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HUNTINGTON — Playing Lawrence County is akin to running a marathon against a sprinter who never gets tired.

The Bulldogs (14-2) used their fast-paced offense and superior size to race to a 99-61 victory over Huntington St. Joe Monday night in boys high school basketball in the St. Joe gym. A demonstration of how quick Lawrence County was occurred in the second quarter when St. Joe’s new video board flashed “Defense! Defense! Defense!” but the Bulldogs already had scored and the Irish (6-3) possessed the ball.

“They’re hard to withstand,” St. Joe coach Todd Maynard said of the Bulldogs, who average 88 points per game and scored a season-high Monday. “They get up and go.”

Cody Maynard, in particular, got up and went. The senior point guard scored a game-high 29 points. Maynard had plenty of help, as Tyler Johnson scored 22 and Trenton Adkins 20. Will Lafferty chipped in 11.

The Irish stayed with the Bulldogs early and led most of the first quarter. Lawrence County, though, began the second period on a 10-0 run to turn a 25-23 deficit to a 33-25 lead it never gave up. The Bulldogs led by as many as 17 before settling for a 49-34 halftime advantage.

St. Joe chipped away in the third quarter, pulling as close as 55-48 on a basket by Jesse Muncy on a drive through the lane with 3:42 left. The Bulldogs needed a mere 1:10 to rebuild the margin to 13 points.

“In spurts we tried to climb back and climb back,” Maynard said. “We tried, but defensively we weren’t very good. They spread us out and shot well.”

Lawrence County made 45 of 67 shots (67.1 percent), including 10 from 3-point range, and outrebounded the Irish 35-24.

Playing their third game in as many days didn’t appear to bother the Bulldogs, who closed the contest on a 20-4 run.

“They’re in shape,” Maynard said. “That’s obvious. We’re not in shape. The extra couple of weeks Kentucky teams have before we open makes a difference.”

Muncy paced St. Joe with 19 points. Jaden Prince scored 14 and Caden Ehirim 13.

The Irish, ranked fourth in Class A, return to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home vs. No. 5 Tug Valley (5-1), then entertain Class AA No. 3 Williamstown (6-2) at 7:30 p.m., Saturday. Lawrence County visits Boyd County (12-2) at 7:30 p.m., Thursday.

LAWRENCE COUNTY 23 26 21 29 — 99: Johnson 22, Maynard 29, Bloomfield 4, Bellomy 6, Adkins 20, Brown 5, Ratliff 3, Gillespie 3, Lafferty 11.

HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 25 9 20 7 — 61: Cooney 0, Ehirim 13, Prince 14, Johnson 3, Fortner 6, Uba 2, Reynodls 0, Bryant 0, Chen 0, Woelfel 0, Muncy 19, Ignatiadis 3.

Tim Stephens is a sports writer with The Herald-Dispatch.

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