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Butler overcomes 9-point deficit to edge Perry

LEXINGTON — Down nine with four minutes to play is not the place most basketball teams want to find themselves, but Butler coach K.C. Goodin says his Bears are no strangers to adversity.

“We’ve been there before,” said Goodin after his Bears rallied with a 10-0 run before winning 65-62 over Perry Central in overtime on Thursday in the first round of the state tournament at Rupp Arena. “Our guys just refused to lose. We took some charges and turned them over and sped them up a little.”

Goodin says the victory followed a familiar pattern for the Bears, who improved to 26-7 and earned a berth in Friday’s quarterfinals against the winner of the Scott County/Covington Catholic game.

“We take the steps,” Goodin said. “Our motto is ‘there is no elevator to success.’”

Junior forward Cameron Underwood scored 20 points to lead Butler. Junior guard Willard Minter added 19 points on five 3-pointers.

Perry Central (19-13) was led by senior center Noah Caudill with 21 points and senior guard Noah Back with 17.

The Commodores shot a blazing 67 percent (22 of 33) for the game but were hurt by a 21-7 disadvantage in turnovers and gave up 16 offensive rebounds, leading to a 22-4 deficit in second-chance points.

“They are quicker than us,” said Perry Central coach Shannon Hoskins. “We knew we had to get five to the boards tonight against a team that much quicker.”

Hoskins wasn’t sure about some of the late charging calls against his team during Butler’s late run to force overtime.

“We made some mistakes, but I thought they were a little late getting over a few times when we got in the lane. I thought we got the raw end of the deal,” he said.

Caudill had three baskets and two free throws in an 8-2 run that put the Commodores up 60-51 with four minutes left in regulation. Marquis Dorsey and Minter each hit 3-pointers and Dorsey scored on a layup with 1:17 left to put Butler up by one. Marquis Frazier, a senior guard playing his first game this year after being ruled eligible after a transfer from Cordia, hit one of two at the line with 21.6 seconds to play to tie the game at 61-all.

After a Minter turnovers, the Commodores had a chance to win on an out-of-bounds player under their goal with 1.9 seconds left. Back, one of the state’s best 3-point shooters, watched his 3-pointer rim out as regulation ended.

“It felt good, but, sadly, it didn’t go in,” Back said.

Underwood scored the only basket of overtime with 2:45 left to put Butler up by two. Caudill hit one of two free throws for Perry with nine seconds left. Maurice Tolley hit two at the line for Butler with 3.7 seconds to play. Back’s 3-pointer was well off the mark this time as the game ended.

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Butler (65) — Cameron Underwood 20, Dyshawn Brown 4, Marquis Dorsey 9, Maurice Tolley 5, Willard Minter 19, Damione Jackson 4, Jadon Lamb 4.

Perry Central (62) — Dylan Cornett 0, Noah Back 17, Noah Caudill 21, Camron Turner 7, Dylan Chaney 4, Marquis Frazier 3, Jalyn Williams 2, Deandre Reed 6, Jayden Neace 2.

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LEXINGTON —Kenny White’s 21-point, eight-rebound, six-block effort was enough to lift Madisonville-North Hopkins to a 57-49 win over Lincoln County during Thursday’s first round action of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Sweet 16.

White connected on 9-of-12 shot attempts while teammate K’Suan Casey added 11 points and 12 rebounds during the nine-point victory. The eight-point victory is the Maroons’ first Sweet 16 win since 1989.

The Patriots couldn’t find any rhythm shooting the ball, connecting on only 18-of-51 shot attempts from the floor while being outrebounded, 31-23. Jaxon Smith led Lincoln County with 19 points while teammate Blake Smith finished with a 10-point effort.

Both teams hooked up in an action-packed first quarter with Madisonville-North Hopkins knocking down 4-of-7 shot attempts to take a 10-9 edge.

White scored five points for the Maroons while Lincoln County’s Jaxon Smith’s five points allowed his team to remain within striking distance.

The Maroons managed to increase their lead to 27-21 at halftime thanks to a balanced scoring attack.

White finished with nine points in the first half while Casey had seven points and Cade Cunningham delivered five points.

Madisonville-North Hopkins shot 50 percent (10-of-20) while the Patriots struggled to a 9-of-23 effort. Smith continued to keep Lincoln County in the game by scoring 12 points during the first two quarters.

Lincoln County was able to cut its deficit to 30-28 midway through the third quarter, but a 3-pointer by JD Gilbert and a basket by White allowed the Maroons to take a 39-31 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Madisonville-North Hopkins continued to extend its lead in the final quarter of play after consecutive baskets by White pushed the Maroons lead to 43-31 at the seven-minute mark.

Lincoln County answered with an 11-2 run that saw the Patriots pull to within three points (47-44) with 2:46 remaining in regulation. A 3-pointer by Blake Smith combined with a basket by Riley Bodner and two free throws by Jaxon Smith highlighted the rally.

Madisonville-North Hopkins was able to withstand Lincoln County’s run, and put the game away after consecutive baskets by White and Cunningham increased their lead to 51-44 with 1:48 left.

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LEXINGTON — Covington Catholic’s bid to repeat as state champion came to an end on Thursday, but not before putting up one heck of a fight.

The Colonels trailed by 19 points with 1:34 remaining in the game before putting together one final rally.

Scott Ruthsatz’s squad scored 18 consecutive points in 71 seconds while forcing Scott County into five turnovers, but it wasn’t enough.

Cov. Cath cut its deficit to one point (62-61) with three seconds remaining, but two free throws by the Cardinals’ Glenn Covington with two seconds left wrapped up a 64-61 win for Scott County.

The three-point victory allowed the Cardinals to exact some revenge after falling to the Colonels, 73-55, during last year’s state title game. They will now advance to today’s Sweet 16 quarterfinal matchup, and face Butler.

Scott County (32-3) used a balanced scoring attack along with Glenn Covington’s 15 points leading the way while Bryce Long and Diablo Stewart each scored 12 points apiece.

Cov. Cath’s Michael Mayer led all scorers with 18 points while teammate Grant Disken finished with a 16-point scoring effort.