Bowling Green, Owensboro among first-round winners in Meijer Classic
Bowling Green’s annual holiday tournament, the Meijer Holiday Classic, tipped off Thursday at Bowling Green High School.
The three-day event, which features three Region 4 teams – South Warren, Monroe County and Bowling Green – along with Owensboro, Madisonville-North Hopkins, Graves County, Murray and Bullitt East, began with four opening-round games.
Here’s a roundup from all of Thursday’s boys’ basketball action:
Owensboro 71, Madisonville-North Hopkins 57
Darrion Wimsatt poured in a game-high 34 points to lead Owensboro to a 71-57 rout of Madisonville-North Hopkins in the opening game of the Meijer Holiday Classic.
The Red Devils (8-4 overall) – who won their third straight game – executed on both ends from start to finish and took the Maroons out of their usual rhythm. Carried by Wimsatt’s dominating performance, Owensboro was able roll to an impressive victory.
“My shots were just falling,” Wimsatt said. “My teammates helped me out and got me in position to score.”
Owensboro led by just two at 19-17 after the opening quarter but quickly stretched its advantage to 31-23 at the 2:24 mark of the second. Madisonville-North Hopkins responded and got within 33-27 at halftime, but the Red Devils – and Wimsatt – controlled the second half and didn’t look back.
Along with Wimsatt’s performance, Gavin Wimsatt and Amari Wales each added nine points to round out Owensboro’s stat sheet.
Ksuan Casey carried Madisonville (7-5) with a team-high 16 points.
With Owensboro’s win, it’ll now take on Bowling Green in a 7:45 p.m. semifinal Friday.
“(I want to see) the same thing,” said Wimsatt. “Playing hard on defense, running the plays through and playing hard the whole game.”
Bullitt East 70, Monroe County 67
Monroe County battled until the end but fell just short to a sharpshooting Bullitt East club, 70-67, in the first round of the Meijer Holiday Classic.
The Falcons had to overcome numerous deficits – including climbing out of a 12-2 hole at the 4:22 mark of the opening quarter – but continued to fight back and never gave up. Trailing 70-67 with just seconds remaining, Monroe County had the chance at a last-second three, but Grayson Rich’s shot just missed.
Chandler Clements scored a game-high 33 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Falcons (6-6 overall), while Jholdi Brooks added 13 points and Rich tallied 12.
Bullitt East (7-5) earned double-digit outings from Zak Perdew (20 points) and Thomas Wisehart (24), who combined for 44 points.
With Monroe County’s loss, it’ll now meet South Warren in a 2:30 p.m. consolation contest Friday.
Graves County 71, South Warren 59
South Warren ran out of gas.
Taking on Graves County in the first round of the Meijer Holiday Classic, the Spartans battled and did all they could to limit their athletic opponent but ultimately suffered a 71-59 loss – their sixth in the last seven games.
The Spartans (4-8 overall) trailed 26-21 after the opening quarter and 39-34 at halftime, but an inconsistent stretch during the fourth allowed the Eagles (10-1) to build a comfortable lead and come out on top.
Jace Carver led South Warren with 17 points, while Caden Veltcamp scored 10.
Ryan Mathis poured in a game-high 30 points for Graves County.
With the Spartans’ loss, they’ll now meet Monroe County at 2:30 p.m. Friday in a consolation contest.
Bowling Green 78, Murray 51
Bowling Green jumped out to a hot start and didn’t look back in its first-round game against Murray in the Meijer Holiday Classic.
The Purples, who built a 25-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, took a 43-30 advantage into the locker room at halftime and carried their same rhythm over into the second half en route to a dominant 78-51 win over the Region 1 Tigers.
Trevor Dennis led Bowling Green (8-2 overall) with a game-high 24 points, while Kolbe Gray scored 12 and Cobi Huddleston added nine.
“It felt good,” Dennis said. “Being back home and getting a win in front of the home fans always feels nice. Murray’s really good, but we were able to do what we wanted to do — and it worked out pretty good for us.”
Hunter Utley carried Murray (4-7) with a team-high 19 points.
With the Purples’ win, they’ll now take on Owensboro in a 7:45 p.m. semifinal Friday.
“It’s going to be a great basketball game,” Bowling Green coach Derrick Clubb said. “Both teams will come out with a lot of energy. Those kids will be ready to play, and they’ll play a great game. We’ll have to make sure we’re ready and come out with great energy. It’ll be a lot of fun tomorrow.”
FRIDAY’S MEIJER HOLIDAY CLASSIC SCHEDULE
2:30 PM: Monroe County vs. South Warren (consolation bracket)
4:15 PM: Madisonville-North Hopkins vs. Murray (consolation bracket)
6:00 PM: Bullitt East vs. Graves County (semifinal)
7:45 PM: Owensboro vs. Bowling Green (semifinal)