Boone County went 10-for-12 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and held on to beat Holmes 72-60 in the first round of the Boys' 9th Region Tournament at Northern Kentucky University.
Junior Cooper Downs went 7-for-8 at the line during the stretch and scored 21 points for Boone County (21-10). Holmes (21-11) was led by junior forward Dontel Rice with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
No. 12 Dixie Heights 55, Highlands 45 (9th): Highlands (14-16) pulled within three points in the fourth quarter after shooting 2-for-21 in the first half, but could get no closer. Freshman guard Brandon Hatton had 19 points to lead Dixie Heights (27-3).
Betsy Layne 59, Belfry 30 (15th): Senior center Casey Adkins had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Betsy Layne (25-6) advanced to the semifinals. Belfry (16-10) was held to 10 points in the second half.
Corbin 59, Barbourville 43: Guards Matthew Taylor and Travis Smith scored 18 and 17 points to lead Corbin (23-6) to the semifinals at The Arena in Corbin. Smith had 11 rebounds and Taylor went 4-for-7 from three-point range with eight rebounds.
Pulaski County 55, East Jessamine 53 (12th): Junior guard Michael Rexroat scored 15 points, but East Jessamine (22-8) lost in the first round at Lincoln County. Sophomore Kody Johnson had 21 for Pulaski County (26-6).
No. 1 Manual 51, Ballard 33 (7th): Guard Leasia Wright had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Manual (29-4) advanced to the region finals at Bellarmine. Manual will meet No. 4 Mercy (23-7), a 64-44 winner over Jeffersontown, in the finals on Saturday. Manual's only in-state loss this season was to Mercy in December.