High School Basketball

Bryan Station boys stun Henry Clay 56-54

Tyler Smith slashed through the lane and flipped in a tie-breaking basket Thursday as visiting Bryan Station stunned No. 5 Henry Clay 56-54.

A nearly full house saw the Defenders, 33rd in Dave Cantrall's Rating the State, improve to 12-5 with their sixth win in a row.

"I'm glad both teams showed up to give a great high school performance for the fans here tonight," winning coach Michael Allen said.

The Defenders also knotted the 53-year-old series at 68 wins each, after Henry Clay had won seven of the previous eight matchups.

Larry Morton, a 6-foot-3 senior, led Bryan Station with 22 points. He finished 5-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-8 from three-point range, and made all eight of his free-throw attempts.

He knocked down both ends of a one-and-one with 48 seconds left to give the Defenders a 54-51 lead.

Henry Clay tied on Christen Cunningham's old-fashioned three-point play with 35 seconds left.

Bryan Station called a timeout with 24 seconds to play. Allen wanted to set up an isolation play.

"We had two options. I like giving the guys two options because Coach (Daniel) Brown, they're a great defensive team," Allen said of his counterpart. "And, I'll tell you what, Henry Clay's got some serious talent."

Smith got the ball up top and drove hard down the lane and put up the winning shot with about five seconds left.

"I thought we were going to get this win," Morton said. "I felt great about it."

Henry Clay quickly moved down the floor, with Cunningham launching a three-point try from the left wing as the buzzer sounded. The shot was just a bit flat, caroming off the backboard and then the rim.

The Blue Devils (15-3) had a five-game winning streak snapped. Henry Clay beat Station 52-48 on Dec. 4.

Henry Clay fell to 3-2 in the 42nd District, while Bryan Station improved to 2-1.

"Just a normal when-you-play Bryan Station game — a good battle," Henry Clay's Brown said. "Give Bryan Station credit. I thought they played harder than we did. We competed about the last 10, 12 minutes of the game. Other than that, I don't think we competed at the level that we needed to for a district game and it came back to beat us at the end."

Besides Morton, Bryan Station got 11 points, four rebounds and five assists from Jordan Henry. Smith finished with eight points.

"We're rolling right now, clicking at the right time," Henry said. "I think we're trying to come together defensively, just learning how to put stops together."

Cunningham scored 16 for Henry Clay. Jordan Green had 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

The Devils, led by Trey Grundy with eight, outrebounded the Defenders 36-25. But Bryan Station made 16 of 17 free-throw attempts to Henry Clay's 8-for-12.

Bryan Station led 17-13 after one quarter and 32-27 at halftime. A 19-14 advantage in the third quarter sent Henry Clay into the fourth quarter tied at 46.

"I liked our heart when we came back," Brown said.

Darien Tichenor's put-back to open the fourth-quarter scoring gave the Devils their only lead of the final period.


BRYAN STATION (12-5) — Smith 8, Allen 6, Henry 11, Washington 3, Morton 22, Walker 5, Hipps 1. Totals 17-46 16-17 56.

HENRY CLAY (15-3) — Grundy 6, Green 10, Newby 7, Cunningham 16, Ware 8, Tichenor 4, Tisdale 3. Totals 22-52 8-12 54.

Bryan Station 17 15 14 10 —56

Henry Clay 13 14 19  8—54

Three-point goals — BS 6-16 (Allen 0-2, Henry 1-1, Washington 1-4, Morton 4-8, Walker 0-1), HC 2-8 (Green 0-2, Ware 2-5, Tisdale 0-1).

Editor's Note: This article is a corrected and updated version of the original, which incorrectly named the player who made the game-winning shot for Bryan Station.

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