Thursday, December 21, 2023


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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