Senior Logan Johnson scored 17 points to help the Letcher County Central Cougars to a 73-40 win over Prestonsburg on Saturday night.
Johnson’s effort also gave him admission to Letcher Central’s 1,000 point club and overshadowed an outstanding offensive effort by fellow senior Kendall Ballou in the Cougars’ easy seasonopening victory over the visiting Blackcats.
Johnson, a three-year starter in both football and basketball for the Cougars, could become the Letcher Central’s career scoring leader before the year is out. Johnson was 11-for-11 from the charity line in a game in which the Cougars may have set an arena record for consecutive free throws made by converting their first 26.
Ballou, a 6’4” forward with tremendous athletic ability, had a breakout game in leading the Cougars with a game-high 22 points. Ballou, who was 8-of-8 from the foul line, did not commit any turnovers and had three steals.
Johnson’s string of nine straight points allowed the Cougars to extend their advantage to 19-7 by the end of the first quarter. Ballou then took over offensively, scoring eight of the Cougars’ next 10 points in the first three minutes of the second quarter, and LCCHS never looked back in pushing its lead to 39-18 by the break.
Senior center Koree Steward quietly scored eight points and led the Cougars with a game-high eight rebounds. Junior guard Cody Gregory finished with seven points and four assists and senior Matt Boggs wound up with two points.
The Cougars were guilty of 24 turnovers, but also forced Prestonsburg into 21 miscues while out- rebounding the Blackcats 42-23.
Sophomore substitute Sam Robinson finished with five points, while Cody Sexton came off the bench and scored four. Chippy Frazier, Dylan Kincer and Josh Boggs each had two points.
Trey Stapleton’s 12 points led the 0-1 Blackcats.
The Cougars visit East Ridge High School on Thursday, then return home to host the Australian National Team from Sidney on Friday night.
Sunday afternoon’s scheduled game against West Jessamine High in Rupp Arena was cancelled after the NCAA decided that college arenas could not host regular season high school games. The small college NAIA has no such prohibitions, and the Cougars are still expected to participate in the eight-team Alpha Classic after Christmas at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
LCCHS visits South Floyd on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Knott Central 69
In the season-opener for both teams, the Cavaliers fell behind early in losing to the defending 53rd District champion Knott County Central in Hindman on Nov. 29.
With five players scoring nine points or more, the Patriots held Jenkins scoreless in the opening quarter and took a 26-0 lead into the second quarter. The Cavs played the Patriots evenly in the second quarter but trailed 37-10 at the intermission and 55-24 after three quarters.
Freshman Cameron Justice led the Patriots with a game-high 19 points. Another freshman, 6’5” Evan Hall added 12 points and Cornett chipped in with 10 points. Blake Shrum and Zack Davis finished with 9 points each.
Junior guard Cody Sexton’s 11 points led the Cavaliers. Josh Collins added five points and Newsome four points. Jacob Campbell finished with three points. Ryan Bentley and Tim Seals added one point each while Casey Hall, Goff and Quillen wound up with two points each.
The Cavs aren’t scheduled to play again until next Thursday (Dec. 15) against Phelps at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.