Dre Boyd found his zone – and so did Warren Central.
With the Dragons down nine at halftime of Friday night’s game against longtime District 14 rival Bowling Green, Boyd went to work in the second half – scoring 25 of his 29 points in the third and fourth quarters alone to propel Central to a 61-55 win over the Purples on its own home court.
Warren Central (15-6 overall, 5-1 District 14) outscored Bowling Green 37-22 in the second half to come out on top, snap the Purples’ 15-game win streak and climb atop the district standings.
“That’s what I told our kids – we want to be able to control (our own destiny),” Warren Central coach Will Unseld said. “We found another gear. First half, we weren’t boxing out, we weren’t rebounding we didn’t take it in the paint, we shot all jump shots. Then, in the second half, we rebounded, we took it to the basket, and we finished plays when we needed to.”
While Boyd led the way for the Dragons, Tayton Smith made a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 8 points, while Kobe Brents scored 7 points and Jessie Wright – who is back in the starting lineup after missing nearly a month with an injury – scored 6 points.
Turner Buttry scored 17 points to lead the Purples (18-4, 4-2), while Isaiah Mason had 11 points and Conner Cooper tallied 10.
The two teams played an even, competitive opening quarter – and Bowling Green held a tight 19-16 lead after eight minutes of action. The Purples made four 3-pointers in the period, while Warren Central knocked down three. Buttry was already up to 8 points, and Smith had 6 for the Dragons.
Wright’s layup brought Central within 21-20 at the 6:27 mark of the second, but the Purples answered with a 10-0 run – highlighted by a Jaxson Banks 3 – to go up 31-20 with 3:54 remaining in the half and ultimately lead 33-24 at the break.
“We just came out slow and was like, ‘What are we doing?,’” Unseld said. “We weren’t fighting, we weren’t rebounding, and they were flying around. Well, we come in and challenged ‘em at halftime. Then, Dre was Dre in the second half – which he needs to be every game, all game. He was huge.”
Warren Central turned things around in the ensuing half.
“In the locker room (at halftime), you could tell the team was just down, so I just had to find something to do to get us up and get us feeling like we were back in the game,” Boyd said. “I just came out and did what I had to do to get us a little bit of energy.”
Boyd opened the half with five quick points – powered by a deep triple – to cut the Dragons’ deficit to 33-29. He continued to dominate and scored five more points, and Brents made a 3 to bring Warren Central to within 39-37 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.
Boyd scored yet again to make it 46-42 – and then splashed a 3 to cut the Dragons’ deficit to 48-45 – before they trailed by just one at 48-47 entering the fourth.
A steal and fast-break dunk by Smith gave Warren Central a 49-48 lead – and brought the home crowd to its feet – with 5:33 remaining, and Tegra Muleka’s layup made it 51-48 with 4:15 left.
Wright’s bucket put the Dragons up 54-51 with 2:48 remaining, and Boyd knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 58-53 with 1:04 to go and seal it.
“It feels good,” Wright said of being back. “I love helping the team as much as I can in any way possible. All I care about is a dub – it’s not about me.”
Bowling Green faces a quick turnaround as it’ll host Allen County-Scottsville at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Warren Central returns to action Monday at 7:30 p.m. on the road at Christian County.
“This is good because now that we’ve beat them, we’re the one-seed if we win the rest of our district games,” Boyd said.
BGHS – 19 14 15 7 — 55
WCHS – 16 8 23 14 — 61
BG: Turner Buttry 17, Isaiah Mason 11, Conner Cooper 10, Cobi Huddleston 9, Jaxson Banks 8.
WC: Dre Boyd 29, Tayton Smith 8, Kobe Brents 7, Jessie Wright 6, Antonio Barbee 5, Tegra Muleka 4, Kamden Lawrence 2.
Girls: Bowling Green 58, Warren Central 22
Keyozdon Jones scored a game-high 21 points and LynKaylah James finished with 12 points to lead the Bowling Green girls’ basketball team to a 58-22 win over Warren Central on Friday night at Warren Central High School.
The Lady Purples (18-5 overall, 6-0 District 14) – winners of nine straight – started hot and built a 16-4 lead after the opening quarter and continued to execute throughout the contest.
“That’s one of our goals is to try and, down this stretch, try and play the best we can,” Bowling Green coach Calvin Head said. “I thought defensively we were really good, rebounded the ball well and were able to get out in transition and shared the ball. Moochie (Jones) had it going early, so we just kept riding that hand.”
Jones’ and-one at the 5:06 mark of the second gave the Lady Purples a 21-6 lead, and she soon knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 28-10 with 2:50 remaining in the half. Bowling Green later closed the quarter with a 7-0 run to take a 35-10 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Jones scored 14 of her 21 points in the first half alone.
“I just played my game really,” Jones said. “I just came in and knew they were a pretty good team, and I had to come in and do what I had to do for my team.”
James’ and-one at the 4:13 mark of the third quarter made it 45-10 and triggered the KHSAA state-mandated running clock – and Bowling Green was able to cruise from there.
Taelor Leach paced Warren Central (7-15, 2-4) with seven points.
The Lady Dragons face a quick turnaround as they’ll host Clinton County at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Lady Purples return to action Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the road at South Warren.
BGHS – 16 19 16 7 — 58
WCHS – 4 6 5 7 — 22
BG: Keyozdon Jones 21, LynKaylah James 12, Saniyah Shelton 5, Janiya Bailey 5, Aiayna Gurley 5, Emma Huskey 5, Meadow Tisdale 4, Taniya Fugate 2.
WC: Taelor Leach 7, Krisheana Johnson 5, Kyleigh Ray 4, La Auhni Lewis 2, Alyssa Conner 2, Kenneddee Robinson 1, Aliyah Whitfield 1.