Matt Linville hit two clutch free throws to propel the Martin County Cardinals to a 72-70 win over the Pikeville Panthers to claim the title in the 15th Region All A Classic on Saturday at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville.
The contest was a close, back and forth affair throughout. Martin County (14-2) held a slim 15-13 lead after the first quarter. Pikeville (10-5) battled back and took a 31-30 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The Panthers increased their advantage to 52-49 after three quarters, but the Cardinals kept battling and pulled out the huge win.
Martin County was led by Brayden McKenzie’s 20 points. Linville followed with 14 points. Luke Hale fired in 12 points. Dray Duff added 9 points. Peyton Davis scored 7 points. Jacob Sturgell recorded 6 points. Blake Maynard chipped in 4 points.
Pikeville was led by Rylee Samons, who had a monster game, with 36 points. Charlie Fitzer fired in 16 points. Eli Johnson followed with 10 points. Ian Onkst netted 6 points. Josh Hughes scored 2 points in the loss.
In addition, Duff also recorded 20 assists in the semifinal round, a 97-69 win over East Ridge. Duff’s assist total was tied for the second most ever recorded in Kentucky with David Lowry of Henderson County in 1976 and Corey Bullock of West Jessamine in 2000. Nick Bell of Conner holds the record of 23 from a game in 1975.
Martin County will next play on Tuesday at East Ridge in a 7:30 pm start. Pikeville will play at Shelby Valley on Friday. The opening tip is set for 7:30 pm.