Saturday, December 23, 2023


The 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass at Fairdale High School was a resounding success! Over five days, we witnessed 16 teams compete in 28 games across two gyms, totaling more than 35 hours of electrifying basketball. A huge thank you to our sponsors, fans, coaches, players, and especially the incredible volunteers from the Fairdale Community for making this event possible. See you all next year for more thrilling action!



2023 King of the Bluegrass
All-Tournament Team

Armello Boone - De La Salle
Damone King - Trinity
Cole Edelen - Male
Trent Noah - Harlan County
Taylen Kinney - Newport
Deshaun Jackson - Newport
Drae Vasser - Trinity
Dalton Hicks - Fairdale
Jacob Tucker - Fairdale
Mason Ritter - Bowling Green
M.J. Wardlow - Bowling Green
CJ Washington - Little Rock Central
Daniel Culberson - Little Rock Central
Vince Dawson - Great Crossing
Junius Burrell - Great Crossing


Annor Boateng - Little Rock Central

Malachi Moreno - Great Crossing


In a display of sheer determination and skill, the Great Crossing Warhawks etched their name in the history books by securing their first-ever King of the Bluegrass (KOB) title. In a closely contested final against the Little Rock Central Tigers, the Warhawks emerged victorious with a 54-47 win, becoming the first KOB champion from the 11th Region since Madison Central's triumph in 1998.

The championship game at the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass was a tale of two halves, with each team showcasing periods of dominance. Little Rock Central came out of the gates strong, quickly building a 13-4 lead within the first six minutes, putting Great Crossing on the back foot. However, the Warhawks, undeterred by the early setback, stitched together a 9-3 run in the opening minutes of the second quarter, closing the gap to a mere three points at 16-13.

The momentum swung in favor of Great Crossing when Junius Burrell landed a critical 3-pointer, giving them a narrow 19-18 lead over the Tigers, with 2:54 left in the second quarter. By halftime, Great Crossing had established a 24-20 lead, a remarkable turnaround from their early struggles.

The third quarter saw Great Crossing's Malachi Moreno shine. Moreno, who would later be crowned the Bob White Most Valuable Player, extended the Warhawks' lead with a 3-pointer followed by a sensational putback dunk, pushing the score to 29-20. Little Rock Central, which had previously led 15-8 in the first quarter, found themselves trailing 40-30 at the end of the third.

As the final quarter unfolded, Little Rock Central attempted a valiant comeback. Chase Allen's basket narrowed the gap to 42-36 with 5:45 left on the clock. Despite C.J. Washington's putback dunk bringing the Tigers within four points, Great Crossing maintained their composure and control, leading 48-40 with just over two minutes remaining. That was as close as Little Rock Central would get.

Apart from Moreno's stellar performance, Great Crossing's victory was bolstered by significant contributions from Vince Dawson, III, and Junius Burrell, both named to the All-Tournament Team for their impressive displays throughout the championship.

On the other side, Little Rock Central's Annor Boateng, honored as the Stanley Hardin Most Outstanding Player, finished with 10 points. Teammates Daniel Culberson and C.J. Washington, who scored 15 and 8 points respectively and made crucial rebounds, were also named to the All-Tournament Team.

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Fairdale 55, Bowling Green 52
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Trinity 76, Newport 71 (OT)
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Harlan County 80, Male 74

Friday, December 22, 2023


#6 Male (7-2) vs. #18 Harlan Co. (9-1)

#9 Newport (8-2) vs. #3 Trinity (7-2)

Fairdale (9-2) vs. #7 Bowling Green (7-3)

#2 Great Crossing (9-0) vs. Little Rock Central (11-0)


Little Rock Central Tigers showcased a dominant performance in our second semifinal of the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass, overpowering the seventh-ranked Bowling Green Purples with a 79-62 victory. This win propels the undefeated Tigers (11-0) to the championship game, continuing their remarkable debut in the KOB tournament.

