High School Basketball

Muhlenberg County boys beat Paul Dunbar 73-59

Muhlenberg County's Lemon Gregory (55) led the Mustangs with 20 points. The 6-foot-9 senior also pulled down eight rebounds.
Muhlenberg County's Lemon Gregory (55) led the Mustangs with 20 points. The 6-foot-9 senior also pulled down eight rebounds.

No rest for the weary didn't mean no win for the weary Monday night.

Muhlenberg County put fatigue aside and pulled away to defeat host Paul Dunbar 73-59 in a first-round matchup of the iHigh Fayette County Invitational.

The Mustangs, coming off a Friday-Saturday split in Christian County's Toyota Classic, converted a 16-12 advantage in turnovers to a 26-8 difference in points.

"Under the circumstances — a one-day turnaround, no practice (Sunday) — I thought we did some good things," said Coach Reggie Warford, the captain on Kentucky's 1976 NIT championship team. "Got a little bit heavy legs. We played nine or 10 guys tonight. And I thought we played hard, which we always do. But we were a little fatigued."

The outcome left both teams with 6-2 records.

Lemon Gregory, a 6-foot-9 senior, led Muhlenberg with 20 points from the low post and grabbed eight rebounds.

Jake Griffin, with three three-pointers, had 17 points.

Fellow senior guard Tiger Warford, son of the coach, had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

"Not bad — that's OK," Tiger Warford said of his line. "I missed a couple of easy shots. The rim was a little tough, but no excuse.

"We played well as a team, though. Our big men were finishing inside, and we have a great line of guards. We just stuck together as a team."

Mike Smith, a 5-10 junior, led Dunbar with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists.

William Gary, a 6-3 junior, added 19 points, eight boards and a pair of assists.

"I didn't think we were very good," Coach Justin Yeary said. "I didn't like our focus. I just don't think we came out ready to play.

"If you look back, I think we strung together maybe eight good minutes of basketball. Outside of that, the rest of it was pretty bad."

Dunbar escaped a 22-15 hole to lead 28-26 at halftime.

Muhlenberg shot 42.9 percent (12-for-28) in the first half but was 62.1 percent (18-for-29) the rest of the way.

"It usually takes us a quarter to get warmed up and, after the half, we come out a little bit stronger," Tiger Warford said. "We know what we're going against, so we try to focus more and work on ways to score and defend."

Smith drove through traffic and flipped in a shot with 1:44 left in the third quarter for a 44-43 Bulldogs lead.

With four players scoring, Muhlenberg notched the last eight points of the quarter and the first three of the fourth quarter to take the lead for keeps, 54-44.

Dunbar, scoreless for more than three minutes, went 0-for-3 from the field and turned the ball over four times.

Smith broke the drought with a put-back, igniting a quick 6-0 run that cut the Mustangs' lead to 54-50.

Muhlenberg put the game away, though, scoring the next nine. Griffin drained a three, Gregory made both ends of a bonus, and Carlton Mason scored twice from close range for a 63-50 lead.

MUHLENBERG CO. (6-2) — Diedrich 3, Warford 14, Griffin 17, Carver 6, Gregory 20, Mason 4, J. Noffsinger 3, McKinney 2, Drake 4. Totals 30-57 9-20 73.

PAUL DUNBAR (6-2) — Lewis 7, Adu-Peasah 2, Gary 19, Smith 21, King 9, Haga 1. Totals 23-57 11-18 59.

Muhlenberg County 13 13 25 22—73

Paul Dunbar 13 15 16 15—59

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