Sunday afternoon marked the end of the CFSB First Region basketball tournament, with McCracken County and Mayfield closing out the weekend in the boys championship game. The Mustangs and Cardinals entered the contest with the two best records in the regions at 28-5 and 26-5 respectively.
McCracken County was able to add one more to their win column while sending Mayfield home with their sixth loss in the 46-32 championship game.
The last time these two teams met in the championship game was the 2018/19 season where it was the Cardinals who won 56-44.
It was a battle from the opening tip, as both teams looked to leave their mark early, yet neither seemed to be able to pull away with a lead. The largest lead of the first half sat at 8-3 in favor of McCracken County when Jack McCune sank one inside the paint at the 3:45 mark. Mayfield would battle back from there as Braydon Pate ended the opening frame with a 3-pointer to match one from McCune and trail the Mustangs just 11-10.
Mayfield took their first lead out of the gate in the second half courtesy of a Braden Morris and one opportunity. The lead would bounce back-and-forth between the two teams until a pair of deep buckets from McCracken’s Ian Hart pushed the Mustangs up 22-16 with 3:23 left in the half. Hart would add a layup to his quarter to go on a personal 8-0 run before Brajone Dabney spoiled the fun with a heavily contested shot with 45 second to spare.
McCracken would head to the locker room with a 24-18 lead.
The first half of play saw just three fouls across both teams and minimal turnovers, providing prime championship style basketball.
Scoring slowed down significantly in the third quarter however for both teams. What was a 24-18 ball game at the halfway point, turned into just a 28-24 game with eight minutes to play. Nolan Fulton ended the quarter with a corner 3-pointer to cut the deficit to just four points.
McCracken County came alive in the final frame, knocking down 18 points in the final eight minutes, the most of any quarter on the night.
The Mustangs had built a 36-29 lead and with 2:14 to go, the Cardinals felt like their best chance at climbing back was to foul. McCracken County would go 10-of-11 in the final frame at the line, spoiling the Cardinals plan and ultimately walking away First Region champions with a 46-32 victory.
Sam Stone and Pate were honored as members of the All-Tournament team.
MCCRACKEN COUNTY 11 13 4 18 — 46
MAYFIELD 10 8 6 8 — 32
MCC: J. McCune 22, I. Hart 12, C. Miller 4, J. Bradley 2, C. Purvis 2, J. Klope 2, C. Fulcher 2.
MAY: S. Stone 12, N. Fulton 8, B. Moore 4, B. Pate 3, J. Watson 3, B. Dabney 2.
Cardinals win thriller over Tigers
On Saturday afternoon, the boys CFSB First Region Tournament semifinal games were played with the Mayfield Cardinals and the Murray Tigers playing for the first spot in the championship game. The Cardinals won the game in overtime 43-46 to secure their spot in the championship on Sunday.
Stone opened the scoring for the Cardinals, but after that each team would go scoreless for a few minutes. With under four minutes to play in the first quarter, Braydon Pate made a three-point shot and Nolan Fulton followed with an easy layup on the next possession. The Cardinals were leading 7-0 and forced a Tigers timeout. They led 14-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The Tigers began the second quarter with made threes from Kobe Watson, Jeremiah Jones and Grant Whitaker on three straight possessions to take their first lead of the game 15-14 and force a Cardinals timeout. The Tigers extended their lead to six points until Brajone Dabney buried a three-point shot at the buzzer. After that shot, the Tigers led 24-21 at halftime.
The third quarter saw the Cardinals tie the game twice to open play in the second half. With just over two minutes left in the quarter, Stone came up with a dunk to give the Cardinals their first lead of the second half. Whitaker made a shot at the buzzer and had the Tigers leading 34-28 when the quarter ended.
