RICHMOND, Ky. – The semifinals of the All “A” Classic are in the books and only one game was decided by less than 10 points.
Clinton County edged Evangel Christian 44-42 as Keion Schrivener’s jumper with 0:04 remaining clanked off the iron before being rebounded by Clinton County’s Nick Brown in the first boys semifinal.
The nightcap saw St. Henry pull away from Lexington Christian in the fourth quarter to take a 72-49 win into the finals Saturday morning against Clinton County.
St. Henry is the boys All “A” Classic defending champion and will be seeking the school’s third All “A” crown. Clinton County is in the boys finals for the first time in school history.
Bethlehem joins St. Henry in a bid to go back-to-back as the Banshees won the All “A” girls crown last season with a 51-47 victory over Walton-Verona.
Bethlehem will once again faceoff with Walton-Verona in the finals after both teams cruised to semifinal victories.
St. Henry shot out to a 23-5 lead over LCA at the end of the first quarter led by Jude Bessler’s seven points.
LCA (11-10) made just one field goal in the opening quarter before getting hot in the second and third quarters shooting a combined 13-for-25 to pull to within 50-41 at the end of the third.
Tanner Walton scored 12 points in the middle quarters for LCA before posting a total of 23 points on the night.
Wyatt Vieth led all St. Henry scorers with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Vieth was 6-for-11 from the field and 9-of-9 from the charity stripe for St. Henry (14-2).
Bessler chipped in 17 points and 8 rebounds for the Crusaders.
Dawson Black’s game-high 16 points was not enough as Clinton County eliminated the Eagles 44-42.
Clinton County (18-2) got out to a hot start thanks to the power of the mullet wearing Blake Melton.
Melton, who averaged just over 8 ppg going into the contest, knocked down a pair of three-point shots and another short jumper to tally eight of his 11 points on the night before exiting the game in the third quarter with an injury.
Evangel Christian (8-10) had the clear size advantage on the block with 6-foot-11 sophomore center Cyr Malonga towering over the Bulldogs, but Malonga was easily pushed around throughout the game by an aggressive Clinton County bunch.
Clinton County’s Nick Brown and Nick Delk added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Bethlehem (19-4) forced 23 Crittenden County turnovers and rode a stifling defense to an 80-54 victory despite Crittenden County’s Taylor Guess leading all scorers with 26 points.
Crittenden County (13-4) fell to behind 29-9 at the end of the first quarter and was never able to cut the deficit below 20 the rest of the game.
Ella Thompson notched 18 points for the Banshees. Amelia Hodges and Xaviara Smalley added 15 points each for Bethlehem.
Walton-Verona (15-6) limited Berea to an abysmal 17.9 shooting percentage for the game as the Bearcats easily defeated the Lady Pirates 56-18.
Maggie Buerger of Walton-Verona was the only player to score in double digits for either team as she tallied 10 points.
Finals Matchups Set
Bethlehem will meet Walton-Verona at 9 a.m. for the girls title game. St. Henry and Clinton County will begin their game at 11:30 a.m.
Both games can be viewed by going to go.prepspin.com.