VERSAILLES — Woodford County Coach Scott Hundley added up Eli Boggess's high school basketball career scoring Thursday and realized his senior star was only 39 points shy of 1,000 points.
Hundley had no inkling Boggess would almost reach that milestone in the Woodford County Invitational opener Thursday night.
Boggess matched his career high with 38 points, including 7-for-11 three-point shooting, to lead the Yellow Jackets past Tates Creek 80-78 in overtime.
Boggess, a 5-foot-11 guard, also had the three-point play that decided the game with 23 seconds left.
Tates Creek Coach Wayne Breeden was impressed.
"You saw why Eli Boggess is not only one of the best players in the region, but in the state," Breeden said. "He's such a competitor. It was an outstanding individual performance."
In the second game, Bryan Station beat Jeffersontown 73-66 as Tequan Claitt and Marcellous Washington combined for 46 points.
In the opening game, Boggess hit six threes and had 22 points in the first half as Woodford County rallied from an early 23-7 deficit to lead 35-34 at the break.
Tates Creek put a chaser on him in the second half and held him to just three points in the third quarter. That enabled the Commodores to open a 53-44 lead.
But Boggess didn't get rattled. He set screens for his teammates, and they eventually got him the ball when he could get loose.
"Eli is so unselfish, he'll figure out a way to get us a good shot whether it's his or someone else's," Hundley said. "I'm not sure he wants to win so bad. It's just that he doesn't want to lose."
The Jackets also got solid play from Christian Ramirez, who was filling in for injured senior point guard Grayson Graf. Ramirez, a soccer standout who didn't play hoops last season, had 11 points and five rebounds. Michael Shelton also had 11 points, and Sam Souers had 10.
Woodford County led 70-67 in the closing seconds of regulation, but Tates Creek tied it on Jordan Fucci's first three-pointer of the season. Fucci's shot hit the rim, took a high bounce straight up, and came straight down through the net.
Boggess had a good view of the ball and knew it was going in. "I thought, all right, luck's not on our side, so we've gotta step up and make plays," he said.
Tates Creek led 78-77 before committing the last of its 24 turnovers with :50 left. That set the stage for Boggess. He took the inbounds pass, went to the rim and twisted his way for a basket, got fouled, and added the free throw.
"Eli's done it his whole career," Hundley said. "Get the ball in his hands at the end and let him do something."
Tates Creek was led by junior point guard Desmond Duke with 20 points. Fucci had 19 points and 15 rebounds. Ian Davis had 14 points. Blake Rose had 13, and played good defense on Boggess in the second half.
"I like the way we competed and played hard," Breeden said. "But our Achilles heel was those 24 turnovers."
Bryan Station 73, Jeffersontown 66: The Defenders trailed 54-49 early in the fourth quarter before going on a 17-4 run to take control.
Claitt, a 6-3 junior who's still rounding into basketball shape after playing football, had 10 of his career-high 26 points down the stretch, including 6-for-6 on free throws (10-for-11 overall). He also had seven rebounds.
"When Quan got in transition, he looked great," Coach Mike Allen said. "He's an exceptional athlete. Every game I see him getting more of his basketball routine back."
Claitt agreed: "It's taking a while but I'm getting my legs back," he said.
Washington, a 6-2 senior lefthander, finished with 20 points and six rebounds.
"I thought Marcellous was fabulous," Allen said. "He made great reads in the pick-and-roll and the dribble-drive."
Josh Owsley had 12 points off the bench.
Allen also credited his defense for "really stepping up" in the second half.
Brandon Johnson led J-town with 21 points and Daniel Williams had 20.
WOODFORD CO. 80, TATES CREEK 78 (ot)
TATES CREEK (2-4) — Fucci 19, Duke 20, Rose 13, Davis 14, Patterson 5, Hart 3, Sturdivant 2, Polus 2.
WOODFORD COUNTY (5-2) — Boggess 38, Ramirez 11, Shelton 11, Souers 10, Couch 5, Pohlman 1, McCrady 2, Stromberg 2.
Tates Creek 21 13 27 17—78
Woodford County 17 28 11 24—80
BRYAN STATION 73, JEFFERSONTOWN 66
JEFFERSONTOWN (4-3) — Williams 20, Johnson 21, Marshall 12, White 3, Jenkins 3, Minor 2, Sturgill 2, Omar 3.
BRYAN STATION (4-1) — Claitt 26, Washington 20, Henry 5, Owsley 12, Davis 6, Evans 4.
Jeffersontown 13 22 13 18—66
Bryan Station 15 16 16 26—73
Friday's Woodford County Invitational schedule
6 p.m. — Scott Co. vs. Eastern
7:45 p.m. — Paul Dunbar vs. Frankfort