After missing time in the third quarter with foul trouble, Dabney scored four quick points for the Cardinals and had them trailing by just two. Whitaker put the Tigers back up by four before Nolan Fulton got it back to two-points. The Tigers then started to pass around and burn the clock. The Cardinals were able to trap Whitaker and force a Tigers timeout. Out of the timeout, Braden Morris came up with a steal for the Cardinals. Dabney ended up at the free throw line for the Cardinals where he went one for two and their deficit at one-point. The Cardinals had to intentionally foul twice to put the Tigers in the bonus, the free throw was missed and Dabney came up with the rebound for the Cardinals. Payton Croft used a timeout to draw up a play for his team. Fulton missed the shot and Whitaker got the rebound with 15 seconds left. Whitaker went to the free throw line and missed it. The Cardinals had the ball back trailing by one still and Dabney drove to the basket and was fouled. Dabney missed the first and made the game to tie the score at 36-36 with eight seconds to play. The Tigers missed the potential game winning shot sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, each team exchanged opening baskets and had the scores tied 38-38. Fulton then went to the free throw line for the Cardinals and gave them a 40-38 lead. Stone went to the free throw line with 50 seconds left and put the Cardinals up by four-points. Whitaker responded with a made layup and cut it back to two-points. Coming out of a Tigers timeout they came up with a steal and Whitaker made a layup again to tie the score 42-42. Fulton answered with a layup to give the Cardinals the lead back. Whitaker took a trip to the free throw line and went one for two. Braydon Pate was intentionally fouled and made both to put the Cardinals up 46-43. Whitaker missed a deep three-point shot and the Cardinals held on to win 46-43.
The Cardinals starters were their only players to log points in the game and they played a lot of minutes.
“People say ‘You have to turn around and play tomorrow’,” Croft said. “You have to get to tomorrow. We’ll worry about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here, but in the meantime we have to get there first.”
The Tigers defeated the Cardinals in both matchups during the regular season, but the Cardinals were able to flip the script and secure their place in the championship.
“We were able to knock down a couple of outside shots early,” Croft said. “That got the floor spread for us. We had a couple of defensive assignments that we wanted to change and I think that bothered them a little bit. Our kids are just resilient. They’re not going to quit, they’re not going to lay down. That’s just not in them. They’re Mayfield and they have big hearts.”
Stone was named the CFSB Most Outstanding Player of the game.
The Cardinals will play the McCracken County Mustangs in the CFSB First Region Tournament championship game.
MAY: S. Stone 11, B. Dabney 11, N. Fulton 10, B. Pate 8, O. Webb 6.
MUR: G. Whitaker 25, L. English 6, J. Jones 5, C. Wilson 4, K. Watson 3.
Mayfield hangs on to defeat Hickman
On Wednesday evening, the Mayfield Cardinals and the Hickman County Falcons faced off in the first round of the boys CFSB First Region Tournament. The Cardinals won the game 42-40.
The Cardinals opened the game shooting technical free throws but missed both. The first quarter was competitive with each team holding leads and neither team leading by more than three-points. The Falcons held the lead at the end of the quarter 8-10.
The Cardinals started the second quarter with a pair of made three-point shots. After that, the Falcons took the lead back 17-15. The Cardinals then responded by taking a 21-17 lead. Eli Prince hit a three at the buzzer for the Falcons to make the halftime score 21-20 with the Cardinals leading.
The Cardinals began the third quarter by building on their lead, going up 24-19. The Falcons would battle back and regain the lead 25-24. Brayden Pate sank a deep three to put the Cardinals back on top 27-25. The Cardinals would hold the lead through the end of the quarter and led 29-25 heading into the fourth quarter.
Pate scored the first five-points for the Cardinals in the fourth quarter and had them up 34-27. The Cardinals would then go cold from the field and have the game back with a point. With the Cardinals leading by two-points, and under a minute and a half to play, the Falcons started intentionally fouling. Pate went to the free throw line and put the Cardinals up by four-points. Prince then drilled a contested three and had it back down to a point with 39 seconds left. The Cardinals were able to get stops when they needed it and make their free throws to hang on and win 42-40.
“Things didn’t go our way as far as making shots,” head coach Payton Croft said. “We missed a ton of shots. I was proud of our guys for not folding, hanging in there and getting a win. At this time of year, survive and advance.”
The Cardinals never led by more than five-points, but were still able to pull out the win.
“Little things,” Croft said. “Fouling a three-point shooter, giving up an and-1, not being able to come up with a rebound and them getting a loose ball and coming up with a putback. There were a ton of chances for us to extend the lead to seven, eight, nine and when it came time to do that, someone made a big play for them, or we missed a bunny inside. The ball didn’t quite bounce our way.”
Pate was named the CFSB Most Outstanding Player of the game.
The Cardinals advance to the CFSB First Region Tournament semifinal where they will face off against the Murray High Tigers.
MAY: B. Pate 13, S. Stone 8, B. Dabney 7, D. Treas 6, D. Gammons 4, N. Fulton 3, O. Webb 1.
HC: E. Prince 23, D. Burgdolf 11, W. McClanahan 4, A. Newton-Byasse 2.