HINDMAN — Hazard is headed back to Rupp Arena. The Bulldogs doubled up Wolfe County 12-6 in overtime to pull away to win 57-51 in the 14th Region boys’ basketball championship at Knott County Central High School on Tuesday night.
Tradition-rich Hazard captured its 24th 14th Region title.
Al Holland won his 10th 14th Region championship as a head coach.
Hazard defeated Wolfe County for the third time in the 2019-20 boys’ high school basketball season.
The Bulldogs are headed to the Boys’ Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009.
“It was a great win for us and I’m so happy for our team,” Holland said after guiding Hazard to the 14th Region crown.
Logan Hall scored 21 points to lead Hazard to the region championship-clinching victory. Accompanying Hall in double figures in scoring for the Bulldogs, Wade Pelfrey netted 14 points and Jake Johnson posted 10 points.
Wolfe County forced Hazard to play from behind early. After owning multiple leads over the game’s first eight minutes, Wolfe County led 16-14 at the conclusion of the opening quarter.
However, Hazard shook off its slow start. The Bulldogs battled back to lead 26-21 at halftime. Hazard which captured the 14th Region All “A” Classic championship earlier in the season, led 36-33 at the end of the third quarter.
The Bulldogs were out in front 45-42 with 16.2 seconds left in regulation when Wolfe County standout Wilgus Tolson was fouled on a 3-point field goal attempt. Calmly, Tolson drained all three of his foul shots to pull the Wolves even and force overtime.
Determined Hazard scored first and never trailed in the extra period.
Jarrett Napier and Reece Fletcher rounded out Hazard’s individual scoring, finishing with six points apiece.
Hall was named the 14th Region Boys’ Basketball Tournament MVP. Pelfrey, Johnson and Fletcher were named to the all-tournament team.
Hazard held Wolfe County to 35.3 percent shooting (18 of 51) from the field. The Wolves finished five of 25 (20 percent) from three-point range.
Tolson led Wolfe County with 21 points. The productive Tolson was three of 10 from three-point range.
Joining Tolson in double figures in scoring for the Wolves, Jaz Johnson and Sawyer Thompson added 11 points apiece.
Rounding out the individual scoring for Wolfe County, Hunter Brewer and Skylar Ritchie chipped in four points each.
Tolson, Thompson and Jaz Johnson represented Wolfe County on the all-tournament team.
Hazard will face 6th Region champion Fern Creek in the opening round of the Boys’ Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena in Lexington at Noon on Thursday, March 19.
14th Region semifinals
Letcher Central 38
In a dominant performance, Hazard pulled away to defeat Letcher Central 65-38 in the 14th Region Boys’ Basketball Tournament Semifinals at Knott Central High School on Sunday.
Hazard improved to 28-5 and advanced to the 14th Region boys’ basketball championship game with the win.
With the loss, Letcher Central ended its season 9-20.
Hazard shot 50 percent (25 of 50) from the field. The Bulldogs shot 77.8 percent (14 of 18) from the free-throw line.
Thriving around the goal, Hazard out rebounded Letcher Central 39-15.
Logan Hall scored a game-high 21 points to lead Hazard to the victory. Hall was eight of 11 from the field.
Accompanying Hall in double figures in scoring for the Bulldogs, Reece Fletcher and Wade Pelfrey added 10 points apiece. Pelfrey recorded a double-double in the Bulldogs’ winning effort, grabbing 10 rebounds.
The additional scorers for Hazard in the convincing victory were Jamal Hazell (six points), Jarrett Napier (five points), Jacob Johnson (five points), Xavier Higgins-Clay (two points), Noah Neace (two points), Tyson Turner (two points) and Chris Jones (two points).
Struggling offensively, Letcher County Central shot 31.7 percent (13 of 41) from the field. The Cougars were 4-of-10 from 3-point range in the season-ending setback.
Faring better in another area, Letcher County Central shot 66.7 percent (eight of 12) from the free-throw line.
Ryan Lebrun paced Letcher Central with 13 points. Lebrun was the only Letcher Central scorer to reach double figures.
Matthew Dicks (six points) Parker Williams (five points), Bodie Bentley (four points), Joby Johnson (four points), Dylan Webb (four points) and Isaac Lucas (two points) combined to account for the rest of the Cougars’ scoring.