Central Pulls Away from Crusaders, Reaches Sweet 16 Quarterfinals

By: James Brandenburg Email
By: James Brandenburg Email

For a half Thursday against Warren Central, June Buchanan kept the dream alive that a school with only 74 students could win a state championship.

Warren Central then commenced to crushing the Crusaders' hopes of a title. Spurred by an 18-8 run the final six minutes of the first half, the Dragons outscored JBS 16-7 in the third quarter and knocked off the Crusaders 71-53 to open their sixth straight trip to the National City/KHSAA Boys Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena.

Monie Hudson and Joe Hood scored 18 each to lead the Dragons, while Aaron Rhodes added ten in victory. The Dragons most surprising individual effort came from Jeremy Anderson, though - the senior scored just two points and finished 0-for-3 from the field.

Clark Stepp led the Crusaders with 18 points, while Tate Cox chipped in 12.

Clint Stepp sparked June Buchanan's early success, though. The freshman hit two threes in the second quarter to help the Crusaders to their largest edge of the evening, but finished just two-for-eight for the game.

The younger Stepp's outburst was countered for Central by Hood, who finished the first half with 12 points on four three-pointers. That included two in a six-second span midway through the second quarter.

After facing the smallest school in this year's tournament, Warren Central now faces the second smallest school in the quarterfinals. 16th Region champion Elliott County, enrollment 312, advanced in the tournament with a 68-55 win over Shelby County.

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