The final spot in the eighth grade championship game of the Perry County tournament came down to a duel between the Buckhorn Wildcats and the Chavies Cardinals. The game proved to be a rollercoaster ride of emotions as both teams took control of the contest (on several occasions) and looked to be well on their way to victory, when the other turned the tables and changed the view.
Buckhorn opened the game by taking an 8-2 lead, but Chavies quickly recovered behind a pair of "3"s by Chris Noble. The timely shots shifted the momentum to the Cardinals, and by the time the horn sounded to end the first quarter, Chavies held the 14-12 lead.
The Cardinals' offense took to the nest (with some help from the Wildcat defense) during the second period, leaving the door open for Buckhorn to take the lead. The Wildcats were able to use the Cardinals' misfortune to their advantage as they began to run the floor and create easy baskets in transition. The rally not only netted the Wildcats the lead, but sent them to the locker room with a 29-20 lead.
Whatever disease crippled the Cardinal offense in the second quarter must have been contagious, because the Wildcats came down with it in the third. Just as Buckhorn had done in the second period, Chavies was there to take advantage of their opponent's woes. The Cardinals matched the margin of the second period (11 points), sending the game to the final period with the same two point advantage they enjoyed at the end of the first period (38-36).
Nothing was settled in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter as neither team was able to gain an advantage. Just as the quarter past the midway point, however, things broke loose for the Wildcats.
After picking up a couple of steals in the backcourt and racing to easy baskets, momentum of the game began to swing in favor of the Wildcats. Although the Buckhorn lead never "swelled" at any point, time did become a factor.
With time running out in the game, Chavies was forced to put Buckhorn on the line in hopes of getting back into the game. The Wildcats, however, were up to the task and were able to connect on just enough free throws to ice the game.
When the final horn finally sounded, the Wildcats claimed the final spot in the championship game with a 53-48 win. John Yancy Amis helped pace the Wildcats to the victory with 12 points in the fourth quarter, and 32 points for the game. Chavies' Chris Noble connected on five "3"s, and led the Cardinals with 19 points.
Buckhorn (53) John Amis 32, Andy Blank 17, Jordan Amis 2 and Andrew Abbott 2.
Chavies (48) Chris Noble 19, Klay Maggard 16, Curtis Colwell 5, Eric Stidham 4, and Gage Delph 4.