The Tigers, led by the outstanding play of CJ Washington, who earned the Central Bank Player of the Game honors, never let their foot off the pedal. Washington's impressive stat line of 16 points and 5 rebounds was crucial in maintaining Central's dominance throughout the game.

From the outset, Little Rock Central established control, not allowing Bowling Green any lead at any point during the game. Their largest lead extended to 20 points at 66-46 late in the third quarter.

Bowling Green Purples, despite coming into the game on a five-game winning streak, struggled to find their rhythm against Central's relentless pressure. The Purples saw 13 turnovers converted into 30 points for the Tigers.

The Tigers' triumph adds a national flavor to the KOB as they aim to become the first out-of-state team since 2018 to win the title. As they move into the championship game, the Tigers not only carry an undefeated record but also the hopes of making history in their first-ever KOB appearance.

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 5th Place Semifinals

Newport 83, Spencer County 70
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Trinity 63, DeSales 58
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Consolation Bracket

Harlan County 63, Chicago De La Salle 59
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Male 87, North Oldham 58
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Washington County 72, Taylor County 69
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Frederick Douglass 76, Butler County 61
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In our opening semifinal of the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic, the second-ranked Great Crossing Warhawks (9-0) used a commanding 78-58 victory over the host Fairdale Bulldogs (9-2) to advance to their second consecutive championship game. Junius Burrell of Great Crossing named the Central Bank Player of the Game, delivering an outstanding performance with a game-high 21 points.

The Warhawks' victory was marked by a decisive 16-2 run in the second quarter, which was a turning point in the game, helping them establish control and never look back. They led by as many as 26 points, showcasing their dominance in a game that had an electrifying start with four lead changes and two ties.

Great Crossing's overall performance was formidable. They scored 78 points, with a significant contribution from their key players. Junius Burrell's 21 points were critical, but he was not alone in this effort, as the team showed depth and skill across the board with five players in double digits. Malachi Moreno added 16 points, 14 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 4 assists to overwhelm to Bulldogs.

The Fairdale Bulldogs, despite the loss, had impressive performances from Jacob Tucker with 19 points and Dalton Hicks with 18 points. Their journey to the semifinals was a remarkable achievement, especially considering it was their first appearance at this stage since 2006. 

Great Crossing's blend of talent and tactical acumen was on full display, improving their all-time KOB record to 6-1 and propelling them to their second straight KOB championship game.

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Four Teams, One Dream: The Final Showdown at the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass

As the lights brighten over the hardwood floor of Fairdale High School tonight, four teams stand on the brink of history in the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass (KOB) semifinals. Each team carries its unique narrative into these high-stakes games, blending talent, tradition, and the thrill of competition.

Fairdale Bulldogs: The Underdogs with a Legacy

The host Bulldogs have stormed into the semifinals, marking their best start in over a quarter-century with a 9-1 record. It's been 30 years since their last KOB title, and tonight, they aim to write a new chapter in their storied history. As the only unranked team left in the tournament, Fairdale carries the underdog spirit, underscored by their impressive tally of 55 all-time wins in KOB play. Their journey to the semifinals, their first since 2006, is a testament to resilience and skill.

Top Players

  • Cameron Croney has been a standout performer for the Bulldogs, scoring a total of 21 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. His field goal efficiency has been remarkable, with a 4/7 shooting record.
  • Dalton Hicks also made a significant impact with 32 points, contributing 9 rebounds and 5 assists, showcasing his all-around game.
  • Jacob Tucker led the team in scoring with 29 points, adding 8 rebounds and 4 assists, demonstrating his scoring prowess and playmaking abilities.

Great Crossing Warhawks: Soaring High with Ambition

Standing in the Bulldogs' way are the second-ranked Great Crossing Warhawks. Unbeaten this season and riding the momentum of winning 15 of their last 16 games, the Warhawks are a formidable force. With a 5-1 record in KOB play and looking to advance to their second consecutive championship game, Great Crossing is a blend of talent and tactical acumen. Their only previous KOB semifinal appearance resulted in a victory, indicating their prowess in crucial matches.

