Walton-Verona’s Dieonte Miles (42) slam dunks the ball over Trimble County’s Beau Turner (15) and Logan Clifford (30) during Wednesday’s game in Bedford. Miles, a 6-foot-10 Xavier University recruit, was limited to just six points but Walton-Verona still rolled to an 81-40 win. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Walton-Verona’s Dieonte Miles (42) slam dunks the ball over Trimble County’s Beau Turner (15) and Logan Clifford (30) during Wednesday’s game in Bedford. Miles, a 6-foot-10 Xavier University recruit, was limited to just six points but Walton-Verona still rolled to an 81-40 win. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Trimble County played arguably its best half of the season on Wednesday but it wasn’t nearly enough to hold off powerful Walton-Verona.

The Raiders played nearly even with Walton for just under two quarters and trailed by only three with two minutes left in the second period. But the Bearcats closed the half with nine-straight points and never looked back, rolling to an 81-40 North Central Kentucky Conference win in Bedford.

Despite the blowout loss, Trimble coach Ron Couch was pleased with his team’s play — in the first half at least — against a team ranked 13th in the latest BluegrassPreps poll.

“We wanted to do something in this game and give ourselves something to build on and that first half just really makes me feel good because we know we can be there with a team like that,” Couch said.

Walton-Verona (4-0, 2-0 NCKC) took control right from the start, jumping out to a 14-2 lead three minutes into the game thanks to several steals and the dominating defensive presence of 6-foot-10 Xavier-bound senior center Dieonte Miles inside the paint.

But rather than panic, Trimble hit the reset button and went back to work and quickly cut into the lead. Evan Stevens caught fire with five points and Logan Clifford and Grant Weaver each added buckets as the Raiders ripped off a 9-2 run of their own to get back into the game.

Trimble (2-2, 1-1 NCKC) had its most success when Miles was off the floor and such a moment presented itself in the second quarter when the Bearcat big man went to the bench for a breather.

Trailing 26-15 at the time, Trimble went on a 12-4 run capped by two Clifford free throws with 2:03 left in the half to slash the Walton lead to 30-27.

However, the Bearcats regrouped to score the final nine points of the half and take a 39-27 lead into the lockerroom but Couch still felt good about his team’s play.

“If they don’t hit a 3-pointer right at the end, it’s only a nine-point game at the half. I’ll take that,” Couch said.

Those good feelings quickly dissipated in the second half. Walton-Verona opened the third with a 12-2 run and pulled away from there, holding a 58-34 lead after three quarters. Seventeen-straight points to open the fourth period turned the game into a rout.

“(Walton-Verona) came out and did what they wanted to do in the second half and that was not what we want to do. We want to slow it down and take our time and they got us in a hurry,” Couch said. “But for a half, we were right there.”

Stevens scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in that first half and was the only Raider in double figures. Reese Webster finished with nine points.

Trey Bonne scored 21 points for Walton-Verona, Kam Pardee had 16 and Garrett Jones added 14 to lead the Bearcats. Miles, who is coming back from an injury suffered last year, scored six points — all on three rim-rattling dunks.

“I didn’t think we gave (Miles) a lot of good looks. Some of those (dunks) came in the second half when we were just kind of down,” Couch said. “He’s a great player, but I thought we did a good job of keying on him and keeping him uncomfortable.”

Trimble returns to action on Friday for an even tougher opponent when it hosts Oldham County in the Raiders’ 29th District opener. Next Wednesday, Trimble travels to North Oldham.

The prospect of three-straight games against powerhouse teams made Couch laugh wryly.

“Merry Christmas to us,” Couch said laughing. “It’s good in a sense though because now we can see what we are going to see in the district. All of this really doesn’t matter; it’s all about the district and to see a team like this and play Oldham, we see where we need to be and what we need to work on. It’s good for our guys to see that.”

———

WEDNESDAY’S BOYS GAME

at Bedford, Ky.

No. 13 WALTON-VERONA 81,

TRIMBLE CO. 40



WALTON-VER. 21 18 19 23 — 81

TRIMBLE CO. 13 14 7 6 — 40



WALTON-VERONA (4-0, 2-0 NCKC) — (g)Bonne 21, (f)Pardee 16, (g)Jones 14, (g)Grubbs 7, (c)Miles 6, Brook 6, Watson 5, Lepping 3, Bromwell 2, Stanley 1, Stanley 0, Schrader 0, Davis 0, Schultz 0.

TRIMBLE CO. (2-2, 1-1 NCKC) — (g)E. Stevens 17, (g)Webster 9, (c)Clifford 4, (f)Weaver 4, Turner 3, Ogburn 2, (f)B. Stevens 1, Kunselman 0, Petty 0, Blackaby 0, Haller 0, Cissell 0, Jennings 0.



3-Point Goals — Walton-Verona 6 (Jones 2, Bonne 2, Watson 1, Lepping 1), Trimble Co. 3 (E. Stevens 2, Webster 1). Turnovers — Walton-Verona 11, Trimble Co. 25. Total Fouls — Walton-Verona 13, Trimble Co. 13. Free Throws — Walton-Verona 9-13, Trimble Co. 7-11. Fouled Out — None.