Our first semifinal of the evening matched the 17th ranked North Oldham against top-ranked Male. It was the Mustangs who pulled off the upset over three-time KOB Champion Male to advance to the Championship in just their second tournament experience.
A back-and-forth opening quarter saw the teams exchange the lead six times. Noah Courtney’s basket on the opening possession gave Male an early lead but Dallas Roberts countered with a three-pointer for North Oldham to put the Mustangs back ahead. Neither team would lead by more than two points over the first 7:50 of play. A late three-pointer by Justin Powell put North Oldham ahead 17-14 at the quarter break and jump started a 9-2 run that put North Oldham ahead 22-16. A pair of three-pointers midway through the second quarter propelled the Mustangs lead to as many as 10 points at 34-24. Male couldn’t get any closer than 7 points for the remainder of the half and Powell’s late basket sent North Oldham to halftime with a 43-33 lead.
The Mustangs would easily hold onto their 10-point lead for the first five minutes of the second half with Male never getting any closer than eight points. The Bulldogs finally turned things around with Tyren Moore scoring seven points in a 10-0 spurt late in the third quarter. Dallas Roberts would score the next five points to put North Oldham back ahead at 59-54 in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. Justin Powell would add five of the Mustang’s next seven points as their lead swelled back to as many of 10 points mid-way through the third quarter. A second 6-0 spurt for North Oldham a minute later would expand the Mustangs lead to a game-high 13 points with 1:37 remaining in the game. Despite four straight missed field goals in the final minute the Bulldogs had a chance thanks to North Oldham’s woes at the free throw line. It was a pair of free throws by Male’s Noah Courtney that pulled the Bulldogs within 69-76 with 19 seconds remaining. The Bulldogs’ Jake Evans would lose the gap to six points seconds later, but it was too late as time expired sending North Oldham to the Championship with the 78-71 victory.
North Oldham was led by Justin Powell with a game-high 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Freshman Dallas Roberts earned Central Bank Player of the Game honors with a 24 points performance and Tyler Higdon added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Male was led by Tyren Moore with 21 points and Noah Courtney added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
North Oldham vs. Winner Collins-Ballard (Mon. 7:30pm)
Male vs. Loser Collins-Ballard (Mon. 6:00pm)