LEXINGTON – In a battle of champions from neighboring regions, Perry County Central pulled away to defeat Pikeville 61-46 in the first round of the 100th Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena on Wednesday afternoon.
With the loss, Pikeville concluded its season 23-9.
Perry County Central improved to 28-7 and advanced to the second round of the state tournament with the win.
Four of Perry County Central’s five starters reached double figures in the scoring column. Damon Tobler and Austin Hill led the Commodores with 12 points apiece.
Accompanying Tobler and Hill in double figures for Perry County Central, Idris Akenyemi and Princewill Anosike delivered 10 points apiece. Anosike recorded a double-double, pulling down a game-high 15 rebounds for the Commodores.
Perry Central’s other starter, Noah Back, netted nine points in the winning effort.
Tobler dished out a game-high eight assists and grabbed nine rebounds, flirting with a triple-double for the Commodores.
Perry County Central shook off a slow start. Pikeville, under the direction of former Mr. Basketball Elisha Justice, clung to a 9-8 lead at the end of the opening quarter. However, Perry County Central eventually took control of the postseason matchup.
Perry County Central packed a 23-20 lead into halftime and used a 17-7 run in the third quarter to distance itself from the Panthers.
Dominating inside, Perry County Central outrebounded Pikeville 44-21. The Commodores won despite committing 21 turnovers.
Pikeville didn’t feature any scorers n double figures. Cade Byers paced the Panthers with eight points. Wyatt Battaile tossed in seven points and Evan Rhodes added six points for Pikeville in the season-ending loss.
Steve LeMaster is the editor of The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.