Boys’ Sweet 16| Warren Central to take on upstart Pikeville in quarterfinals
LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Warren Central Dragons realized last spring that they had a chance to do something special this season, and that is what pushed them to start practicing five days a week just a week after the end of dead period this past July.
All that hard work has finally paid off for the Dragons.
Warren Central (30-5) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen® Basketball Tournament for the first time since 2010 with a 68-44 victory over 12th Region champion Southwestern on Wednesday evening, and the Dragons will go for a school-record 31 wins and a spot in the semifinals when they take on 15th Region champion Pikeville on Friday afternoon at Rupp Arena.
Pikeville (25-9) is coming off a thrilling 72-69 triple-overtime victory over Fifth Region champion John Hardin on Wednesday night. The game tied with the 1983 state title game between Carlisle County and Lexington Henry Clay for the second-longest in the 101-year history of the state tournament in regard to number of overtimes. Only the 1928 state title game between Carr Creek and Ashland Paul Blazer—which went into four overtimes—lasted longer than both.
The Panthers are led by Kentucky Mr. Basketball candidate Wyatt Battaile (24.3 PPG), who poured in 30 points and saved Pikeville’s season by drilling a buzzer-beater from the right corner at the end of regulation against John Hardin.
Battaile will square off against a fellow Mr. Basketball candidate in Warren Central’s Skyelar Potter (23.0 PPG, 12.1 RPG) on Friday night. Potter is coming off a 23-point performance against Southwestern on Wednesday night, and the Wright State commit continues to be the driving piston of a potent Dragons’ offense that includes other weapons such as fellow seniors Micale Mee (10.1 PPG) and Jordan Cousin (15.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG).
Tip-off between Warren Central and Pikeville is slated for 1:30 p.m. (ET) at Rupp Arena. Joe Brunk and Miles Schroader will have an audio broadcast of the game at STBNTV.com, with Nathan Yazdani also providing reports from the sideline. Also follow @SportingTimes on Twitter for live in-game updates and game story.