On paper, Friday night’s 47th District contest between visiting Casey County and Somerset was a big-time mismatch.
On the court when all was said and done, on this night at least, the paper didn’t lie.
Simply, homestanding Somerset crushed the Rebels for the second time this season; this time at the friendly confines of The Briar Patch by a final score of 78-46.
Junior forward Kaiya Sheron led a very balanced Somerset scoring attack with a game-high 16 points, as he was one of 10 Jumper players to ink his name into the scoring column.
As a result, it was Somerset moving to 13-2 on the season, while dropping the Rebels to 2-13 on the year, to the lop-sided win in a game that eventually went to a running clock late in the third period due to the 35-point mercy rule.
“I give Casey County a lot of credit, because we had to burn a timeout early on,” stated Somerset head coach Jeron Dunbar after the game, in referring to a very quick, 5-0 Casey County lead to start the contest.
“Gavin (Stephens) has shot the ball well for us all season long, and at halftime tonight he was like 0-6 or 0-7, and his head was starting to get down and I just challenged him,” continued Dunbar. “He stepped up in the second half and scored 15 points, and that’s just kind of the way it goes. We’ve shot the ball so well all season long.”
Casey County did indeed race out to a quick, 5-0 lead in the game over the Briar Jumpers, but after that, this one was all Somerset.
Dunbar and crew led this one by a very comfortable, 38-24 margin at the halftime break, and if this one wasn’t already decided, it certainly was at the end of the next eight minutes on the clock
Somerset blew this one wide open in the third frame, outscoring Casey County 29-6 in the stanza, taking a commanding, 67-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and putting this game on a running clock.
Sheron led the Briar Jumpers with 16 points, while Stephens scored all 15 of his points after the intermission.
Dylan Burton joined them in double figures in the win with 13 points.
Somerset will begin play in the 12th Regional All A Tournament on Monday night at Burgin High School, facing Washington County in the first round of that tournament.
That game is set to get underway beginning at 7:30 p.m.
One night after falling to University Heights in the opening round of the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic, the Somerset Briar Jumpers rebounded very nicely on Saturday evening, holding back the Morristown East Hurricanes by a final score of 74-65.
Somerset junior guard Kade Grundy led the Jumpers with 27 points, on a night when Jeron Dunbar’s club moved to 9-2 on the season, and bounced back after a very disappointing, 63-57 loss to UHA the night before.
“We challenged our guys today because we weren’t real happy after last night,” pointed out coach Dunbar, in talking about his club’s loss to UHA the night before.
“I was mad all night, and I didn’t think we came out with the right kind of energy last night,” added the Somerset head coach. “We had a long session today — let’s just say that. We preached to them about playing for each other, playing for pride, and all down through our bench tonight our guys were enthusiastic, and helping each other, so I was glad with the way we responded.”
Grundy of course had the big night with his 27 points, and it was his 6-0 spurt in the second frame that put the Briar Jumpers in control of things, erasing a 20-18 deficit into a 24-20 Somerset lead late in the first half.
The Briar Jumpers led the Hurricanes 29-22 at the half, and extended that margin to 49-37 through three quarters of play, but Morristown East would have one final run left in the tank.
In the fourth period, Somerset got up by as many as 16 points, but the Hurricanes — behind the play of Micah Simpson and Braden Ilec rallied.
The Hurricanes would cut the Somerset lead down to 70-65 with just under a minute to play, but Dylan Burton — who tallied 10 points in the win — would hit a pair of free throws, and Jackson Cooper would score on a layup, helping Dunbar and company close out the game with a mini, 4-0 run.
Gavin Stevens would add 18 points in the win for the Briar Jumpers, while Kaiya Sheron also would hit for double figures with 10 points.
Somerset will conclude play in the tourney on Sunday afternoon at The Briar Patch.
Over the first three weeks of the season, Jeron Dunbar and the Somerset Briar Jumpers have proven the purple and gold is a legitimate and bonafide 12th Regional contender.
Simply, the Briar Jumpers have been on a proverbial roll, and that continued over the weekend in Madison County, playing in the Berea All A Holiday Classic.
After blowing out Sayre 83-39 on Saturday morning in the semi finals of the Berea All A Holiday Classic, Somerset brought home the hardware on Saturday evening, taking down the host Pirates in the championship game by a final score of 71-42.
“This was a good tournament for us,” stated a very happy Dunbar after Saturday night’s victory in the finals of the tournament.
“We were able to get a lot of guys some minutes,” pointed out the Briar Jumper head coach. “Two weeks ago, our football players were playing in a state championship football game.This was good to get them a lot of time on the floor and working on meshing them together.”
Somerset took control in this affair against Berea early on, and basically never looked back, scoring 41 points in the opening half of play.
Gavin Stevens led the way for Somerset with 15 points, as Dunbar’s club had nine players hit the scoring column.
Kaiya Sheron added 13 points for Somerset while Dakota Acey also hit for double figures with 10 points, for a Briar Jumper team that improved to 8-1 on the season by winning their seventh game in a row.
