Braxton Beverly didn't look like a guy who had been up all night racked by a stomach virus and who needed IV fluids Friday morning.
Beverly, a 5-foot-10 junior point guard, had 29 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals to rally Perry County Central past Male 61-55 in the first round of the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic Friday afternoon at Lexington Catholic.
"I can't believe he played like that as sick as he was," Commodores Coach Shannon Hoskins said. "He had an outstanding game."
After seeing a doctor in Hazard late Friday morning, Beverly caught a ride with his uncle and finally got some sleep on the trip to Lexington. He wasn't about to be sidelined by a bug. "I wanted to play too bad," he said.
Beverly got off to a slow start against Male, but he hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the first quarter to give his team an 18-17 lead.
Male took control in the second quarter, though. Led by 6-7 Will Parker, the Bulldogs built a 38-25 lead.
But Beverly struck from long-range again. He hit a pair of threes in the last 12 seconds of the half to trim Male's lead to seven.
Perry Central trailed 47-42 before Beverly swished a three-pointer from half-court to end the third quarter.
"I can't lie. I wasn't expecting that one to go in," he said with a smile. "I just threw up a prayer."
The Commodores used a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to take control. Beverly had six points in that surge.
Perry Central sealed it at the foul line. Braxton Whitmore made three of four foul shots, and Matthew Turner one of two in the last 37 seconds.
Damon Tobler had 17 points and six rebounds for the Commodores. James Blair added six points and five rebounds.
Male's starting lineup included Parker, 6-5 Alex Cook and 6-4 Hogan Brownley.
"They kind of overwhelmed us with their size in the first half," Hoskins said.
"We changed our press and went man-to-man in the second half, and did a really good job."
Male was led by Parker's 15 points, but all of those came in the first half. Cook had 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Perry Central (9-2) is adjusting well to a new style after graduating 6-6 Justin Johnson, who's now at WKU. Without a big man in the middle for a half-court game, the Commodores now always look for an up-tempo.
"I love it," Beverly said. "It suits me perfectly."
Beverly has scholarship offers from WKU, Miami of Ohio, Samford and Cleveland State.
Perry Co. Central 61, Male 55
Perry Co. Central (9-2) — Beverly 29, Tobler 17, Blair 6, Turner 3, Dunn 3, Whitmore 3.
Male (5-4) — Parker 15, Cook 10, Brownley 7, Horne 10, Johnson 6, Dewalt 5, McCauley 2.
Perry Co. Central 18 17 10 16—61
Male 17 25 5 8—55