LEXINGTON —Despite trailing for more than 22 minutes, 12th Region champion Boyle County found a way to persevere to defeat Paintsville, 70-56, during Thursday’s first-round action of the KHSAA Boys Sweet 16.

The Rebels (22-4), who took the lead for good with 5:26 remaining in the fourth quarter, outscored the Tigers, 30-15, during the final eight minutes.

Senior Luke Sheperson led Boyle County with 25 points and eight rebounds while shooting 12-of-15 from the floor. Jagger Gillis added 19 points while Luke Imfeld finished with 17 points.

The Rebels finished 25-of-50 from the floor and outrebounded the Tigers, 35-19.

Colby Fugate and Connor Fugate each led Paintsville with 16 points apiece. The Tigers shot 19-of-42 from the floor, including 5-of-21 from 3-point range.

Colby Fugate’s eight points combined with Connor Fugate’s five points and Ratliff’s four points allowed Paintsville to grab a 19-11 lead in the first quarter. Boyle County’s Imfeld made the score, 19-14, going into the second quarter after hitting a 3-pointer at the end of the period.

Both teams struggled shooting during the second quarter.

The Tigers went 2-of-10 to end the period while finishing the first half 10-of-24 from the floor. Boyle County turned in a 10-of-18 shooting effort in the first half. The Rebels 15-7 rebounding edge along with Sheperson’s eight points in the first half allowed Boyle County to enter the locker room at halftime, trailing by only five points (27-22).

Dennie Webb’s Rebels continued to cut away at their deficit and actually took a 40-39 advantage with 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter behind a 3-pointer from Infeld, and a layup from Barnes.

The lead didn’t last long, though.

Fugate’s layup with 28 seconds remaining gave Paintsville a slim 41-40 advantage entering the fourth quarter. After falling behind 45-42, Boyle County finally took control of the contest after putting together an 11-1run. Sheperson’s basket gave the Rebels a 46-45 lead with 5:59 remaining in the fourth quarter while Gillis followed with a 3-pointer to push Boyle County’s advantage to 49-46. Free throws by Gillis and Imfeld allowed the Rebels’ lead to grow to 53-46 with a little over four minutes left in the game.

2021 Boys’ Sweet 16

at Rupp Arena

First Round

Boyle County 70, Paintsville 56

Paintsville       19 8 14 15 56

Boyle County  14 8 18 30 70

Paintsville (56) — Tharp 10, Fugate 16, Watts 3, Ratliff 9, Gibson 2, Fugate 16.

Boyle County (70) — Sheperson 25, Imfeld 17, Webb 6, Barnes 2, Gillis 19, Tarter 1.

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