Owensboro Catholic found a way on Thursday night.
Playing without injured senior Gray Weaver, and with Ji Webb saddled with foul trouble for much of the game, the Aces got a big lift from Sam McFarland in a 57-53 conquest of upset-minded Daviess County at the Sportscenter.
Junior point guard Brian Griffith scored a game-best 22, and McFarland was right behind with 21 — connecting on 10-of-14 floor shots.
“He started hitting that mid-range shot earlier in the season and we’ve encouraged him to take it,” Catholic High coach Tim Riley said of McFarland. “We don’t win this game without Sam’s performance tonight.
“Daviess County defends us really well in their matchup (zone), so we’re glad to get out of here with a win.”
Griffith scored eight points and McFarland added six as the Aces built a 20-15 first-quarter lead.
The Panthers, however, got seven points from sophomore forward Cole Burch in the second period and pulled within 30-29 at intermission on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Jack Payne.
DC got a three-point conversion from Burch and a 10-footer from Max Dees to shoot in front 37-35 at 4:38 of the third quarter, but McFarland scored six points and Griffith added five in an 11-2 run that left Catholic with a 46-39 lead entering the final eight minutes.
In the fourth quarter, the Panthers pulled within four points on four occasions, but could get no closer.
“Catholic is a really good team and Sam McFarland had a terrific game for them,” Daviess County coach Neil Hayden said. “They turned us over some and scored off our turnovers.
“Our guys competed hard, so I’m disappointed for them, but hopefully we’ll grow from it.”
In addition to the production received from Griffith and McFarland, the Aces got 10 rebounds from Webb, despite limited minutes.
Catholic (14-5) finished 21-of-44 from the field (48%), made 7-of-10 free throws (70%), secured 27 rebounds, and committed only eight floor errors.
Burch had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Panthers (7-10), who also got 16 points from Dees. Camron Johnson added nine rebounds.
DC was 18-of-44 from the field (41%), hit 12-of-16 foul shots (75%), grabbed 30 rebounds, and turned the ball over 13 times.
DAVIESS COUNTY 15-14-10-14 — 53
OWENSBORO CATHOLIC 20-10-16-11 — 57
Daviess County (53) — Burch 18, Dees 16, Johnson 8, Payne 8, Humphreys 3.
Owensboro Catholic (57) — Griffith 22, Sam McFarland 21, Gray 5, Carrico 5, Webb 4.