After a tough loss to Bowling Green in the District 14 Tournament championship, Warren Central was ready to bounce back.
The Dragons did exactly that – and in a big way.
Taking on Barren County in the quarterfinals of the Boys’ Region 4 Tournament, Warren Central dominated from start to finish and led wire to wire in an impressive 77-49 win over the Trojans on Wednesday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Warren Central (24-7 overall) built a 26-11 lead after the opening quarter, led 47-25 at halftime and extended its advantage to 65-34 after three periods before cruising through the fourth and into the semifinal round.
The Dragons will face Clinton County in Monday’s 7:45 p.m. semifinal.
Kobe Brents finished with 22 points to lead WCHS, while Dre Boyd scored 18 and Tegra Muleka tallied 13.
Aden Nyekan paced Barren County, which finished its season 23-9, with 14 points. Will Bandy added 13.
Warren Central came out of the gate firing on all cylinders.
The Dragons jumped out to an 8-2 lead at the 5:54 mark of the first quarter, and back-to-back baskets by Boyd put the Dragons up 14-2 at the 4:24 mark.
Nyekan scored four straight points to cut Barren County’s deficit to 14-6, but Muleka soon scored Central’s final nine points of the period to make it 26-11 after eight minutes of action.
The Dragons opened the second quarter with four 3-pointers – two of those coming from Brents – to build a 35-15 advantage at the 6:11 mark. Brents hit another to make it 38-16, and Boyd scored seven more points in the frame to send Warren Central into the break leading 49-25.
The Dragons shot 20-of-31 (64.5%) in the first half and 7-of-8 (87.5%) from 3. They finished 30-of-61 (49.2%) and 8-of-16 (50%), respectively.
Boyd’s and-one early into the third gave Warren Central a 52-25 lead, and Smith scored at the 5:26 mark to make it 57-27 before the Dragons went into the fourth up 65-34.
Taking advantage of its comfortable lead, Central was able to empty its bench in the final quarter and cruise to the victory.
WCHS – 26 23 16 12 — 77
BCHS – 11 14 9 15 — 49
WC: Kobe Brents 22, Dre Boyd 18, Tegra Muleka 13, Tay Smith 9, Izaiah Villaforte 5, Tyson Garrett 4, Antonio Barbee 2, Jaiden Lawrence 2, Sayvon Howard 1, Jessie Wright 1.
BC: Aden Nyekan 14, Will Bandy 13, Jacob Shaw 5, Taye Poynter 5, Tyler Bush 4, Cody Lane 4, Aiden Miller 2, Ryan Shirley 2.