Mustangs Win 51st Annual A.I.T.
Beat Christian County Colonels 65-56
Troy Cooper Named MVP
Brad Seiter and Josh Kidney - All-Tournament
THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE FRIDAY
MORNING EDITON OF THE ASHLAND DAILY-INDEPENDENT
By Grant Traylor
ASHLAND: Bishop Brossart coach Mike Code did what any coach would do if he expected his trio of big guys to have to
guard the perimeter, run on the break and sprint for 32 minutes.
He wore them ragged during a morning workout.
â€œWe had a rather rough walk-through (Thursday) morning,â€� Code said. â€œIt was more of a practice than a walk-
through because we were not being commanding in the post.â€�
The method of Code's madness paid dividends with his Mustangs punishing Christian County 65-56 to win the championship
of the Ashland Invitational Tournament Thursday.
Troy Cooper, one of the big guys that Code exhausted, scored 28 points and grabbed five rebounds in the championship to
take tournament MVP honors.
â€œThe big guys had to work on keeping their arms up and finishing through contact,â€� Cooper said.
In the contest, Cooper converted four baskets in which he was fouled with several coming in transition.
Cooper and fellow big man Nathan Mutsch controlled play throughout the contest, combining for 38 points and 12 of the
Mustangs 21 rebounds. The duo also went to the foul line 26 times in the contest.
â€œNathan was so active early on that it gave people confidence,â€� Code said. â€œThen Troy got out in the second half
and our guards did a great job finding him.â€�
Point guard Brad Seiter only attempted one field goal in the contest, but Code said he ran the offense to perfection against the
quick pressure. The result was several open looks for the frontcourt duo and shooting guard Josh Kidney, who finished with
The Mustang defense switched from its constant half-court defense to a tight matchup zone that forced the Colonels into
several outside shots.
â€œIn the first two games, we were picking up at half court, but tonight we picked up at the three-point line because they are
so quick from 1 to 5,â€� Code said. The move resulted in Cooper and Mutsch being out top defensively on several
occasions putting a hand in the face of shooters. Christian County finished the contest 40 percent from the field.
Jamaizz Baker scored 16 points while Montreal Lane came off the bench to add 12 points for Christian County, who was
without head coach Kerry Stovall due to a stomach virus.
The Brossart Mustangs made their first trip to the Ashland
Invitational Tournament a winning one, defeating Russell (the
top-ranked team in the 16th Region) 59-45 on Tuesday,
dispatching West Carter (the team that knocked off the
tournament favorite Bryan Station) 48-42 on Wednesday, and
then taking out Christian County (earlier 68-44 winners over
Simon Kenton) 65-56 in the championship game.
This A.I.T. Championship represented a total team effort as
each of the Mustangs who played in the three game series
each played a signifigant role in our bringing home the heavy
hardware to the Avenue of Champions.
Josh Kidney, who may have been the most pleasant surprise
of the tournament scoring 30 points in the three games
played, Brad Seiter who led the team with authority and poise
while connecting on 22 of 30 free throws, and Troy Cooper,
whom we've come to expect such things, used his substantial
girth and fleetness of foot to score double figures in all three
games for a total of 49 points, including 28 in the
championship game, were all named to the All-Tournament
team, with Coop being named the tournament's MVP.
The Mustangs received sizable contributions from Jimmy
Uebel, our embattled warrior, who fought sickness and injury
to work his defensive magic, making many good things
happen and the players around him the beneficiaries of his
passing talents in all three games, putting up 11 points in the
Russell game before falling ill on Wednesday. Kyle Lubbers
has become a seasoned pro at this game and as suspected has
emerged as a major contributing factor to the success of this
team. Lubbs put up 19 points in the three-day event and may
have been the "star of the game" in our win over West
Carter. Nathan Mutsch stepped up big in the title match after
struggling to finish in the first two contests, dominated on the
boards, and is just now getting back to 100% after recoving
from a concussion which sidelined him for over a week.
Adam Franzen triggered the third period rally in the
championship game which resulted in a 20 point quarter
and put the Mustangs on top to stay by hitting two huge
field-goals and Kyle Kramer filled in admirably when called
upon to spell his teammates who needed a breather or had
gotten in foul trouble. This is the kind of team effort that we
had the confidence that this group could deliver and it has
certainly been rewarded paying dividends in the form of a 7-2
record and a major tournament title to boot.
Troy Cooper joins names such as Antwain Barbour, Richie
Farmer, and Darrell Griffith who have been the leading scorer
in AIT championship games.
Here is the composite box score for the three game A.I.T.:
Kidney 10-1-7/12-30, Seiter 2-2-22/30-32, Franzen 2-0-4/6-8,
Lubbers 7-0-5/8-19, Uebel 5-2-2/10-18, Mutsch 5-0-
6/17-16, Cooper 13-0-23/36-49
Total Mustangs: 44- 5-69/119 -172 7-2 1-1
Total Opponents: 44-11- 22/44 -143
In the championship game itself, which reminded me a lot of
Hoosiers where the tiny middle-class suburbanite Catholic
school boys would face the big strong, quick, big city guys
from Hopkinsville, the Mustangs would face Christian County
who has made 12 Sweet Sixteen State Tournament
appearances and played in the championship game on two
occasions. The Mustangs have been to the "big show" once.
Our Mustangs came ready to play and seemingly caught the
Colonels off-guard with our intensive half-court defense and
effective press-break which allowed us to build a nine point
lead at 14-5 early on in the first period. As the Colonels began
to score they were able to more-readily get into their press
and capitalized on Mustang turnovers to go on a 7-0 run of
their own, cutting our advantage to 14-12 at the half.
A quick Colonel bucket to start the second period knotted the
score at 14 and by the 3:48 mark of the second stanza the
Mustangs had fallen behind 18-24 and it looked like Christian
County had weathered the Mustang threat and was about to
run away and hide by halftime.
With their backs to the wall the Stangs regrouped and
stemmed the tide, as Josh Kidney and Troy Cooper would
combine for 12 of the Mustangs 14 second period points and
would cut the Christian County lead to 28-29 at halftime.
The adjustments that the Mustang coaching staff made at
halftime were right on the money and following a Troy
Cooper old-fashioned 3point play, Adam Franzen
would lead the fast-break and score twice to
start the second half and would score over
larger defenders (picture) to gain the lead
back for the Mustangs. The third period
saw the game tied at 36 and 41 before the
Mustangs pulled away to lead 48-42 going
into the fourth quarter.
The Colonels would make one more run
to start the fourth period, cutting the
Brossart advantage to 48-46 before our
amazing, new era Mustangs drew off to
win the oldest continuous ongoing tournament
in the state 65-56.
When the dust had settled Troy Cooper had scored 28 points
to lead the Mustangs and Josh Kidney and Nathan Mutsch
would both contribute double figures with 12 and 10 point
Cooper was named tournament MVP and Kidney and Brad
Seiter were placed on the All-Tournament team.
Box Score: Kidney 4-1-1/2-12, Seiter 0-0-5/9-5,
Franzen 2-0-0/0-4, Lubbers 1-0-1/2-3, Uebel 1-0-1/4-3,
Mutsch 3-0-4/7-10, Cooper 8-0-12/19-28
Totals Mustangs: 19-1-24/43-65 7-2 1-1
Totals Colonels: 17-5- 7/14-56
|Click On The Radio At Right To Listen To
The Broadcast Replay of the Championship
Game of the AIT
|Photos Courtesy Of
Cooper Digital Photos
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