The boy’s 57th District basketball tournament got under way Tuesday night as the host Paintsville Tigers opened play in the first round against the Cardinals of Sheldon Clark. It was the third meeting between the two teams on the hardwood this season with Paintsville claiming wins in both matchups.
The Tigers got the sweep on the year as they advanced to Friday night’s championship by defeating the Cardinals 63-50 in the first round.
Paintsville opened the game with an 8-0 run thanks in part to back-to-back three pointers from Colby Fugate and Brady Dingess. Fugate was fouled on his drive to the basket with 4:16 to play in the first made both free throws to give the Tigers an 8-0 lead.
Sheldon Clark’s Trey James finally got the Cardinals on the board as he was fouled underneath with 3:38 to play and sinking both of his free throw attempts.
Seth Williams drove the lane for Paintsville on the ensuing trip to draw the foul and made good on his two free throws. Fugate added another bucket with a minute to play to give Paintsville a 12-6 lead after one period of play.
Nick Keeton came alive in the second quarter for Paintsville. He scored the Tigers first seven points of the second frame and helped extend the lead out to 19-10 with 4:13 to play before the break after he drew the foul from James underneath.
James and the Cardinals started to chip away at the lead before it got out of hand. Alex Dials’ bucket with 3:46 to play cut the lead to 19-12. James made a move in the paint the next trip down and scored, drawing it even closer at 19-14 with 3:08 to go before the half.
Paintsville’s Jaxon Watts was fouled on his three point attempt, but only managed one for three from the charity stripe. That allowed Sheldon Clark the time to regroup and James scored down low again with just over two minutes to play in the second quarter.
Braden Walker scored back-to-back buckets with 28.9 left in the half which cut the lead to 22-20 and Braxton Maynard stole the ball at the top of the key and went coast-to-coast to score the layup just before the buzzer to tie the game at 22-22 heading to the locker room.
The Cardinals came out and struck first in the third period. James hit a jumper to give Sheldon Clark it’s first lead of the night with 7:26 to play at 24-22. Dingess took the lead right back for the Tigers on his big three pointer with 7:08 left in the third at 25-24. It would be back-and-forth as James was fouled underneath with 5:53 left and made the bucket. He completed the three-point play to put the Cardinals back on top 28-27. He added another with under four and a half minutes to play to go up 30-29, that is, before Braxton Tharp nailed a three pointer form the wing to give Paintsville back the lead 32-30 with 4:10 to go in the third. Dingess scored four points in the 30 seconds for the Tigers and with 3:00 to play, they would hold a six point advantage 36-30.
On the inbound pass by Sheldon Clark however, Fugate was whistled for a foul and in his disagreement with the official, was called for the technical foul. Maynard hit both free throws cutting the lead to 36-32. Dingess made up for the mistake scoring five points in the last two minutes of the third quarter. The Tigers led 42-34 heading into the final period.
Sheldon Clark tried to keep it close in the fourth, but Paintsville pulled away in the final quarter. Paintsville went on to defeat the Cardinals 63-50, to setup Friday night’s championship match against arch-rival Johnson Central. This will also be the third time Paintsville and Johnson Central will meet this season.
Paintsville was led in scoring by Brady Dingess with 19 points. He was two of three from beyond the arc. He was followed by Colby Fugate with a double-double. Fugate had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Nick Keeton also had a double-double. Ketton finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jaxon Watts added eight points and four rebounds. Braxton Tharp scored five points and three rebounds. James Allen scored four points and three rebounds. Seth Williams scored two points and one rebound.
Sheldon Clark finished the year with a record of 10-20.
The Cardinals were led in scoring by James with 20 points. Braxton Maynard added 13 points. Braden Walker added six points. Cameron Dials scored six points. Alex Dials scored two points. Nick Maynard scored one point in the loss.