The host Bulldogs struggled with some early shooting woes as they opened 2022 King of the Bluegrass play against LaRue County. Fairdale, who missed their first four three-point field goals, saw themselves fall behind 10-4 three minutes into the game. The Bulldogs finally got things going from behind the arc with Joe Hurt's three-pointer pulling them within 7-10 midway through the first quarter. The Hawk's lead would extend back to six points on two occasions before a Cam Croney capped a 4-0 run for the Bulldogs to pull within 13-15 with two minutes remaining in the opening quarter. Six straight points by LaRue County's Daniel Allen could give the Hawks a 21-13 lead at the quarter break. A Carson Childress three-pointer capped a 5-0 LaRue County spurt to extend the Hawk's lead to 11 points less than two minutes into the second quarter. Fairdale would cut the lead back to six points after back-to-back baskets by Dalton Hicks and Jacob Tucker but they couldn't get any closer with the LaRue County lead growing to as many as 13 points before the half. The host Bulldogs trailed 30-40 at halftime.
Daniel Allen opened the second half of scoring with a basket to extend the LaRue County lead to 12 points. Fairdale's Jake Dewboys capped an 11-4 Fairdale run to pull the Bulldogs within 41-46 midway through the third quarter. A pair of baskets by LaRue County's Jagger Mardis kept the Hawks comfortably ahead leading by 8 points. Cam Croney and Dalton Hicks put together their own run for the Bulldogs who cut the Larue County lead back to just 4 points with two minutes remaining in the quarter. A three-pointer by Allen closed the third quarter of play with LaRue County leading 52-45. All added 9 more points for LaRue County as part of a 12-4 spurt early in the fourth quarter pushing their lead back to 64-49. Fairdale wouldn't give up though as the Bulldogs rallied with a 14-2 run to get as close as four points following a Dalton Hicks' three-pointer. LaRue County got four straight free throws from Carson Childress and Jaxson Thomas to close out the game and seal the 73-67 victory.
LaRue County junior Daniel Allen's 41 points led all scorers earning him Central Bank Player of the Game honors. His performance ranks 10th all-time in single-game scoring in KOB history. Carson Childress and Jagger Mardis added 12 points apiece for the Hawks. Fairdale was led by Dalton Hicks with 24 points and Joe Hurt added 13 points for the Bulldogs.
LaRue County advances to Sunday's quarterfinals to play the winner of Lyon County vs. Harlan County at 6:00pm. Fairdale will take on the loser of Lyon County vs. Harlan County at 6:00pm on Sunday in the consolation bracket.