The Christian County Colonels had big plays from their starters and their bench Tuesday as they picked up a victory over Henderson County in the season opener.
CCHS coach Kerry Stovall was obviously pleased with the win, but he was more impressed with how his team won in the 66-53 victory.
"Probably the thing that was the most impressive to me was we had some of our key guys in foul trouble most of the night and we had some new faces that stepped in there and performed really well," he said. "The other thing is I thought we showed great poise for a young team to be up by 14-15, then cut it to 2-3 and our guys didn't freak out or panic. They kept playing, they kept sharing the ball ... Of the whole night, that's probably the thing I was most impressed with was the poise that we showed at a time that, for a young team, we could have panicked."
Christian County held a big lead for most of the second half but Henderson County was able to cut the deficit to just two before CCHS went on another run to end the game on a high note.
Both teams were in early season form for the beginning of the contest as offenses struggled to find the hoop.
Kobe Dillard had five points for CCHS in the first to give them a jolt off the bench as the game was tied 15-15 after the first frame.
"I thought Kobe got us going in the first half," he said.
Christian County's Stephen Bussell came into this season as a leader for the Cols and he did more than just score 12 points in the win.
"Stephen is overly aggressive and it got him in foul trouble at times but he also made four steals in the fourth quarter when the game was a 2-3 point game," county coach Stovall said. "When you look at Bussell's stats, you can't look at points. You've got to look at the whole stat sheet."
When Henderson County made its run in the second half, Christian County got some help from its bench as Herb Forte buried a 3-pointer to finish with five clutch points for the Cols.
Olajuwon White also finished with 12 points for Christian County despite hitting his head early in the first half. White rebounded and scored eight points in the second quarter to set the tone for the Cols.
"He's very tough. He's going to bounce back," Stovall said. "He's a grown man, and he's like 16 years old, and there were times he played like that tonight."
Christian County's schedule doesn't get any easier as it hosts Webster County Thursday at CCHS then heads to Central Hardin Saturday to take on John Hardin in the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.
Anytime a team gets a win to start the season over a regional rival, there's a big boost to its confidence.
"Winning always beats losing," he said. "For me, the momentum from a game like this doesn't necessarily come from the winning part of it, it comes from the things we did in order to win. We still have a lot of stuff we've got to work on."
Christian County 66, Henderson County 53
CCHS (1-0) 15 19 9 23 -- 66
HCHS (0-1) 15 7 13 18 -- 53
CCHS: Qua Chambers 18, Mikeon Mathis 7, Stephen Bussell 12, Olajuwon White 12, Jalil Farrow 4, Kobe Dillard 6, Bubba Leavell 2, Herb Forte 5
HCHS: Lance Skinner 2, Daymian Dixon 7, Noah Curry 11, Luke Fulkerson 2, Holden Raley 5, Myekel Sanners 6, Xavier Bugg 9, Brayden Lyons 2, StePhan McGuire 9