The finale on our opening day of action at the 2019 Chad Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass featured the 13th ranked Mustangs of McCracken County making their tournament debut against unranked LaRue County.
The opening three minutes of play saw McCracken County’s defense take control holding as they held LaRue County to 1-of-4 baskets while jumping ahead 8-2. The Mustangs connected on four 3-point field goals in the opening quarter to jump ahead to take a commanding 20-8 lead at the end of the quarter. Jackson Sivills connected on his third 3-pointer of the half to extend the McCracken County lead to 15 points a minute in the second quarter. A pair of 3-point baskets from LaRue County’s Carson Childress pulled the Hawks back to within 11 points at 25-14 but they couldn’t get any closer before the half. Noah Dumas basket with a minute to play in the half capped a 10-4 run by McCracken County to send them to the locker room leading 35-20.
The opening minutes of the second half were much of the same with McCracken County extending their lead to as many as 16 points at 42-26 following another Jackson Sivills 3-pointer. The Hawks turned up the defensive pressure over the next three minutes holding the Mustangs scoreless while piecing together an 8-0 run to pull within 34-42with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter. A pair of free throws by Sivills extended the McCracken County lead back to nine points at 47-38. Jeremiah Belton’s 3-pointer in the opening minute of the fourth quarter would get LaRue County as close as 43-47, but the Hawks couldn’t maintain the momentum. Less than a minute later McCracken County’s lead was back to 8 points. Mark Goode’s basket with 2:12 remaining would give the Hawks their final chance cutting the score to 49-55 before McCracken County closed on a 5-0 run to claim the 60-49 victory.
Jackson Sivills earned Central Bank Player of the Game honors for McCracken County with a game-high 24 points and 8 rebounds. Noah Dumas added 17 points for the Mustangs. Mark Goode led the way for LaRue County with 18 points and 8 rebound and Warner Bryan added 14 points and 9 rebounds.
McCracken County vs. Winner Male-South Oldham (Sat. 9:00pm)
LaRue County vs. Loser Male-South Oldham (Sat. 9:00pm)