LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Mason County forward Darius Miller
celebrated his 18th birthday in style.
The senior scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Royals to a
73-46 rout of Paducah Tilghman Friday night in the quarterfinals of
the Boys' Sweet Sixteen State Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena.
Mason County (32-4) will meet Shelby County (25-8) in the
semifinals Saturday morning.
Asked afterward if he was going to have some birthday cake
Friday night, Miller responded: "Probably not tonight, if we win
tomorrow win, definitely."
Mason County jumped out to a 10-0 lead, led 24-6 after the first
quarter and cruised to victory in front of a crowd that including
Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie. Miller has already
committed to playing for the Wildcats.
Senior guard Ethan King and junior guard Russ Middleton added 12
points apiece for the Royals, while senior forward Trevor Setty
chipped in with 11.
"We ran into a buzzsaw tonight, everything that could go wrong
did go wrong and they had a lot to do with that," Blue Tornado
coach Brad Steig said.
Bryon Wright paced Paducah Tilghman (28-7) with 12 points, while
Jeffrey Williams added 10.
It took Mason County two minutes and 26 seconds to reach double
figures as the Royals roared to a 10-0 lead. It took Paducah
Tilghman 16:55 to reach double digits as Mason County dominated the
Mason County also made life difficult for the Blue Tornado
ballhandlers. The Royals forced 16 first-half Paducah Tilghman
turnovers and converted those into 22 points.
Mason County shot 49.2 percent for the game, including 47.6
percent from three-point range. The Royals also converted 23 Blue
Tornado turnovers into 32 points.
Paducah Tilghman shot 46.2 percent from the field, but only 23.1
percent in the first half.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)