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.