Regional review, Monday 3/9
News and notes from day 3 of the boys 12th Region Tournament at Lincoln County:
- West Jessamine defeated Wayne County 62-49; McCreary Central defeated Lincoln County 47-44. West Jessamine plays McCreary for the championship Tuesday night.
- West Jessamine was in control of the first game from start to finish thanks to another big night by Jarrod Polson, who scored 38 points for the second straight game. Polson scored the Colts’ first five points and eight of their first 10 — including two 3-pointers — to give them a 10-3 lead 2:42 into the game.
- Wayne trailed by 12 at halftime but fought its way back, pulling to within 38-35 over the first 5-plus minutes of the second half. Austin Shearer missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 2:05 left in the third quarter, and the Cardinals never got another chance to tie or take the lead.
- Nick Zieman had eight points for West Jessamine, and six other Colts had two or four points. Gavin Dunagan led Wayne with 17 points, followed by Shearer with 10.
- The second game was as good as you could want a high school basketball game to be — unless you were a Lincoln fan. A capacity crowd, a great atmosphere and a back-and-forth game that came down to the last possession.
- McCreary survived a scoreless drought of 5:35 in the third quarter, when its 30-25 halftime lead turned into a 33-28 Lincoln lead. Meanwhile, the Patriots went scoreless after taking that lead for 4:46, and the Raiders regained a five-point lead in the final minute of the third quarter.
- McCreary killed 5:10 in the fourth quarter with two possessions, then scored four straight points to go up 45-41 with 38 seconds left. The Raiders’ Aaron Watts hit two free throws with 12 seconds left for the final points of the game, and Ethan Spurlin missed the 3-point shot that would have tied the game.
- Watts led McCreary with 21 points, 14 of them in the first half, and Zack Roark added 13 points. Trevor Edgington led Lincoln with 15 points, going 5-for-8 from 3-point range. Spurlin scored only 7 points, and he was 0-for-8 from 3-point range. Spurlin had taken ill over the weekend and was taking antibiotics. He seemed tired at times, and many of his missed shots were short.
- The championship is a rematch of a Dec. 12 game at Stearns that McCreary won 47-46 on a layup by Roark with about 10 seconds left. Watts then stripped the ball from a West Jessamine player to thwart the Colts’ last chance. Watts scored 23 points and Polson scored 20 in that game.
- West Jessamine (25-8) is playing in the regional finals for the second straight year, having lost 51-36 to Lincoln in last year’s title game. The Colts also lost to Henry Clay in the 11th Region finals in 2003. The school has no regional titles, but Jessamine County won one in 1990 (11th Region) before it was split into two schools.
- McCreary (21-11) is making its first appearance in the regional finals since 1993, when the Raiders lost to Casey County after upsetting Pulaski County in the semfinals. The school’s one and only regional title came in 1983. McCreary County, known as the Indians, won the region in 1946, 1964 and 1976 as McCreary County.
- The Other 15: Two Boys Sweet Sixteen bids went out tonight as Grayson County edged Muhlenberg North in the 3rd Region and Shelby Valley routed Lawrence County in the 15th. Every other regional champion is crowned tonight. … State tournament regular Pleasure Ridge Park won’t be in Rupp Arena this year after losing to Shawnee 80-69 in a 6th semifinal. … Jeffersontown edged Ballard 64-63 in a showdown in the 7th.