Top Players:
  • Vince Dawson III emerged as a key player, scoring 29 points and securing 8 rebounds. His ability to shoot from distance was evident with 4 three-pointers made.
  • Junius Burrell added 20 points and 3 rebounds, showcasing his scoring ability.
  • Malachi Moreno was dominant on the boards with 28 rebounds and contributed a team-high 33 points, displaying exceptional inside presence and scoring ability.

Bowling Green Purples: The Resurgence of a Powerhouse

The seventh-ranked Bowling Green Purples, making their first KOB appearance since 2017, have re-emerged as a powerhouse in Kentucky basketball. With a 7-2 record and riding a 5-game winning streak, the Purples have shown they can handle pressure and come out on top. Their history in the tournament includes a finals appearance in 1999, and this year, they're aiming to add another chapter to their rich legacy.

Top Players:
  • Deuce Bailey contributed significantly with 23 points and 10 rebounds, demonstrating his scoring and rebounding ability.
  • Mason Ritter added 29 points and 8 rebounds, showing his prowess as a scorer and rebounder.
  • M J Wardlow led the team with 42 points and 14 rebounds, showcasing his dominant presence on both ends of the court.

Little Rock Central Tigers: Arkansas' Pride on the National Stage

The undefeated Little Rock Central Tigers from Arkansas bring a fresh and formidable presence to the KOB. In their first-ever tournament appearance, they have already made history and are looking to become the first out-of-state team since 2018 to win the title. The Tigers' participation adds a national flavor to the tournament, highlighting the KOB as a stage for top-tier basketball talent across the country.

Top Players:
  • Daniel Culberson has been a crucial player, scoring 23 points along with 13 rebounds, showcasing his dual-threat capabilities.
  • Annor Boateng stood out with an impressive 46 points and 15 rebounds, highlighting his scoring and rebounding skills.
  • Chase Allen also made a significant impact with 18 points and 7 rebounds, showing his ability to contribute effectively.

Thursday, December 21, 2023



5th Place Semifinals

4:30pm - #3 Trinity (6-2) vs. #14 DeSales (8-3)

6:00pm - Spencer County (4-5) vs. #9 Newport (7-2)


7:30pm - Fairdale (9-1) vs. #2 Great Crossing (8-0)

9:00pm - #7 Bowling Green (7-2) vs. Little Rock Central (10-0)


4:30pm - Butler Co. (5-3) vs. #5 Frederick Douglass (4-3)

6:00pm - Taylor Co. (6-5) vs. #24 Washington Co. (6-2)

7:30pm - #6 Male (6-2) vs. North Oldham (8-1)

9:00pm - #18 Harlan Co. (8-1) vs. Chicago De La Salle (8-3)


Harlan County 93, Butler County 74
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North Oldham 67, Washington County 60
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Male 80, Taylor County 64
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De La Salle (IL) 77, Frederick Douglass 64
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In an electrifying quarterfinal clash at the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass, the No. 7 Bowling Green Purples (7-2) narrowly edged past No. 3 Trinity Shamrocks (6-2) with a nail-biting 56-54 victory. This intense matchup, featuring 15 lead changes and no team ever leading by more than 5 points, culminated in a dramatic finish that had the fans on the edge of their seats.

Mason Ritter, the standout player for Bowling Green, was rightly named the Central Bank Player of the Game, contributing a crucial 16 points to his team’s victory.

A critical moment came with two minutes left when Trinity’s Vasser (13 points & 8 rebounds) hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 51-51. However, Bowling Green's Braylon Banks (10 points) immediately responded with a basket, pushing the Purples back into the lead.

Earlier, MJ Wardlow's (17 points & 12 rebounds) pair of free throws had extended Bowling Green’s lead to 55-51, proving pivotal in the game's final outcome.

