A lot of excitement and anticipation surround the 2014 WYMT Whayne Supply Mountain Basketball Classic entering Thursday.
Harlan County and Leslie County met in the first game of the evening, battling for third place in the girls bracket. The Lady Black Bears were led once again by senior guard Bella Noe, who finished with 21 points in the 64-51 win. Sophomore Brooklyn Massingill pitched in with 17. Katie Moore score a game-high 24 for Leslie County, who again had a cold shooting night, connecting on just 17 of 47 field goal attempts.
Lawrence County was looking to become the first team since Corbin in 1990 to appear in the Mountain Classic finals in its first appearance in the tournament, but the Bulldogs fell short in its rally to defending champion Perry Central 67-59. Three players scored in double figures for Lawrence County, led by Robert Dalton's 21 points. Austin Chaffins had 12, while Timmy Dalton finished with 11. With point guard Braxton Beverly out due to an ankle injury, Perry Central needed a big performance from senior forward Justin Johnson, and Johnson delivered. Johnson scored a game-high 31 points on 13-18 shooting from the floor. Freshman Damon Tobler also scored in double figures, adding 11 before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Knott Central and Hazard saved the best game for last, and a packed Morton Combs Athletics Complex were treated to an instant classic. The Bulldogs and Patriots went back-and-forth for three and half quarters, until Josh Hollan converted a three-point play with 1:49 on the clock to put Hazard up three. However, Knott Central set a double screen for Tennessee Volunteer commit Camron Justice who buried a three from straight away to tie the game at 46 with just 0:09 on the clock. Hollan though would come to the rescue once again, connecting on a fall away jumper over Simon Christon from the left elbow with just 0:01 left, and Knott Central's last-second desperation heave was unsuccessful as the Bulldogs secured their spot in the championship game.
Lawrence County (59) - R. Dalton 21, Chaffins 12, T. Dalton 11, Richardson 8, Kiser 7
Perry Central (67) - Johnson 31, Tobler 11, Turner 8, Hill 5, Fugate 3, Neace 3, Stacy 3, Toomer 3
Hazard (48) - Hudson 15, Thompson 11, Hollan 10, Mobelini 10, Hardy 2
Knott Central (46) -Cornett 15, Hall 15, Justice 9, Christon 4, Sammons 3
Leslie County (51) - Moore 24, Asher 15, Collett 5, Farler 4
Harlan County (64) - Noe 21, Massingill 17, Lee 7, Stittums 6, Gross 4, Branson 3, Shackleford 3