“Our team chemistry was great tonight, and we moved the ball very well offensively,” pointed out Dunbar.
“Gavin has continued to stay hot, and he is playing better at this point of the season than we thought he would be,” added the Somerset head coach. “Our schedule is going to get tougher as we go. We have to continue to work hard and not get complacent.”
Somerset will return to action on Friday night, taking part in the annual Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic Basketball Tournament.
The Somerset Briar Jumpers continued their winning ways on Friday, as Jeron Dunbar and crew moved to 6-1 on the season, winning their fifth consecutive game with an impressive, 87-63 win over the Cordia Golden Lions in the Berea All A Holiday Classic.
Kade Grundy led Somerset with a game-high 28 points, and the Somerset coach says his junior guard is starting to come around, after missing virtually all of preseason practice due to Somerset’s deep run in the football playoffs.
“We are playing good team basketball right now,” stated a very happy Somerset head coach after his team’s win on Friday.
“I think Kade got back in the groove tonight, and hopefully he is starting to hit his stride,” Dunbar added. “We are shooting the ball really well right now, and our defense continues to get better. Kaiya (Sheron) has looked completely different the last couple of games and he is getting better each game.”
Grundy did indeed play well in Friday’s contest, hitting 60 percent from the floor, hitting on 12-20 field goal attempts.
Dylan Burton also hit for double figures in the win for Somerset scoring 14 points, and Gavin Stevens added 12 points for the Briar Jumpers.
Somerset — 6-1 on the season — will play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon in the tourney at Berea High School, taking on Sayre High School out of Lexington.
The recently completed 2019 High School football season will be one that will forever be remembered, thanks in large part to Somerset’s come from behind and thrilling, 34-31 victory over Mayfield in the Class 2 A State Championship Football Game.
That win gave Briar Jumper Nation a state title that it had been yearning for, and it was a state championship in football at the high school level that had been 113 years in the making.
The 2019 season saw the Pulaski County Maroons garner a one-seed in the regular season district standings, while the Southwestern Warriors came out of nowhere, and rebounded from a 2-5 start in Jason Foley’s first year at the helm to go on a nice run — a run that took Southwestern all the way to a regional championship game before falling to Frederick Douglass, along with a district title.
Simply, it was a great year of football in our community, and all three local high schools are very well represented on The Doug Out’s 2nd annual All-County Football Team.
Player of the Year — Kaiya Sheron — Quarterback, Somerset — Sheron had a great junior season, and was an integral part in helping lead the Briar Jumpers to a 14-1 record and that Class 2 A state championship.
For the season, Sheron completed 178-260 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 68.4 %. He threw for 3,218 yards and 28 touchdowns, while rushing for 959 yards on 114 attempts and eight TD’s.
Offensive Player of the Year — Kade Grundy — Wide Receiver, Somerset — Grundy was usually the best athlete on the field each and every Friday night, and he put up the kind of numbers to back up that claim.
The junior wide receiver hauled in 68 receptions during the season for 1,441 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Grundy also rushed for a TD, and had a kickoff return for another score.
Defensive Player of the Year — Konner Hargis — Linebacker, Pulaski County — Hargis had another stellar season for the Maroons in 2019, capping off an outstanding career at PC.
Hargis tallied 122 tackles on the season, which included 26 tackles for loss, and four quarterback sacks. As a result, the PC senior left the Maroon program as the all-time leading tackler in school history, finishing his Pulaski County career with 523 tackles.
And now, for the rest of our team:
Offensive Line — Ethan Fuentes, Pulaski County, Mason Heath, Southwestern, Jake Early, Southwestern, John Poe, Southwestern, Drew Johnson, Somerset, Ben Simmons, Somerset, Ethan Harper, Somerset, Chase Cimala, Somerset.
Quarterback — Drew Polston, Pulaski County
Running Back — Alex Miller, Somerset, Cam Austin, Somerset, Tanner Wright, Southwestern, Chase Doan, Southwestern.
Wide Receiver — Jake Sloan, Pulaski County, Grant Oakes, Pulaski County, Xavier Streeter, Southwestern, Mason Hibbard, Southwestern, Jayden Gilmore, Somerset, Carson Guthrie, Somerset, Tate Madden, Somerset (THE CATCH).
Defensive Line — Chase Parmlee, Pulaski County, Jordan Lanter, Pulaski County, Devin Tolson, Pulaski County, Jacob Grabeel, Somerset, Dyllan Keith, Somerset, Dylan Asher, Southwestern.
Defensive Back — Jacob Shepherd, Pulaski County, Kaleb Adams, Pulaski County, Chaz Gilmore, Somerset.
Kicker — Max Brainard, Southwestern.
Congratulations goes out to all of these outstanding players for helping make the 2019 football season such an enjoyable one for fans to witness, and a special thank you goes out to all three head coaches, Robbie Lucas of Somerset, Johnny Hines of Pulaski County, and Jason Foley of Southwestern for opening up your football programs, and giving me all access to help cover these great players.
Yes, 2019 was a huge success locally on the gridiron. For coaches and players alike, I can sum it up in only three words; JOB WELL DONE!!