Camels, Indians drop openers at Lex Cath tourney

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A star-studded field ascended into Lexington on Tuesday for the start of the White, Greer and Maggard Lexington Catholic Holiday Tournament.

The field of 16 teams had eight of the top 20 teams in the state, Campbell County and Holy Cross taking on two of those eight as the Camels faced North Laurel, the Indians taking on Lyon County.

Both took losses on Tuesday, North Laurel knocking down Campbell County, 71-56, while Lyon County took care of Holy Cross, 95-79.

North Laurel 71, Campbell County 56

The Camels got a look at Reed Sheppard, the University of Kentucky signee as Sheppard ended with 22 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals.

Camels coach Aric Russell has been doing this a long time and the one thing he noticed with Sheppard that sticks out is his unselfishness.

“I like how he gets his teammates involved. I can tell there’s times where he could take over and do a lot of stuff because he’s got the talent, but he gets guys the ball and is so unselfish. He’s a complete player, I really enjoyed watching him play except for getting my butt kicked today,” Russell said.

At times, it was a University of Kentucky baseball commit that looked to be the best player on the floor, Camels Aydan Hamilton aggressive in his offensive attack, his 17th point early in the third quarter putting the Camels within one at 35-34.

Then Sheppard and post player Ryan Davidson took over for the Jaguars. The two ignited a 24-8 Jaguars run to turn a one-point game into a 59-42 lead after three quarters of play. Sheppard and Davidson combined for 21 of the 24 points during the run, capping it with a nice feed from Sheppard to Davidson for a dunk to end the quarter.

“We’ve got a lot of trust in this group and we just try to stay patient with them. I didn’t do a lot of yelling over there and really don’t have to. These guys are battle tested, they know what it takes, and they just got to decide whether or not they want to play,” Jaguars coach Nate Valentine said.

The Camels (6-4) were only able to get within 12 in the fourth, turnovers proving costly as they committed 15 of them, resulting in a 15-6 edge for the Jaguars in points off turnovers.

“Turned the ball over, we stopped guarding and we got winded really quick. I was worried about that all night, not getting to practice for four days and felt like we were hanging in there and then we got really winded. I didn’t sub as much so that’s on me,” Russell said. “Some bad turnovers on our part that I call them pick sixes. We had like three of those where we turn it over and then they get a dunk on the other end. That kills you.”

The loss moves Campbell County to the consolation bracket where they’ll take on Christian Academy-Louisville at 12:30 p.m.

Hamilton finished with 24 for the Camels, adding six rebounds. Jake Gross pitched in seven, Nathan Smith and Jaidan Combs with six apiece.

Davidson was a menace for the Jaguars, posting 28 points and a handful of thunderous dunks. The Jaguars (8-4) advance in the winner’s bracket to face North Oldham.

Lyon County 95, Holy Cross 79

Feel bad for the statistician in this one.

A frantic pace as the two were on pace to score nearly 100 for the majority, it was the Lyons pulling away in the second half for a 95-79 victory.

This one didn’t lack offense, Jacob Meyer erupting for 49 points for the Indians, the Lyons (10-3) getting 31 points from Brady Shoulders, who also added 18 rebounds, 27 from highly touted recruit Travis Perry, just missing on a triple-double with 11 rebounds and eight assists and Jack Reddick also chipping in 27, hitting 13-of-17 from the field.

For the Indians, it’s been the same story as their prior two losses, unable to put a complete game together to try and knock off one of the top tier teams in the state.

“In those big games we haven’t put together a full 32 minutes. Tonight we put together about 20. In other games it’s been a half, but we got to be able to play with the same energy and same intensity in the fourth quarter as we do in the first quarter,” Indians coach Casey Sorrell said. “Fatigue becomes a factor and I think that we start to make little mental errors.”

Holy Cross (6-3) jumped out to a 27-24 lead after one and built a 44-38 advantage in the second before the Lyons made a 12-3 run to end the half and lead 50-47 at the break.

Jacob Meyer had 31 at the break, scoring at will in transition and showing why he was the state’s leading scorer entering the game.

Travis Perry had 20 at the half, the two both holding at least 10 Division I offers.

“I talked to Jake a little bit before the game mostly about the objective is to win the game. It can’t be a back and forth, me versus him. The objective is always to win the game,” Sorrell said.

But the Lyons trio was just too much to handle in the second half. The three combined for all 27 points in the third, starting to pull away from the Indians with a 77-68 lead after three.

“I think our the pace of the game got to a Holy Cross a little bit. The second half we kind of saw at the end of the first half that they were maybe getting a little bit tired, so we just tried to keep ramping up the pace and the speed of the game up,” Lyons coach Ryan Perry said.

After a Meyer layup and his 47th point of the night to make it 81-72, the Lyons went on a 10-0 run to put the game away for good.

Holy Cross now heads to the consolation bracket to face Bracken County at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. After Meyer’s 49, Sam Gibson added nine points and 16 rebounds, Javier Ward adding 11 points.

Lyon County faces Ballard on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

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