Our final quarterfinal matchup featured Kentucky’s top ranked Bulldogs of Male taking on 13th ranked McCracken County. After trailing late in the fourth quarter it was a dominant performance in overtime that pushed Male through to their first King of the Bluegrass semifinal appearance since 2007.
A trio of early three-point goals helped Male jump out to a 14-6 lead in the opening quarter of play. The McCracken County defense held the Bulldogs without a field goal for the final two minutes of the first quarter as Noah Dumas pulled the Mustangs within 5 points at the quarter break. Back-to-back three-pointers by Noah Courtney and Desdrick Lindsey extended Male’s lead to as many as nine points at 23-14 two minutes into the second quarter. Seven points by McCracken County’s Ian McCune propelled the Mustangs on a 12-2 run to take the lead at 26-25 with 1:57 remaining in the first half. Male’s Tyren Moore connected with the basket at the buzzer to give Male a 27-26 halftime lead.
Jackson Sivills would give McCracken County the lead back with a three-pointer early in the second half before Male went on a 10-2 run with Tyren Moore’s basket pushing Male’s lead to 37-31. A Cameron Pope three-pointer in the closing seconds of the third quarter would keep Male ahead 42-38. A pair of three-pointers by Sivills in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter helped McCracken County retake the lead at 46-44. Sivills and Ronnie Jones Jr would combine for the next eight points for the Mustangs as their lead grew to as many as four points over the next four minutes of play. A pair of free throws by Male’s Tyren Moore cut the McCracken County lead to two points with 1:39 remaining. A steal and layup by Noah Courtney on the ensuing possession would tie the game at 54-54 with 1:14 remaining. Sivills would miss a late free throw attempt with 45 seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs another chance to win. A charge on the Bulldogs’ Tyren Moore on the next possession would give the ball back to McCracken County with 1.4 seconds remaining, but the Mustangs had the inbounds pass batted away to extend the game to overtime.
Male opened the overtime period with six straight points to move ahead 60-54. Noah Dumas’ basket midway through overtime would prove to be the only basket for the Mustangs. Male closed the game on a 5-0 run with a massive block by Noah Courtney leading to a Kaleb Glenn dunk that put an exclamation point on the win for the Bulldogs.
Male vs. North Oldham (Sun. 7:30pm)
McCracken County vs. Fairdale (Sun. 6:00pm)