The Letcher County Central High School Cougars, the top seeded boys’ team in the 53rd District Tournament, easily defeated fourth-seeded Jenkins 65-25 in the tourney’s opening round February 22 at Jenkins High School.
The Cougars will next meet the winner of the June Buchanan/ Knott Central matchup for the district championship.
Knott County Central High School will host the boys’ 14tg Region Tournament beginning February 29.
The Cougars led 26-4 after the first quarter, 45-12 at the half and 58-20 after three quarters.
Torell Carter’s game-high 14 points led the Cougars. Austin Caudill scored 12 points and Tyler Collins added 10 points. Jonathon Potter finished with seven points and Elijah Raglin with six. Austin Banks added five points and Colton Yonts four points. Jordan Gregory and Dalton Morton chipped in with three points each. Tyler Boggs finished with one point.
The Cougars made 25/46 field goal attempts for 54 percent and outrebounded Jenkins 38-27.
Justin Phipps’s 10 points led Jenkins. Matthew Jessey and Dallas Simon added six points each. Joseph Ratliff scored two points and Hunter Adams one point.
The Letcher Central Cougars rested three starters for much of the game’s final 10 minutes in defeating visiting Leslie County 73-66 Saturday afternoon.
LCCHS, now 19-9, struggled in the first half on both ends of the floor. The Cougars trailed 20-19 at the end of the first quarter, but then used junior guard Austin Banks’s outside shooting to take a 34-30 lead at the half.
Banks, who finished with a game-high 23 points, was 8/16 in field goal attempts — including 6/12 from behind the arc. He also claimed seven rebounds and dished off three assists with no turnovers.
LCCHS shook off its lethargy in the third quarter and used an 11-2 run to push the lead to 45-32 in the first three minutes of the third quarter. Back-to-back treys by Banks pushed LCCHS’s lead to 54-36 with 2:22 left in the third, and Torell Carter, Jordan Gregory and Tyler Collins then took a seat on the bench.
LCCHS led the Eagles 58-42 after three quarters, but Leslie County rallied with a 9-0 run to close to within 70-65 with 45 seconds left.
After LCCHS made just one of eight free throws, Tyler Collins, who replaced Elijah Raglin who had fouled out with six points, made two free throws with six seconds left to preserve the victory. Collins finished with six points.
The Cougars outrebounded the Eagles 39-33 with Torell Carter claiming a game-high 14 rebounds. Carter finished with 17 points.
The Cougars overcame 22 turnovers with good shooting — making 23/50 field goal attempts for 46 percent. The Cougars were 10/23 from behind the arc for 44 percent but just 17/29 from the charity line for 59 percent.
Austin Caudill scored 10 points for LCCHS and Jordan Gregory finished with eight. Jonathon Potter scored two points and Gregory Kincer one point.
Colin Smith’s 18 points led 15-9 Leslie County. Blake Asher finished with 16 points. The Eagles committed just 14 turnovers while making 20/51 field goal attempts for 39 percent.
Letcher Central 57 Pike Central 56
The visiting Letcher Central Cougars, behind the play of All- State junior Torell Carter, rallied down the stretch for the 57-56 win at Pike Central last Thursday evening.
Letcher Central struggled offensively early and trailed 22-13 after the first quarter and 34-26 at the half before closing the gap in the third quarter and trailing just 46-45 entering the last quarter.
LCCHS’s offense sputtered the entire game with only Carter and senior forward Tyler Collins providing any significant scoring.
Carter scored the Cougars’ final 12 fourth quarter points — including the go-ahead and winning basket in the final seconds.
Carter made 11/18 field goal attempts and finished with a gamehigh 30 points. Collins chipped in with 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Cougars, who were outrebounded 24-20, made just 12 turnovers while forcing Pike Central into 18 turnovers.
Senior Jordan Gregory and junior Austin Caudill finished with five points each for the 18-9 Cougars. Junior Austin Banks wound up with three points.