The Letcher Central Cougars (13-8) secured second place in the 53rd District standings with their victory last Thursday at Jenkins.
The Cougars host Hazard (10- 12) tomorrow before going on the road for back-to-back games at Union (Va.) on February 6, and at Buckhorn (14-7) on February 7. The Cougars return home to host Allen Central (11-11) Tuesday, February 10.
Letcher Central 80
Knox Central 74
Despite a subpar effort by sophomore Torell Carter, at least subpar for him as he finished with only 12 points, the host Cougars out-fought, outhustled and outscrapped the visiting Knox Central Panthers in winning 80-74 Saturday night, Jan. 31.
In a game which featured more fouling by the players than defensive pressure, the Cougars took advantage of the fouls to get to the free throw line where they feasted — making 26/35 foul shots including 15/15 by junior guard Jordan Gregory. Gregory finished with a game-high 25 points including eight-for-eight late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
Sophomore guard Austin Caudill fueled the Cougars early with his outside shooting as LCCHS led the Panthers 27-22 after the opening quarter. Caudill wound up with 11 points — all in the first half.
After scoring eight points, Torell Carter picked up his third foul and went to the bench with 3:05 left in the second quarter and LCCHS up 40-32. The Cougars, instead of dropping their heads, just refused to quit. With Carter on the bench, Gregory took over the game with his penetrating drives and short jumpers and LCCHS closed out the second quarter with a 7-2 run for a 47-34 lead at the half. Gregory had 13 points in the first half.
The Cougars struggled offensively early in the third quarter with Carter picking up his fourth foul at the 4:19 mark and LCCHS leading 51-39. If possible, the Cougars began playing even harder. Gregory’s trey got the offense rolling and junior forward Tyler Collins’s layup at the buzzer pushed the Cougars’ lead to 60-49 after three quarters.
Collins really stepped up his game in the second half and finished with 18 points.
With the ball handling shaky early in the fourth quarter, Carter returned to settle down the offense but picked up his fifth foul at the 3:42 mark and left with 12 points and the Cougars clinging to a 66-59 lead.
Not to worry, however, because Gregory held off the Panthers down the stretch with his perfect eight-foreight shooting from the foul line.
Senior forward Hunter Hall finished with 10 points and Austin Banks added three points for the 13-8 Cougars.
Matthew Barger’s 23 points led the 12-11 Panthers. Chad Marsee added 15.
Letcher Central 85
The visiting Letcher Central Cougars placed three players in double figure scoring in winning easily, 85-59, at district rival Jenkins on January 29. The victory raised the Cougars’ record to 12-8 but, more importantly, secured the Cougars second place in the district standings with a 3-3 mark heading into the 53rd District Tournament the week of February 23. The Cougars host the district tournament this year, and as the second seed and playing at home, stand a very good chance of reaching the 14th Regional Tournament in March after an absence last March.
The Jenkins defense was unable to contain the Cougars’ three-guard offensive attack with Torell Carter finishing with a game-high 25 points. Sophomore Austin Banks scored 17 and junior Jordan Gregory chipped in with 15.
Tyler Collins finished with six points for the Cougars and Elijah Raglin added four points. Isaiah Wallace, sophomore Austin Caudill, Isaiah Bentley, Austin Bentley and junior Austin Caudill finished with three points each.
Austin Boggs’s 20 points led the 4-14 Cavaliers. Randy Potter chipped in with 11 points and Jeffery Newsome finished with 10 points. Jordan Delph scored nine points and Devin Hendricks wound up with five. Cody Wyatt added three points and Jesse Goodson one.
The Cavaliers are 0-4 in the district and finish their district matchups this week with visits to June Buchanan School, February 3, and Knott County Central, February 5. The Patriots are 21-1 overall and 5-0 in the district.
Knott Central 69
Letcher Central 45
In a contest rescheduled to January 28, the visiting and regional topranked
Knott County Central Patriots pulled away from host Letcher County Central Cougars in the second half in winning 69-45.
The Cougars struggled offensively early and trailed 18-5 after the first quarter, but then used balanced scoring to rally in the second quarter and trailed the Patriots just 30-29 at the half.
Led by their outside/inside All- State trio combination of senior guard Cameron Justice, center Evan Hall and senior forward Simon Christian, the Patriots began to pull away in the second half and led the Cougars 46-35 going into the final quarter.
Cameron Justice led 19-1 Knott County Central with a game-high 26 points. Simon Christian added 16 points and Evan Hall finished with 12 points. The Patriots outrebounded the Cougars 24-12 with Hall and Chance Cornett claiming eight rebounds each. Christian had seven rebounds.
Sophomore guard Torell Carter found the going rough against the talented and taller Patriots on the inside. Carter, who entered the game averaging nearly 30 points per game, was held to a season-low 15 points. Sophomore Austin Banks added 11 points and junior forward Tyler Collins finished with eight points. Junior guard Jordan Gregory finished with seven points and senior forward Hunter Hall chipped in with four points.
The Patriots converted 11/13 from the charity line while the Cougars were 10/13.