LEXINGTON, Ky. – Cooper and Scott will try to make Northern Kentucky basketball history Saturday by winning their semifinal games in the boys Sweet Sixteen.
Imagine the two NKY teams winning and meeting in Sunday’s final.
It won’t be easy. Both teams will be underdogs when Scott (23-12), the Tenth Region champ, takes on Bowling Green (34-2) at 6:30 p.m. and Cooper (30-4), the Ninth Region winner, faces Fern Creek (35-2) at 8 p.m. at Rupp Arena.
But both teams are on a roll.
Cooper, making its first appearance in the Sweet Sixteen, used its suffocating defense to rout Collins 58-33 in Saturday night’s quarterfinal. The Jaguars had allowed just 36 points per game in the postseason and beat their average.
Cooper held the Titans to one basket in the first quarter and broke out to a 17-4 lead. Sean McNeil, a 6-3 guard and Bellarmine signee, led the Jaguars with 19 points.
Scott, which never previously reached the semis, rode another sensational performance by 6-foot guard Jake Ohmer to a 74-52 afternoon win over Perry County Central. The University of the Cumberlands commit had 32 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Ohmer had 41 points and 17 rebounds in Scott’s opening win over Harland County – just the 21st 40-plus performance in Sweet Sixteen history.
The Eagles also excelled on defense, forcing 23 turnovers leading to 28 points. They outscored the Commodores 16-0 on fast-break points.
Nelson Perrin drew the defensive assignment on Perry Central’s leading scorer, Damon Tobler, and held him to 11 points with seven turnovers.
There have been two Ninth Region vs. Tenth Region finals, both involving Mason County. Simon Kenton became the first NKY team to bring home a state championship in 1981, and Holmes was runner-up in 2008.