On paper it looked like it would be a close battle between top 10 teams.
On the court it turned out to be a rout.
No. 5 Henry Clay overwhelmed No. 10 John Hardin 70-45 in the quarterfinals of the Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic on Friday night.
The Blue Devils, ripping and running from the get-go, raced to a 43-14 halftime lead on the way to their ninth victory in a row.
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Henry Clay's juniors led the way. Jordan Green had 24 points and five assists, Trey Grundy had 17 points and seven rebounds. Point guard Christen Cunningham had nine assists.
Sophomore Jeremiah Tisdale, with 11 points and six rebounds, probably had his best game of the season.
Fresh off taking the Woodford County Invitational last week, Henry Clay advances to the Republic Bank semifinals to play unbeaten Knott Central on Saturday night.
Devils Coach Daniel Brown admitted he was impressed by his team's quick dismantling of John Hardin, but he tried to keep his players focused by nitpicking them at halftime.
"I tried to find some negatives," he said, smiling. "We missed five free throws, and we were letting No. 3 (John Hardin point guard Brandon Price) get to the rim.
"But I'm happy with how we played. We were the aggressor and hit some shots, and kept the momentum going."
John Hardin, the top-rated team in the 5th Region, was led by Price's 15 points and seven assists.
Lexington Catholic 76, Clark County 55: It took a while, but the No. 8 Knights finally pulled away with a 19-2 run in the second half.
Jack Whitman, a 6-9 senior, led Lexington Catholic with 22 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Dillon Avare hit five threes and had 17 points.
But Lexington Catholic Coach Brandon Salsman credited his bench, including Michael Talbott, Evan Fraliex and Reese Ryan, for getting the Knights rolling.
"They did a fabulous job giving us a spark," Salsman said. "One of the best things about our team is the quality of our depth."
Salsman thought his team's "focus on defense" broke the game open in the second half. The Knights forced turnovers, and that led to opportunities for their main scorers.
"When Dillon's hitting threes and Jack's dunking, we're pretty good," he said.
Sophomore Tanner Johnson had 15 points for Lexington Catholic. Talbott had 10 points and six assists. Ryan had four points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Clark County was led by Quin Cornellius' 13 points, Malachi Israel's 10, and Khmarkis Blanton's 10 points and eight rebounds.
Roger Bacon 54, Bishop Brossart 50: The Spartans from Cincinnati ran their record to 8-0 and earned a spot in Saturday semifinals against host Lexington Catholic.
Roger Bacon was 7-for-11 on threes, including clutch ones in the fourth quarter by Carlas Jackson, Austin Frentsos and Cody Niesen that helped to open a 48-39 lead.
Brossart battled back and twice pulled to within two points, but spotty free throw shooting kept it from catching up. The Mustangs wound up 12-for-27 from the line.
Roger Bacon Coach Brian Neal, who was unhappy with his team's defense in a first-round win over Ohio County, said "our effort was much better" against Brossart.
Brossart's bigger bodies gave the Spartans trouble on the boards, but they survived.
"We don't have the beef," Neal said. "We've got some good athletes who can go get it, but going against guys with a lot of strength is something we struggle with."
Jackson led the winners with 14 points. Frentsos had 13, and Erik Edwards added eight points and seven rebounds.
Drew Burns had 14 points and nine rebounds for Brossart, which this week showed it should be a contender in the 10th Region.
Consolation games: Freshman point guard Braxton Beverly had 28 points to spark Perry Central past Lexington Christian 63-52. Tyler Harville had 20 points, and Matt Rose had 15 for LCA ... Riley Barnes' 16 points led Simon Kenton past Johnson Central 56-43. Golden Eagles' junior standout Shane Hall did not play because of a high ankle sprain ... Trevor Tiller's 31 points and 11 rebounds weren't enough for Paintsville, which lost to Ohio County 71-61. Preston Lambrich had 18 points, 10 rebounds for the winners.
HENRY CLAY (10-1) — Grundy 17, Green 24, Cunningham 3, Tisdale 11, Tichenor 6, Ware 5, Barnes 2, Newby 2.
JOHN HARDIN (8-2) — Price 15, Anderson 5, Williams 5, Miller 4, Burns 2, Jackson 2, Greene 12.
Henry Clay 16 27 15 12—70
John Hardin 6 8 18 13—45
CLARK COUNTY (4-9) — Cornellius 13, Caudill 1, M.Israel 11, Greene 5, Williams 3, D.King 2, Blanton 10, J.Israel 2, Sharrock 6, Warner 2.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (8-4) — Avare 17, Whitman 22, Talbott 10, Fraliex 4, Pippen 2, Neuer 2, Johnson 15, Ryan 4.
Clark County 10 12 19 14—55
Lexington Catholic 6 26 18 26—76
BISHOP BROSSART (10-1) — Uebel 3, Jennings 4, Rieger 2, Saunders 13, Trentman 12, Burns 14, Hackworth 2.
ROGER BACON (8-0) — Frentsos 13, Jackson 14, Oldfield 8, Niesen 6, Edwards 8, McBride 2, Moore 1, Luken 2.
Bishop Brossart 8 12 14 16—50
Roger Bacon 13 7 14 20—54