LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Nick Ruthsatz scored 28 points and made four 3-pointers to lead Covington Catholic to an 80-78 triumph over Clay County on Thursday night in the first round of the Kentucky boys Sweet 16 state basketball tournament at Rupp Arena.
The Colonels (30-2), the Region 9 winner, made 12 of 18 shots from long range. Covington Catholic drained eight 3-pointers in the first half, including six treys in the first quarter. The Colonels will play Bardstown in the quarterfinals at 8 p.m. Friday. The Panthers defeated Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park 75-70 Thursday.
Cole VonHandorf followed Ruthsatz with 19 points and Ben Heppler connected on five treys and finished with 16 points for the Colonels.
Clay County (23-9), the 13th Region champion, got 29 points from Tyler McDaniel, who made five of his team’s six 3-pointers. Trey Farmer, son of former University of Kentucky guard Ritchie Farmer, scored 19.
Bowling Green 65, Knott Central 58
Joseph Ayers had 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead Bowling Green to a 65-58 win over Knott County Central Thursday in the first round of the Kentucky Sweet 16 boys’ state basketball tournament at Rupp Arena.
Blue Tisdale scored 13 and Tucker Sine added 11 for the Purples (28-6), winners of the 4th Region. Bowling Green plays McCracken County in the quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The Mustangs defeated Wayne County 81-74 in a first-round game Thursday.
The game was close down the stretch until Bowling Green outscored the Patriots (25-7) 14-7 in the final three minutes to get the win.
Cameron Justice scored 25 points to lead the 14th Region champion Patriots. Chance Cornett added 11 points, and Evan Hall scored 10.
Mr. Football Nacarius Fant finished with seven points for Bowling Green.
McCracken Co. 81, Wayne Co. 74
Jared Burnett scored 21 points to lead McCracken County to an 81-74 win over Wayne County Thursday in the first round of the Kentucky boys’ Sweet 16 state basketball tournament at Rupp Arena.
The Mustangs (25-8), Region 1 winner and making their first appearance in the tournament, shot 51 percent from the field (21-41) and will play the winner of the Knott County Central-Bowling Green game in the quarterfinals Friday night.
Caleb Stonecipher made four 3-pointers and scored 20 points for McCracken County, which never trailed in its state debut. Kam Chumbler made 13 of 15 free throws and followed with 19 points, while Jason Armstrong added 11 for the Mustangs.
Wayne County (31-2), which won the Region 12 title, shot just 35 percent from the field (25-70) and got 24 points from Trey Blevins. Peyton Woods scored 17 points and Jason Perkins added 13 for the Cardinals.
Bardstown 75, Louisville PRP 70
L.J. Cowherd scored 25 points to lead Bardstown to a 75-70 win over Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park on Thursday night in the first round of the Kentucky boys Sweet 16 state basketball tournament at Rupp Arena.
The Tigers (27-6), the Region 5 champion, were winless in their previous seven state appearances. Bardstown will play the winner of the Clay County-Covington Catholic contest Friday at 8 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
Cowherd scored 13 points in the second half. Tavon Johnson scored six of Bardstown’s first eight points and followed Cowherd with 18 points. Johnson scored 14 points in the first half. Seivon Schooling added 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Keanu Young added 11 for Bardstown.
The Tigers shot 51 percent (26 of 51) for the game and made 15 of 22 shots in the first half.
Antonio McDaniels paced the Panthers (26-8), the 6th Region champion, with 18 points, while D’Angelo Hunter scored 17 and Richard Gaines had 11.
13th Region champ Clay County was scheduled to play Covington Catholic in Thursday’s late first round game.