Trinity's Jayden Johnson (12 points) drained a three-pointer, cutting Bowling Green's lead to a slender 55-54 with only 15.4 seconds remaining on the clock.

In the dying moments, Braylon Banks of Bowling Green missed the second of two free throws. Trinity seized the rebound and had possession with 8.6 seconds left, trailing by just two points.

The game's climax was heart-stopping, with Trinity's Julius Edmonds (2 points) almost turning the tide. His last-second putback, however, agonizingly fell short as time expired, sealing Bowling Green's victory.

This victory marks a significant achievement for Bowling Green, propelling them into their first King of the Bluegrass semifinal since 2016. They will take on Arkansas' top ranked Little Rock Central in Friday's 9:00pm semifinal.

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Under the bright lights of the Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic, a tale of tenacity, skill, and last-minute heroics unfolded. The No. 2 ranked Great Crossing Warhawks (8-0), faced a formidable challenge against the No. 9 Newport Wildcats (7-2). In a game that felt more like a chess match than a basketball match, the Warhawks emerged victorious with a slim 48-46 margin, setting their sights on the upcoming semifinal against the host, Fairdale.

Vince Dawson, III, etched his name into the annals of the tournament. Scoring 20 points throughout the game as the linchpin of his team's offense. But his defining moment came when the clock ticked down to a mere 10 seconds. With the poise of a seasoned warrior, he launched a 3-pointer that sailed through the air and found its mark, etching a permanent place in the memories of all who witnessed it. This was not just a shot; it was a statement, earning him the title of Central Bank Player of the Game.

The Wildcats of Newport, who had battled valiantly, saw their hopes wane in the final 20 seconds as two turnovers turned the tide against them. Newport's Taylen Kinney (29 points), in a moment of brilliance, had given his team a glimmer of hope. His runner, a smooth and precise maneuver, had propelled Newport to a 46-45 lead with just 48.6 seconds left. The crowd was abuzz, the possibility of an upset hanging tantalizingly in the air.

Great Crossing now prepares for a clash against host Fairdale in Friday's 7:30pm semifinal. The Warhawks move to 5-1 all-time in KOB play and look to make it back-to-back appearances in the KOB finals.

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In an exhilarating second quarterfinal of the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass, the host Fairdale Bulldogs (9-1) edged out a hard-fought 69-67 win over Spencer County (4-5). Jacob Tucker emerged as the Central Bank Player of the Game with a game-high 23 points and 6 rebounds, punctuating his performance with two critical 3-pointers in the closing moments of the game.

The matchup was a rollercoaster of emotions, characterized by late-game heroics and a nail-biting finish. Spencer County was on a roll from the 3-point range in the fourth quarter, leading Fairdale 60-56 with just three minutes left. Drew Barron of the Bears highlighted this surge with a crucial 3-pointer. However, Fairdale responded emphatically, outscoring Spencer County 13-7 over the final three minutes following.

The game's climax was a sequence of high-stakes plays. Jacob Tucker's 3-pointer for Fairdale tied the game at 64. Spencer County's Jack Armstrong (9 points) briefly reclaimed the lead with a layup, making it 66-64 with just over a minute remaining. In a twist, Luke Erhardt (17 points) of Spencer County made a significant steal, sinking one of his two free throws to extend their lead to 67-64.

The Bulldogs showed remarkable resilience in these tense moments. Dalton Hicks (11 points) hit a game-tying 3-pointer, drawing the score level at 67 with 28 seconds left. Then, following a Spencer County miss, Hicks was fouled and showed nerves of steel to sink two free throws, pushing Fairdale into a 69-67 lead with only 7.9 seconds on the clock. The Bears couldn't overturn this deficit in the final moments with Erhardt's shot falling short to seal the Bulldogs' victory.

