Just seconds after the opening tip, senior Will Haney hit a three-pointer. 80 seconds later he popped another to give Lexington a 6-2 lead. That was as close as the River Bluff Gators would get as the Wildcats breezed to a 58-42 Region win.
Lexington led 16-7 at the end of the first quarter and kept up the shooting and strong defensive play in the 2nd. With 2 minutes remaining in the first half, Will Haney gunned a pass from the high post to to Caleb Shackleford who slam dunked to give the Wildcats a 33-11 advantage. Shackleford wore the number 33 in Friday’s game in memory of his father and former NBA player, Charles Shackleford who passed away earlier in the day. At the half, it was Lexington in control, 33-16.
The Gators opened the second half with a three-pointer. But The Wildcats were hot too. Sophomore Mason Carver answered with a three-ball. Then another. Then one more. In all, Carver accounted for 11 of the Wildcat’s 16 points in the 3rd quarter.
Any chance of a River Bluff comeback was snuffed out early in the 4th quarter when Darius Bryant scored 2 on a layup. After an unsuccessful trip for the Gators, Bryant sunk a three-pointer to give Lexington a 22 point lead. Bryant traded in his #11 for a #24 for this game in a show of support for his teammate Tyler Reed, who underwent ACL repair surgery on Thursday.
Darius Bryant led the Wildcats in scoring with 23 points and now has 1500 points in his Lexington High School career. Mason Carver added a season high 16 points.
With the 58-42 victory, Lexington is now 18-5 over all and 6-3 in a highly competitive Region 5. They face a challenging week ahead as they will play two of three teams locked in a three-way tie for the Region lead. Dutch Fork visits on Tuesday while Blythewood travels to Wildcat Country on Friday.
Lexington 16 17 16 9 58
River Bluff 7 9 16 10 42
Darius Bryant: 4 three-pointers, 4 two-pointers, 3 of 5 free throws for 23 points
Mason Carver: 4 three-pointers, 2 two-pointers for 16 points
Will Haney: 3 three-pointers, 2 two-pointers for 13 pointers
Caleb Shackleford: 1 two-pointer, 2 of 2 free throws for 4 points
Colby Cain: 1 two-pointer for 2 points