On Tuesday, the Buckhorn Wildcats and the Perry County Central Commodores met in the championship game of the 14th region. The Commodores defeated the Wildcats in the 54th district title game, and in the only regular season contest. However, this game would have a totally different feel.
As in the previous games, Buckhorn took the early lead behind some excellent shooting from the field. By the time the first period ended, the Wildcats were on top 15-9.
Perry Central would pick up the pace in the second period, but this time, Buckhorn would not waiver. The two teams battled neck and neck throughout the quarter with the Wildcats going into the locker room with the 28-22 advantage.
The Commodores began their comeback bid in the third period, chipping away at the lead. Unlike the district game, the Wildcats stood their ground and maintained their lead (38-36) going into the final period.
The pace slowed considerably in the fourth quarter, with Perry Central evening the tally on a couple of occasions. Buckhorn met every challenge and refused to turn over the lead. The Commodores scored late in regulation, and forced the game into an overtime.
Perry Central took their first lead of the game off the tip. Buckhorn, however, would not panic, and picked up their intensity. The Wildcats would not give in under the Commodores pressure, and held on for the 54-51 win. It was Buckhorn’s first region title since 1989.
Buckhorn (54) Ryan Boggs 10 (5 rebounds), Shannon Blank 6 (1 rebound and 2 assists), Nick Stidham 3 (1 rebound), Josh Crank 5 (7 rebounds and 2 assists), Connor Hoskins 20 (4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal), and Daniel Hurley 10 (2 rebounds and 1 assist).
Perry Central (51) Noah Back 8 (3 rebounds), James Blair 12 (2 rebounds), Travis Dunn 4 (4 rebounds), Damon Tobler 21 (5 rebounds) and Matt Turner 6 (5 rebounds).
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.