This win marks a significant milestone for the Fairdale Bulldogs, ushering them into their first King of the Bluegrass semifinal appearance since 2006 and just the 10th in the tournament's 42-year history. Fairdale will play the winner of the Newport/Great Crossing game in Friday's 7:30pm semifinal.

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In an exhilarating showcase of high school basketball prowess, the Little Rock Central Tigers (10-0) emerged victorious in a nail-biting double overtime clash against No. 14 DeSales (8-3), securing an 89-78 win in the quarterfinal of the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass. The game, a true testament to the spirit and skill of both teams, was a rollercoaster of emotions and intensity.

The Tigers, led by the stellar performance of Luke Moore, who dazzled with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, earned him the Central Bank Player of the Game accolades. His leadership and poise under pressure were pivotal in steering his team to success.

Key moments of the game included Daniel Culberson's 3-point play that extended Central's lead to 89-78 with just 57.1 seconds left in the second overtime, a move that essentially sealed the fate of the game. Little Rock Central's dominance in the second overtime was evident as they outscored DeSales 15-4, demonstrating their resilience and determination.

Damone King's critical free throws sent the game into a second overtime, with the teams tied at 74. The Tigers' free-throw performance in the final minutes of regulation, where they hit only 7 of 14 attempts, added to the game's tension.

DeSales showed commendable tenacity, with Brady Cummins' 3-pointer bringing them within one point in the first overtime. Damone King's baseline jumper tied the game at the end of regulation, keeping DeSales' hopes alive. Prince Kahnplaye's three-pointer was crucial in keeping DeSales in contention, trailing by five with just 1:38 left in the game.

This game will be remembered as a King of the Bluegrass classic with both teams exhibiting exceptional talent and sportsmanship. Arkansas' top ranked Little Rock Central Tigers now advance to Friday's 9:00pm semifinal where they will face the winner of Trinity/Bowling Green. Missouri commit Annor Boateng added a double-double for the Tigers with a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds. Damone King had a gutsy 21-point effort for the Colts.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2023


WEST GYM - Quarterfinals

4:30pm - #14 DeSales (8-2) vs. Little Rock Central (9-0)

6:00pm - Fairdale (8-1) vs. Spencer Co. (4-4)

7:30pm - #9 Newport (7-1) vs. #2 Great Crossing (7-0)

9:00pm - #3 Trinity (6-1) vs. #7 Bowling Green (6-2)

EAST GYM - Consolation Bracket

4:30pm - #5 Frederick Douglass (4-2) vs. Chicago De La Salle (7-3)

6:00pm - Taylor Co. (6-4) vs. #6 Male (5-2)

7:30pm - #24 Washington Co. (6-1) vs. North Oldham (7-1)

9:00pm - Butler Co. (5-2) vs. #18 Harlan Co. (7-1)


In the final first-round game of the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass, the No. 3 Trinity Shamrocks (6-1) showcased a commanding performance, overpowering the Butler County Bears (5-2) with a decisive 88-61 victory. The game saw the Shamrocks put on a dominant performance from beginning to end​.

For Trinity, Julius Edmonds stood out with an exceptional performance, scoring 18 points and securing 8 rebounds. His remarkable play earned him the Central Bank Players of the Game honors. His contributions were pivotal in Trinity's solid offensive and defensive strategies, as reflected in his statistics: 7 out of 8 total field goals, 6 of 6 two-pointers, 1 of 2 three-pointers, and 3 of 4 free throws​.

Despite the loss, Butler County's Ty Price delivered an outstanding individual effort, scoring a game-high 35 points. Price demonstrated his scoring prowess by netting 11 out of 30 total field goals, 7 of 14 two-pointers, and 4 of 16 three-pointers, alongside 9 of 10 free throws. His performance, though impressive, wasn't enough to counter Trinity's overall team strength and depth​.

