When the Simon Kenton Pioneers boys basketball team (22-11 overall) ran its offense starting with 7-foot-3-inch center Gabe Dynes and working from there, the Pioneers received good shots and stayed with the quick Collins Titans.
But in the second quarter, Collins sped up Simon Kenton forcing the Pioneers into turnovers and tough shots. The Titans (26-7) built a double-digit lead in that quarter and held on for a 57-47 8th Region semifinal win at Henry County on Monday.
Simon Kenton could not beat the Titans in any of the three meetings this year. Collins also beat Simon Kenton, 58-54 in the Henry County Classic on Jan. 21 and 55-48 in the Ashland Invitational Tournament championship Dec. 30.
Simon Kenton has not had an answer for Collins senior guard Kenyon Goodin at all this year. Goodin made three three-pointers on his way to 25 points. He averaged just below 26 points against the Pioneers in the three meetings.
“I give credit to (Collins). (Head Coach) Chris (Gaither) is a good coach,” said Trent Steiner, Simon Kenton head coach. “(Goodin) is a very poised player. He was 10 of 11. You can never speed him up. He gets to his spots and makes plays.”
Seven different Titans scored as they made four three-pointers and 10-of-17 free throws. Senior guard Quintin Simmons added 12 points.
Dynes finished his outstanding career making all nine field-goal attempts on his way to 20 points to go with 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for a double-double. He helped bring the ball up the court against the 2-2-1 Titans full-court press.
Simon Kenton turned the ball over 13 times and had just three steals. Collins scored 12 points off those turnovers.
The Pioneers made 20-of-37 shots. Junior guard Travis Krohman had 14 points and sophomore point guard Jay Bilton scored 10.
Simon Kenton finished with 21 rebounds, six assists, three steals and 15 fouls. Senior forward Logan Crisp led the Pioneers with two assists.
The two teams exchanged baskets for most of the first quarter. But Goodin made a three from the top of the key to finish a 5-0 run that put the Titans up for good at 14-10 entering the second quarter.
Collins led 19-14 with 5:47 left in the second quarter after Bilton made a free throws. But the Titans scored eight in a row to go up 27-14 with Goodin scoring four. Dynes answered a Goodin offensive putback with a dunk to make it 29-18 Collins at halftime.
Simon Kenton did manage to trim the lead to single digits in the third quarter. a Krohman jumper made it 33-28 with 3:29 left in the third quarter. But Goodin scored twice in the final three minutes to extend it to 37-29 entering the fourth quarter.
The Pioneers cut the lead to 46-40 with 1:58 left in the game after a Krohman three. But the Titans hit 7 of 11 free throws after that to pull away.
Simon Kenton still put together a nice season. The Pioneers won the 32nd District championship and made it back to the region semifinals after not making the region tournament last year.
“I think the most important thing is our kids got better as players. They got better as young men,” Steiner said. “Our seniors made our program better and I know they’ll be successful young men from the discipline they learned from our program. They made an old man feel young again playing a kid’s game.”
Simon Kenton graduates four players this spring. They are Dynes, Crisp, guard Isaac Gabbard and center/forward Josh Bowling.
COLLINS — 14-15-8-20 — 57
SIMON KENTON — 10-8-11-18 — 47
Collins (57) – Kenyon Goodin 25, Simmons 12, Cochran 7, Evans 5, Ledford 3, Harbin 3, Kade Goodin 2
Simon Kenton (47) – Dynes 20, Krohman 14, Bilton 10, Gabbard 3