Cooper alone will carry Northern Kentucky’s banner into the Boys Sweet Sixteen championship game Sunday after Scott’s bid to duplicate “Hoosiers” ended in a heartbreaking loss.
Cooper scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to break a tie and take a 51-44 win over Fern Creek in Saturday's semifinal.
Scott, the Cinderella team this week, nearly made it an all-NKY final but lost to tournament favorite Bowling Green 80-79 despite another spectacular game by Jake Ohmer.
Cooper, a newcomer to the Sweet Sixteen, takes on Bowling Green for the title at 2 p.m. at Rupp Arena.
Cooper’s suffocating defense held Fern Creek to its lowest point total of the season. Sean McNeil led the Jaguars with 22 points, scoring seven during that 10-0 run. Brayden Runion had 15 points and a team-high five rebounds for Cooper.
Ohmer, the toast of the tournament, had a chance to win it for Scott, but his runner with three seconds left missed the mark. The 6-foot guard finished with a game-high 33 points on 11-for-24 shooting.
The Eagles trailed 61-53 heading into the fourth quarter, but they chipped away until they took a 75-74 lead with 1:32 left. The lead went back and forth and back to Scott when Jaycob Pouncy hit a pair of free throws with 29 seconds to go.
But Bowling Green’s Zion Harmon, an eighth-grader, hit a go-ahead jumper in the paint with 23 seconds left for the winner.
Jake's brother, Chad Ohmer, and Vinny Dumlao scored 11 points apiece for Scott
Ohmer averaged 35.3 points for Scott’s three games and finished with 106 points, tying for the 13th all-time in the state tournament.