Luke Anderson

North Oldham senior Luke Anderson dunks during the Mustangs' 51-43 win over Grant County in the Eighth Region quarterfinals on March 1.

North Oldham didn’t play its cleanest game against Grant County in the Eighth Region quarterfinals, but it did enough to win and advance.

The Mustangs overcame a slow night offensively to grind out a 51-43 victory against the 32nd District runners up on March 1.

“We didn’t have a great offensive game tonight, but our defense held it down like they have for the most part all year,”  NOHS coach David Levitch said. “Next game, I’d expect the nerves to be out of the way, and hopefully we can play better on offense.”

North Oldham never led by more than eight points but also never trailed in the contest.

“It’s just survive and advance at this point,” junior Jack Fischer said. “Any way we can find to win is alright. That’s what makes this team great – just finding a way to get the win.”

The Mustangs had difficulty pulling away late, shooting just 5-for-12 from the free throw line in the fourth period, but they held Grant County to zero field goals and just three points in the final 6:35 of the contest.

“We’ve been in a lot of dogfights, and we’re able to win grind-it-out games or super fast games,” Levitch said. “Our offense was just not good tonight, to be honest, but our defense just locked it down when it mattered.”

NOHS senior Ian Higdon helped contain Grant County star Dylan Hammonds, the region’s second leading scorer. Hammonds finished with 14 points, well below his season average of 25.6.

“We’re a good defensive team across the board, but I thought Ian especially played fantastic defense on Hammonds,” Levitch said. 

On a night that North Oldham’s three leading scorers in the backcourt – seniors Dallas Roberts and Jack Scales and junior Grant Neal – combined for just 15 points, junior guard Jack Fischer stepped up for Mustangs.

“Dallas was kind of getting trapped off ball screens, so that was my queue if I had the open lane to take the shot. That’s what I did from the beginning,” Fischer said. “Anybody on this team has the ability to step up on any given night.”

Fischer got to the rim often and tallied 15 points to lead all scorers.

“Jack Fischer is probably one of the most underrated players in the region,” Levitch said. “He’s not super flashy, but tonight he carried the load for us from the guard position. He’s just really steady, knows how to play basketball, get to the paint really well and he’s really strong.”

North Oldham advances to play Woodford County in the tournament semifinals on March 6. 

The Mustangs and Yellow Jackets met most recently in last year’s region championship, when North Oldham got out to a 26-point halftime lead and held off a second half comeback to win the title.

“I haven’t watched a second of their games all year, so it’s going to be new to me,” Levitch said prior to WCHS’ quarterfinal game against Owen County, which the Mustangs stayed to watch. “Obviously we played them last year in the region, so I knew some of their personnel, but I’m just going to have to learn tonight.”


Grant County      7   17   12    7 – 43

North Oldham   12   13   15   11 – 51

Grant County (25-8): Dylan Hammonds 14, Spencer Breeden 14, Micah Wills 11, Jackson Utter 2, Benjamin Bosse 2

North Oldham (25-5): Jack Fischer 15, Luke Anderson 11, Ian Higdon 10, Jack Scales 7, Dallas Roberts 6, Grant Neal 2

3-pointers: Grant County 2 (Hammonds 2), North Oldham 2 (Scales 2)