Tuesday, December 19, 2023


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]

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