The Mercer County Titans (7-6) almost handed the East Jessamine Jaguars (12-4) a district upset Tuesday night. Mercer was not ready to simply hand the title over to the Jaguars, who had beat the Titans by almost 30 points in the regular season. After four quarters of hard fought basketball, the Titans finished just shy of advancing to district finals, 49-47.
“We played 30 minutes of really good basketball, but the game is 32 minutes long,” said Mercer Head Coach Josh Hamlin. “This is why you finish shots, push yourself through the line in sprints, always hustle in practice. You have to do the things that make you better to finish those last two minutes.”
The first shot of the game was indicative of how things would end for the Titans. Sophomore Seth Caton’s shot sat on the rim before falling off, right on the edge, but not quite there. East senior Zion Thomas made back-to-back shots and Cam Thompson hit a three-pointer and the Jaguars jumped out to a seven point lead on the Titans, 9-2. Junior Brayden Dunn had his first of many drives of the night for a bucket. Senior Sam Baughman cranked out a trey and with three minutes left in the first quarter the Titans cut the lead to two, 9-7. Hart and Dunn combined for five more points and the Titans trailed at the end of the first quarter, 16-12.