HAZARD, KY: The June Buchanan Crusaders jumped to a 12 point halftime lead and pulled away to defeat the Leslie Co. Eagles 76-59 in the semi-final round of the Boys 14th Region All A Tournament. The matchup was played at Perry Co. Central High School.
In the first half, the Crusaders jumped out to a quick lead of 23-10. Unfortunately, foul trouble to big men Idris Akinyemi and Princewill Anosike allowed the Eagles to slice the deficit to 25-16. Buchanan settled for a 39-27 lead at intermission.
In the second half, JBS Coach Elisha Justice elected to leave both of his big juniors on the bench as he started the half with key reserves Daniel Snow and Dalton Hylton. The combo gave an inspired effort and helped JBS increase their lead to as much as 18.
Leslie would make a run in the last quarter. Trailing 58-40, they proceeded to score 9 consecutive points and make things interesting. But Buchanan would not be denied as they made big shots down the stretch to put the game on ice.
For the victors (14-4), they placed four players in double figures. Steven Silvers led the way with 21 points. Elijah Branham rammed in 15 and added 11 rebounds while Anosike and Snow contributed 14 and 11 points apiece.
Hunter Hammond added 9 points to the cause while Akinyemi and Hylton contributed 6 and 4 to the scoring column.
June Buchanan defeated Breathitt County on Monday with a final score of 54-39 to proceed to the semifinals.
The Crusaders will face the Cordia Lions on Saturday, January 16th at 6 PM for the right to advance to the championship in Frankfort.