 steals in the game. Head Coach Josh Hamlin talked about his team’s transition from opening night against Shelby County to their game against Danville.
“Our guys were a little nervous against Shelby County. That was some of our guys first extended action and we had some tired legs,” said Hamlin. “We worked out some foul shooting after the Shelby game and really stretched some of our soreness out. Coach Miller, our strength coach, did a wonderful job of getting out guys’ legs back underneath them the night before the Danville game.”
Senior Trevon Faulkner opened the game with a three point shot to put the first points on the board.
In just a little over a minute and a half, senior Gunnar Gillis was the first Titan sent to the charity stripe, where he hit two, and then teammate Carter Baughman earned the first foul with aggressive defensive play. The referees made good use of their whistles with 44 total fouls called for the night.
Faulkner took control of the game with a drive down the middle, then interrupted the pass at the Admiral’s basket with the long reach that made him such an effective wide receiver. He then dished off to Gillis who went strong to the basket and earned his second assist with a pass to senior Ty Divine who hit his first of two threes for the quarter.
Dante Hayden was the only Admiral truly effective against the Titans in the first quarter, earning 10 points.
Mercer ended the first quarter up four, 21-17.
Mercer’s defense was on point at the start of the second quarter. Three straight turnovers forced the Ads to take a time out to regroup. Mercer had the lead 25-19, but Danville’s time out was effective and within two minutes they took the lead, 26-25.
Danville extended their lead to 28-25, but sophomore Kaelin Drakeford got three points, two from a good move to the basket, drawing the foul and one from the foul line, tying the game up with less than two minutes left on the clock.
The Ads put three more points up, but Drakeford was able to make another move to the basket with seconds left, leaving the Titans down 1, 33-32, going into the half.
Baughman was a man on fire coming out of the half putting six points on the board with back to back threes, giving the Titans the lead, 38-33.
The Ads’ Tevin Kavanaugh hit a three from way out cutting the Titan’s lead to four, 49-45. A confrontation followed between the Ads’ Jared Southerland and Faulkner. Southerland was called for the foul but Faulkner earned the technical foul. Both players hit their foul shots.
“The game was back and forth and all of these kids know each other and have played against each other since they were little,” said Hamlin. “There was a scuffle and Trevon was given a technical. He told me after the game he let his emotions get the best of him, but I believe that was a turning point in the game.”
For more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.