By Jacob Wilson

Three Anderson County Bearcat senior basketball players were honored last Monday, along with a senior Lady Cat cheerleader, as Anderson County celebrated senior night. Basketball seniors Joey Frasure, Taylor Hensley, and Matt King were met at half court of Glen Drury Court by their families and applauded for their impact on Bearcat basketball. Senior Elisabeth Chilton of the Lady Cat cheerleading squad was also recognized for her years devoted to cheering.

After the senior night festivities, it was time for basketball. The Cats hosted the Christian Academy of Louisville Centurions of the seventh region, losing 64-39 in the final home game of the year.

The original senior night game, slated for January 31, had to be rescheduled due to winter weather. CAL was one of a few options for teams as Coach Bryan Hyatt looked to add a regular season contest to the schedule last minute.

“When we lost a game (due to weather), I wanted the kids to play a game instead of practice. We need to be playing… So I sent out an email and had three responders: Christian Academy of Louisville, Louisville Eastern, and West Jessamine. The only that could come here on Monday or Tuesday was (CAL), so I said ‘why not?’ Well, you bring a good, high-level opponent, and there’s senior night on top of it, and then these guys wanted to wear those blue jerseys late notice. It was too much hoopla, too much for the competition that was here tonight,” Hyatt said.

“I’m not making excuses… but when we play a team like that we have to be dialed in. We don’t have enough offensive firepower and enough God-given talent to just show up and participate, and that’s 100% my fault.”

The blue ‘Lawrenceburg’ jerseys aside, Anderson County struggled to convert offensively. The team shot 13-of-49, or 26.5%, from the field, including going six-of-25 from three (24%). The team had been averaging closer to 36% from three coming into Monday night’s game, and a 43.1% field goal percentage.

Part of that is a credit to the Centurion defense, which only allowed one Bearcat into double-figures scoring, and held Anderson to just 13 first-half points. However, with the emotions of senior night perhaps serving to distract, the off night could have a multitude of different reasons.

Frasure led the team in scoring with 22, knocking down 12 of those points from beyond the arc. He was also 100% from the foul line, knocking down a pair of free throws. King was nearly into double-digits with nine points, including one three-pointer. The other two Bearcats contributing on the scoreboard were junior Bryce Cox and sophomore Carson Sutherland each with four points.

Despite the outcome of this singular performance, the 2023 senior Bearcats have given the program a lot to be excited about. Coming off a tough 2021-22 campaign with just six regular season wins, none of which came over a district or regional opponent, and a first-round exit in the district tournament, Bearcats defied expectations and have turned heads with their hard-nosed determination and shot-making ability.

“During the preseason, Anderson County was supposed to be 9-18 rather than 18-9. We were supposed to be the five-seed in the 30th district tournament. Anderson County is the other way around, and a huge part of that is because of our three seniors,” Coach Hyatt said.

“Without Joey’s obvious scoring and his tenacity, without Taylor’s toughness, leadership, and tenacity, and without Matt’s shot-making and steadiness, we’re not where we’re at. A big part of what we’ve done this season is a credit to our senior class.”

The Bearcats will compete in the 30th district tournament this week, hosted by Woodford County High School in Versailles. The boys enter the tournament as a three-seed, propelled off district wins over Collins and Shelby County. The Anderson News Facebook page will provide updates on the district tournament.

The Anderson County boys’ basketball Bearcats finished the 2022-23 regular season with a record of 19 wins and nine losses (6-6 in the region and 2-2 in the district).