Lafayette overcame a two-point halftime deficit to defeat Woodford County, 51-39, in the first round of the 11th Region tournament at Eastern Kentucky University’s McBrayer Arena on Thursday night.
The Generals at one time in the first half trailed by seven points in the first half but outscored the Yellow Jackets 15-6 in the third quarter to take control. Cameron King led Lafayette with 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting; he was 3-for-7 from beyond the arc.
Lafayette Coach Mike Mendenhall credited Woodford County’s defense for keeping the Generals at bay early.
“They’re well-coached and a solid ball club. You look at their schedule and some of the teams they’ve played, and they’ve been in those games,” Mendenhall said. “I think we came out a little tight but once we loosened up and got the tempo going to where we wanted I thought we were gonna be all right.”
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Devontae Hayes had 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting for the Generals. Nicholas Smith had 19 points on 9-for-14 shooting to lead Woodford County.
Lafayette will meet Scott County in the semifinals. The Cardinals handed Madison Southern a 114-37 loss before the Generals took the floor.
“I walked in and it was 38-3 and I was like, ‘Well, I guess we’re gonna have some extra time to warm up today,’” Mendenhall said with a laugh.
The Generals lost twice to Scott County this season — 75-60 in December and 75-68 in January.
“Both of those times were were in the game with about four minutes to go. They just went on a little run and extedned it,” Mendenhall said. “We’re gonna have to play really well. Billy’s got ’em clicking on all cylinders and it’s a battle-tested team that knows what it takes to get out of this region.
“We’ve got nothing to lose. We’re playing with house money and we’ll see what happens.”
MORE BOYS’ GAMES
University Heights 104, Hopkins County Central 74 (Second Region): KyKy Tandy scored a game-high 34 points to lead UHA to its first semifinals appearance since 2014.
Russell County 53, Franklin-Simpson 38 (Fourth Region): Brayton Scales had 17 points and six rebounds to lead the Lakers to their fourth straight victory. They’ll play Warren Central, 68-63 winners over Glasgow, in the semifinals Monday night at Western Kentucky University.
Adair County 64, Central Hardin 52 (Fifth Region): Star freshman Zion Harmon had 24 points and six assists to lead the Indians, who won their fourth straight. Adair County will meet LaRue County, 66-32 winners over Bethlehem, in Monday’s semifinals at Marion County.
Gallatin County 72, Simon Kenton 69 (Eighth Region): The Wildcats advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2012. They’ll meet Oldham County, which defeated defending region titlist Collins, 68-61, on Thursday.
Cooper 74, Newport Central Catholic 60 (Ninth Region): Braydon Runion led the Jaguars with 25 points and Mr. Basketball finalist Adam Kunkel had a triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Brennan Hall led NewCath with 24 points.
Covington Catholic 64, St. Henry 21 (Ninth Region): Mr. Basketball finalist CJ Fredrick had 16 points in 23 minutes to lead the Colonels. Aiden Ruthsatz scored 15 points and was 3-for-3 from three-point range for CovCath, which set up a semifinals matchup with defending region champ Cooper.
Paris 51, Pendleton County 50 (10th Region): Eric Johnson scored 16 points and had a go-ahead floater connect with 8.8 seconds left to send the Greyhounds to the semifinals. Pendleton County star Dontaie Allen, a junior with multiple Division I offers, had 25 points and nine rebounds.
Scott 55, Mason County 53 (10th Region): Trey Meister had a game-winning jumper connect with 2.6 seconds left to send the Eagles to the semifinals, where they’ll play Paris on Monday. Chad Ohmer, the brother of former Scott star Jake Ohmer, had 18 points to lead last year’s 10th Region champ.
Leevi Dunaway had 23 points to lead Mason County.
Somerset 80, Wayne County 62 (12th Region): Kross Grundy scored a career-high 41 points to lead the Briar Jumpers, who are in the tournament for the first time since 2013. Grundy surpassed 1,500 points for his career and became Somerset’s second all-time leading scorer.
Mercer County 75, Danville 51 (12th Region): Mr. Basketball finalist Trevon Faulkner had 43 points for the Titans, who set up a semifinals matchup with Somerset at Pulaski County on Monday.
Pikeville 57, Pike County Central 49 (15th Region): Wyatt Battaile had 28 points to lead the defending region champion in its fourth straight victory. He also had eight rebounds for the Panthers.
Levard Missick had 23 points on 10 of 11 shooting to lead the Hawks.
Paintsville 82, Floyd Central 70 (15th Region): Seth Williams had 22 points to lead three Tigers in double-figure scoring. Colby Fugate and Mason Moore scored 18 apiece for Paintsville, which will meet Pikeville in the semifinals on Monday.
Roger Tackett had 23 points to lead Floyd Central, which concluded its inaugural season with a 19-12 record.
Boyd County 59, Elliott County 55 (16th Region): Seniors Taylor Smith and Eric Sparks scored 14 apiece to lead the Lions to their third straight semifinals appearance. Elliott Couny had won the last three 16th Region titles.
Sacred Heart 69, Male 49 (Seventh Region): Kiki Samsel led three in double-digit scoring with 20 points for the Valkyries. She was 7-for-11 from the field and 3-for-6 from long range. Grace Berger (18 points) and Kristen Clemons (17) weren’t far behind her.
Ciaja Harbison, this year’s recipient of the Donna L.J. Murphy Award, had 14 points to lead the Bulldogs.
Manual 68, Eastern 50 (Seventh Region): Jaela Johnson had 30 points and four steals for the Crimsons, who set up a finals showdown with Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon. The Valkyries defeated Manual in two prior meetings this season and have won four straight in the series, which includes a 59-52 decision in last year’s region finals.
2018 tournament coverage
Region highlights: Motivated district runner-up starts game on 24-2 run
Region highlights: Pair of top-10 girls’ teams continue title hunt with big wins