Corey Rogers will never forget his 18th birthday.
Rogers marked that day Wednesday by scoring 26 points and grabbing six rebounds, leading second-ranked Clark County to a 56-39 rout of Oldham County in the opening game of the PNC/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen in Rupp Arena.
"I was pretty emotional getting to state," Rogers said. "We've been wanting to get here for the past three years, and it's a special day. ... We (say) 'take your piece of the puzzle. You don't have to be the piece. Take your piece.
"Sometimes your piece is scoring. Sometimes your piece is playing limited minutes, giving the starters a breather. Whatever your piece is, you've got to take it, and that's what we did. We're very unselfish."
The 10th Region champions (30-5) move on to Friday's quarterfinals, where they will meet No. 1 Eastern.
No. 15 Oldham County (25-8), winner of the 8th Region, never led. Down 14-12 after one quarter, the Colonels scored only two free throws over the next eight minutes and trailed 27-14 at halftime.
Rogers, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound senior who has signed to play football for Tennessee-Martin, was a bull inside and converted a pair of three-point plays.
"The one thing you know you're going to get with Corey every night out is, first, he's going to guard, he's going to rebound," Coach Scott Humphrey said. "He has a knack of finishing on the other end. So many of our guys draw a lot of attention, and it seems like Corey's always the benefactor of being on the receiving end of good passes, and he knows what to do when he catches it."
The Cardinals also got 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks from 6-9 Western Kentucky signee Vinny Zollo. Robbie Stenzel, a 6-4 Eastern Kentucky recruit, had seven points and four rebounds. Travis Purvis, a 6-7 senior off the bench, had eight points and six rebounds. Jaylen Daniel, a 6-6 senior, had four points, two rebounds and three blocks. Bopper Stenzel, a 6-foot junior and the lone non-senior among Clark's top six, didn't score but had six assists and three steals, with only one turnover.
"I think our length kind of took its toll on them, starting in the second quarter," Humphrey said. "I thought, offensively, we were good the whole 32 minutes."
While the Cards shot 23-for-47 (48.9 percent) from the field, they held Oldham to 14-for-46 (30.4 percent). In the first half, the Colonels shot 5-for-23 (21.7).
"We just didn't shoot the ball very well," Oldham Coach Jason Holland said. "I thought they executed very well against us in the half-court. They don't get enough credit for how good a defensive team they are in the half-court."
Tyler Wesely, a 6-4 junior, led the Colonels with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Robbie Stenzel, who as an eighth-grader helped Clark County to its most recent Sweet Sixteen trip, was glad to get the experience again.
"I forgot what it felt like," he said. "I was sitting in my bed last night trying to remember what it felt like. I had no idea what to expect again. It's been so long. It's been three very upsetting years for us, and we're happy to be back."