The Buckhorn Wildcats opened the 14th region tournament, and they bid for the Sweet Sixteen, with the Letcher Central Cougars. The Wildcats fought their way back from a early deficit to tie the game late. They then won the fight in the closing moments for the 48-41 win.
Letcher Central came out hot, putting Buckhorn in the hole early. The Wildcats ended the frame trailing trailing 14-6.
Buckhorn came out with a strong defensive effort in the second period, and limited Letcher Central’s looks at the rim. The Wildcats were unable to wrestle away the lead, but they were able to go into the locker room trailing 20-16, but they did hold the momentum.
The Wildcats continued to claw their way back into the game during the third quarter, and eventually tied the game. Going into the fourth quarter, Buckhorn needed to make up but one point (29-28).
The game went back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, with the game being tied at 40 with a little over a minute left in the game. Buckhorn forced Letcher Central into a couple of key turnovers, and put a little distance between them and the Cougars.
The Cougars were forced to put the Wildcats on the line late in the game. Buckhorn was able to make good on their free throws, and sealed the 48-41 victory, putting them in the semifinals.
Buckhorn (48) Ryan Boggs 13, Shannon Blank 3, Josh Crank 18, Connor Hoskins 10, Daniel Hurley 1 and Austin Morris 3.
Letcher Central (41) Carter 21, Gregory 4, Banks 9, Caudill 6 and Kincer 2.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.