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Amari Bartelson powers Bourbon County past Nicholas County; Colonels end six-game losing streak

WATCH ME WORK – Colonel sophomore Amari Bartelson rose above Nicholas County’s Wyatt Simons to score two of his team-high 15 points.


Colonels hit 20 of their 23 free throw attempts to hold off the very determined Bluejackets




PARIS, KY – It has been a streaky season for the Bourbon County boys basketball team: three losses to begin the year, followed by seven wins, then six losses. The Colonels snapped their latest losing streak on Wednesday night with a 70-60 home win over Nicholas County to move to 8-9 on the season.

“It feels good for our program and our boys,” said Head Coach Derek Robinson of snapping the losing streak. “We’ve been making some steps…It’s just good to get that win. It’s good for our guys to see that if you do certain things, you can win a lot of the time. Those certain things are paying attention to detail and actually playing together as a team on both sides of the court.”

Amari Bartelson led the Colonels’ balanced scoring attack with 15 points, including 11 in the first half. Robinson praised the sophomore’s progress from where he was last year at this time to know.

“He’s a sophomore and he’s growing,” said Robinson of Bartelson. “He’s young and he’s making steps. He’s getting better and he’s becoming coachable, he loves the work ethic now. If we build that in our big men and the rest of the young guys, we will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Junior Bradley Robinson added 14 points and Kade Hilander chipped in 13, including some key free-throws late in the game. Coach Robinson noted that once Nicholas County began to press in the second half, he wanted the ball in Hilander’s hands.

“He’s so versatile,” said Robinson of Hilander. “He’s our rock. He has a lot of things to his game. He rebounds the ball, he throws assists, and he scores for us, so he does a lot.  Some days he’s not going to score a lot and he’s going to have to bring us together and make plays for us like he did tonight. It’s good to have somebody with that versatility, and he’s a junior, so we get him back another year. That’s big.”

After trailing by ten at halftime, Nicholas County pulled to within six on multiple occasions in the second half. Each time, Bourbon County responded with a momentum-shifting bucket or a stop on the defensive end to push to reestablish control of the game. Robinson hopes his team can carry the resiliency and winning spark into Friday’s road matchup with Knox Central.

“We’re going to keep our eyes on the prize,” he said. “Our standard here at Bourbon County is the same: we want to go out and outwork everybody we play against and just keep getting better. Knox Central is a good team. They’ve been playing good basketball. We beat them here last year, so I’m sure they will be ready to play.”


The Colonels, who finished the game with 13 assists, led 19-18 after the first quarter and 40-28 at the halftime break. Both teams tied the third quarter by scoring 13 points each making the score 53-41 heading into the decisive final quarter where the two teams tied again, scoring 19 points each, with 12 of Bourbon’s points coming from the free throw line.

Senior Wyatt Clark paced the Bluejackets with a game-high 26, with 15 of those points coming in the second half.


Bourbon County scoring: Bartelson 15, Robinson 14, Hilander 13, Earlywine 11, Anthony Bell 6, Austin Beatty 6, Daymarion Byrd 3, Roderick Hill 2; Free Throws: (20-of-23) Hilander 6-8, Earlywine 6-6, Beatty 4-4, Bartelson 3-3, Byrd 1-2; 3’s made: Robinson 2, Bell 2, Earlywine 1, Hilander 1; Rebound leaders: Hilander 7, Nash Wilson 5, Earlywine 4, Bartelson 3.


Nicholas County scoring: Clark 26, Lincoln Morris 13, Maddox Donovan 6, Preston Blake 6, Dylan Donovan 5, Braxton Martin 4. Free Throws: (11-of-12) Morris 9-10, Clark 1-1, M. Donovan 1-2; 3’s made: D. Donovan 1, Clark 1, M. Donovan 1

(All game photos taken by KRISTA BARNETT for The Citizen)

NOT TO BE DENIED – Colonel junior Austin Beatty took the ball hard to the rack during Bourbon’s 70-60 victory over Nicholas County.


JUST GIVE ME A SECOND PLEASE – Nicholas County senior Wyatt Clark hesitates just before he would make his move against Bourbon County junior Daymarion Byrd. Clark led all scorers with 26 points.


LETTING IT FLY – Bourbon County sophomore Noah Earlywine launched this three just in front of the Colonel, bench to score three of his 11 points on the evening.

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