LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Camron Justice had 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and Knott County Central overcame a slow first quarter to beat Clay County 68-54 in a first-round game in the Kentucky boys’ Sweet 16 state basketball tournament Thursday.
The Patriots (30-5) were sluggish out of the gate, and Clay County took advantage. The 13th Region champions made 7-of-15 from the field in the first quarter and led 17-9.
But the shots stopped falling for the Tigers (26-7), who made one field goal in the second quarter. The Patriots took the lead for good less than four minutes in.
Clay County finished 19-of-61 shooting from the field, making 4 of 24 in the second and third quarters while Knott County stretched its lead to 15 points.
Justice made 11 of his 13 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Knott County Central will play Ballard in the quarterfinal round Friday.
Ballard 75, Johnson Central 54
Kelan Martin had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Ballard pulled away after a hard-fought first quarter to beat Johnson Central 75-54 in the a first-round game of the Kentucky boys’ Sweet 16 state basketball tournament Thursday.
The Bruins (30-4) are the top-rated team in the unseeded tournament field according to both the Lexington Herald-Leader’s and Louisville Courier-Journal’s ratings; both publications had Ballard as the No. 2 team in the state at the regular season’s end.
The Bruins scored the first eight points of the game, but Johnson Central (22-11) recovered to hold a 19-19 tie at the end of the first quarter. It even led as late as the three-minute mark of the second quarter.
But the Bruins closed the half on a 12-1 run from which the Golden Eagles would not recover.
Johnson Central forward Shane Hall led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-11 shooting.
John Hardin 79, Fleming Co. 69
Keon Williams had 19 points and 12 rebounds for John Hardin, and the Bulldogs defeated Fleming County 79-69 on Thursday in the first round of the Kentucky boys’ Sweet 16 basketball tournament.
The Bulldogs (29-3) advanced to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year in their third Sweet 16 appearance, shooting 31-of-68 and 17-of-19 from the free-throw line.
Ricky Burns finished with 12 points and 11 boards for the Bulldogs. Brandon Price led John Hardin (28-7) with 20 points.
John Hardin meets Montgomery County on Friday.
John Hardin never trailed, taking a lead less than 30 seconds into the game and slowly building.
Fleming County, making its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1999, got as close as seven points in the game’s final minute.
Darion Burns finished with 20 points for the Panthers (28-7).
Montgomery Co. 71,Warren Central 63
Omar Prewitt had 29 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks as Montgomery County beat Warren Central 71-63 on Thursday in the first round of the Kentucky boys’ Sweet 16 basketball tournament.
Prewitt was 12-of-24 from the field Thursday for the Indians (32-4). He shot 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line, including a 25-footer midway through the fourth quarter that keyed a decisive run.
Montgomery County led by as many as 12 in the first half, but the Dragons (28-7) worked their way back to a 46-45 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.
Prewitt’s deepest bomb of the day started a 15-2 run to seal the win with 1:54 to play.
Byron Carver and Chris Porter-Bunton each had 18 points for Warren Central.