LEXINGTON — Elizabethtown locked up the first spot in Saturday’s 2021 KHSAA Sweet 16 semifinals by knocking off George Rogers Clark, 65-44.
Jaquais Franklin and Alandre Murphy combined to score 43 points to lead the Panthers past the outmanned Cardinals. Franklin led the way with a 22-point, eight-rebound, and six-assist performance while Murphy followed with 21 points and six rebounds. Khia Sherrard also scored in double figures, finishing with 13 points.
The Panthers shot 58.7 percent (27-of-46) while forcing the Cardinals into 16 turnovers and a 19-of-38 shooting effort. . George Rogers Clark was led by Jerone Morton’s 16-point scoring effort while Trent Edwards and Aden Slone each scored 10 points apiece.
E’town jumped out to an 8-0 lead before seeing the Cardinals’ offensive attack catch fire. Both teams turned in red-hot shooting efforts in the first quarter. The Panthers shot 63 percent (10-of-16) while George Rogers Clark hit on 60 percent (6-for-10) of its shot attempts.
Morton kept the Cardinals in the game early, scoring 10 points in the period on 5-of-5 shooting while Murphy scored eight points for E’town, and Khia Sherrard added six points.
Franklin got hot midway through the second quarter and scored seven consecutive points to increase the Panthers’ advantage to 31-19 with under four minutes to go. E’town took a 37-24 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to a 17-of-28 shooting effort from the floor. Franklin led the Panthers with 13 points while Murphy had 12 points.
Morton’s 12 points kept the Cardinals within striking distance while GRC connected on 10-of-18 shot attempts during the first half. The Cardinals were outrebounded, 12-8, and turned the ball over seven times.
Both teams struggled to get much going on offense in the third quarter with GRC cutting its deficit to 49-38 going into the fourth quarter.
2021 KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16
Elizabethtown 65, George Rogers Clark 44
George Rogers Clark 14 10 14 6 44
Elizabethtown 20 17 12 16 65
George Rogers Clark (44) — Slone 10, Morton 16, Edwards 10, Wellman 5, Hampton 3.
Elizabethtown (65) — Murphy 21, Franklin 22, Sherrard 7, Sherrard 13, Williams 2.