PIKEVILLE - Prestonsburg jumped out to a 5-0 advantage in the opening period and owned multiple leads over reigning 15th Region champion Johnson Central Monday night in the first round of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center. Johnson Central, however, managed to avoid the first round upset, pulling away to defeat Prestonsburg 61-52.
With the win, Johnson Central improved to 20-10, advancing to the 15th Region semifinals.
With the victory, Johnson Central head coach Tommy McKenzie tied the school record with his fourth 20th win season.
Junior forward Shane Hall, a high school standout who holds scholarship offers from Tennessee and Butler, among others, paced Johnson Central with 17 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks. Hall also delivered two assists and two steals for the Golden Eagles.
Three Johnson Central scorers reached double figures as Braxton Blair scored 13 points and Dalton Adkins added 11 in the district win.
Blair and Adkins handed out four and three assists, respectively. Each player recorded four steals.
Johnson Central recovered from the slow start, eventually outscoring Prestonsburg 14-10 in the opening quarter. The Golden Eagles went on to lead 25-21 at halftime.
Johnson Central limited the Blackcats in the third quarter, outscoring Prestonsburg 12-7 to stretch its lead.
The two longtime 15th Region foes played even in the final quarter as Prestonsburg ultimately fell to the 57th District champion.
Johnson Central shot 32.6 percent (14-of-43) from the field. The Eagles only hit one of 12 32-point field goal attempts.
John son Central was 26-of43 (60.5 percent) from the free throw line.
Senior guard Bryson Williams was the leader for Prestonsburg with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Williams is this year’s Floyd County Conference Player of the Year. Freshman forward Dalton Frasure joined Williams in double figures, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Jarredd Jarrell added eight points for the Blackcats.
Prestonsburg committed 18 turnovers and was 17-of-28 from the foul line in the season-ending setback.
The Blackcats concluded the 2012-13 season 14-19.
15th Region Tournament
at East Kentucky Expo Center, Pikeville
Johnson Central 61, Prestonsburg 52
Prestonsburg (52): 15, Hall 3, Jarrell 8, Williams 20, Dean 2, Holiday 4.
Johnson Central (61): Hall 17, Blair 13, Adkins 11, McPeek 6, Gullett 3, Salyer 6, McKenzie 5.
Johnson Central…………….14 11 12 24-61
Prestonsburg……………10 117 24-52