Throughout the game, Trinity maintained a comfortable lead, ending the first quarter 22-16, further widening the gap in the second quarter to lead 37-20 at the half. The third and fourth quarters followed suit, with Trinity extending their lead to as many as 33 points. This consistent scoring by Trinity, coupled with a robust defense, underscored their dominance in the game as they converted 16 Butler County turnovers into 21 points​.

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In a game that showcased the sheer dominance of Bowling Green (6-2), the No. 7 ranked Purples secured a convincing 73-62 victory over No. 18 Harlan County (7-1), advancing to the quarterfinals.

M.J. Wardlow of Bowling Green emerged as the standout player, earning the Central Bank Player of the Game honors with a game-high 25 points. His performance was a critical factor in the Purples' success.

The game's turning point came in the second half when Bowling Green extended their lead significantly. Just two minutes into the half, the Purples had a 10-point advantage at 46-36.

Harlan County, showing resilience, managed to narrow the gap. Jaycee Carter played a key role in this effort, with his 3-pointer reducing the deficit to just one point at 48-47 in the third quarter. Carter's contribution, including a pair of free throws, was pivotal in keeping Harlan County in contention.

However, Bowling Green's response was swift and decisive. A 15-2 run by the Purples reestablished their dominance, pushing the score to 69-55. This run effectively put the game out of reach for Harlan County.

The Purples' victory was not just a showcase of individual brilliance but also of collective effort. The team's seniors, M.J. Wardlow and Mason Ritter (13 points), along with junior guard Deuce Bailey (13 points), played significant roles.

In contrast, Harlan County, despite their efforts and the impressive play of senior guard Trent Noah (20 points) and junior guard Maddox Huff (17 points), could not overcome the challenge posed by Bowling Green. The Black Bears' fight was commendable, but the day belonged to the Purples.

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In a gripping showdown at the Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass tournament, the No. 9 Newport Wildcats (7-1) clinched a hard-fought victory over No. 24 Washington County Commanders (6-1) with a final score of 64-55, advancing them to the quarterfinals. Newport's star player, Taylen Kinney, led the charge with a game-high 19 points, earning the title of Central Bank Player of the Game.

The game commenced with Washington County taking an early lead, surging ahead 9-2. However, the tide turned following an intentional foul on Washington County's Camden Abell, which sparked a remarkable comeback by Newport. Demonstrating resilience and tactical prowess, Newport dominated the remainder of the first half with a staggering 30-6 run. This phenomenal performance secured them a commanding lead as they headed into halftime.

Washington County, sophomore Gabe Weis, finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds but the Commanders struggled to regain their initial momentum. Newport's defense and strategic plays underpinned their lead throughout the game forcing 14 Washington County turnovers.

In the second half, Newport maintained their advantage, thwarting Washington County's attempts to close the gap. The Wildcats' cohesive teamwork and solid execution on both ends of the court were pivotal in their victory. DeShaun Jackson (17 points) and Jabari Covington (11 points) contributed significantly to Newport's triumph.

The game was a testament to Newport's strength, showcasing their depth of talent. As they advance to the quarterfinals to take on No. 2 Great Crossing tomorrow at 7:30pm in a top 10 showdown.

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 In the gripping opening game of the second day of the 2023 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic, held on December 20, 2023, at Fairdale High School, the Little Rock Central Tigers triumphed over the De La Salle Meteors. Despite a valiant effort from De La Salle, they were unable to close the gap in the game's final moments.

De La Salle showed a strong push in the last 2:30 of the game, narrowing the lead to just 5 points on two occasions. However, their comeback efforts were thwarted as they couldn't draw any closer. The final 50 seconds of the game were crucial, with Little Rock Central controlling their final possession effectively, running down the clock to secure their victory​.

A major factor in the Tigers' win was their formidable defense. The Tigers forced a total of 12 turnovers from the Meteors, showcasing a strong defensive strategy. These turnovers were not just defensive successes but also translated into significant offensive gains, as the Tigers converted them into 15 points​.

