Knott Central defeats Hazard, wins first boys’ 14th Region title since 2015

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 11:14 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 11:36 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Ky. (WYMT) - After a six-year hiatus, the Knott Central Patriots are headed back to Rupp Arena after a 65-56 win over Hazard in Wednesday night’s boys’ 14th Region final.

The game was won in the third quarter, where Knott Central ended the quarter on a 7-0 run and outscored the Bulldogs, 15-4 in the frame to take a 41-29 lead into the final frame. Hazard turned up the pressure in the fourth, but Knott Central was able to hold off the Dawgs to win the Region title.

“Oh man, seven seconds to go I knew it. We were up nine, I just started shedding tears man. I’ve worked five years for this moment. I just started shedding tears. It was the greatest thing. Greatest thing ever,” Senior Guard Colby Napier said.

“I don’t even know how to explain it man. It’s crazy. It’s what I’ve dreamed of my whole life really,” Kent Damron added, another senior guard for the Patriots. “Playing at this level and going on and playing at the next level and winning championships there. It’s gonna be great.”

The four seniors were huge for the Patriots. Damron led the Patriots with 18 points and six assists. Napier, who won tournament MVP, had 16 points and shot 60% from three on the night. Scott Shepherd and Josh McGuire dominated down low for the Patriots. Shepherd had a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while McGuire just missed out on a double-double with nine points and 10 boards.

Wade Pelphrey led Hazard with 24 points. Samuel Shoptaw joined Pelphrey in double figures with 10 points.

Knott Central will now await the winner of the 5th Region. The Patriots will square off with the 5th Region winner to open the Sweet 16 on Wednesday, March 31st at 11 a.m. at Rupp Arena.

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