Annor Boateng of Little Rock Central was a standout player in the match, delivering a remarkable performance that earned him the Central Bank Player of the Game honors. Boateng's contribution was pivotal to his team's success, as he racked up an impressive 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals, demonstrating his skill and impact on the game.

Little Rock Central's combination of a strong defense and key performances from players like Boateng and Luke Moore was enough to clinch the victory against the De La Salle Meteors and advance to the quarterfinals where they will take on DeSales tomorrow at 4:30pm.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2023


 4:30pm - Chicago De La Salle (7-2) vs. Little Rock Central (8-0)

6:00pm - No. 24 Washington County (6-0) vs. No. 9 Newport (6-1)

7:30pm - No. 18 Harlan County (7-0) vs. No. 7 Bowling Green (5-2)

9:00pm - Butler County (5-1) vs. No. 3 Trinity (5-1)


In a thrilling opening night contest, No. 14 DeSales (8-2) surged past No. 5 Frederick Douglass (4-2) in a game that set the pace for the season. The prowess of Will Gibson was on full display as he clinched the Central Bank Player of the Game title, contributing 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. A standout performance by Damon King, who racked up 20 points and snagged 7 rebounds, solidified the Colts' dominance. Despite a formidable challenge from Armelo Boone of Frederick Douglass, who notched an impressive 25 points, it was DeSales who controlled the game from the outset.

DeSales set the tone early, leading 20-10 after the first quarter, and never looked back. They expanded their lead to as many as 16 points in the first half, demonstrating their cohesive play and strategic execution. Frederick Douglass, though resilient, only managed to narrow the gap to five points at 57-52 with six minutes left on the clock. However, DeSales's consistent performance and unwavering resolve saw them close out the game successfully.

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In an electrifying first-round matchup of the King of the Bluegrass tournament, the second-ranked Great Crossing Warhawks survived a heart-stopping overtime challenge against the North Oldham Mustangs with a final score of 64-61. Malachi Moreno, with a dominant double-double, earned the Central Bank Player of the Game honors, racking up 20 points and 17 rebounds in a commanding performance.

As the clock dwindled down in overtime, the Warhawks secured their lead with Junius Burrell's clutch performance at the free-throw line, sinking two vital free throws to put Great Crossing up 64-61 with just 22.2 seconds remaining. The final moments were nail-biting as Brooks Cargould of North Oldham missed a critical 3-point attempt that could have changed the game's outcome.

Earlier in the overtime, back-to-back baskets from Malachi Moreno and Junius Burrell had given Great Crossing a crucial 62-59 lead with 2:22 left on the clock. These moments highlighted Great Crossing's determination and skill under pressure, reinforcing their reputation as a team of resilience and clutch performance.

The drama was not confined to overtime. In the final seconds of regulation, Vince Dawson's fearless drive to the basket scored, locking the game at 57 and pushing both teams into overtime. Prior to that, the Mustangs had a slight edge when Jack Fischer hit one of two free throws, giving North Oldham a 57-55 lead with just 13.3 seconds left. The Mustangs were in a strategic position, able to foul without sending Great Crossing to the line.

Burrell's sharpshooting prowess was on full display as he nailed a 3-pointer, bringing Great Crossing within one point of North Oldham with 15.3 seconds remaining in regulation. The intensity had been mounting, as demonstrated by Grant Neal's powerful drive and dunk, putting North Oldham up 51-49 with 1:30 left. The teams were neck-and-neck, and after Neal and Burrell traded 3-pointers, the score was deadlocked at 49 with just 1:43 to go.

The game was a showcase of high-octane basketball, featuring the impressive athleticism of North Oldham's Neal, who led all scorers with 23 points, and the ice-cold precision of Great Crossing's Burrell, with 16 points. The Warhawks' ability to edge out the win in such a tightly contested game is a testament to their composure and depth, qualities that will serve them well as they continue their quest for their first KOB title.

[Click to View Box Score]