When the re-drawn All A brackets were released for the sectional style format in the 2021 tournament, it was obvious that the pathway to the small school championship had gotten tougher for the Lyon County Lyons. The Murray High Tigers emphasized that point in resounding fashion Monday night in Eddyville.
Murray used a 12-0 run early in the final quarter to take the lead for good and then held on for a 54-50 win over the Lyons in a first-round game of the All A Classic state tournament at Lyon County High School. Gabe Taylor hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final seconds to help secure the win.
The Lyons appeared to have things going in their direction as the final quarter got underway, leading 38-35. Two Jackson Shoulders free throws would extend the lead to 41-37 early in the fourth. It was at that point, the Tigers got rolling on their game-winning run.
A big momentum point in that 12-0 run came at the 5:01 mark when Lyon County’s Jackson Shoulders was whistled for his 4th foul. Shoulders then expressed his displeasure over the foul a bit too strong for an official’s liking and was whistled for a technical foul, which was then his 5th foul for the game, sending him to the sidelines for the stretch run.
By the time the run ended, the Lyons found themselves trailing 49-41, and in deep trouble. However, to the Lyons’ credit, they charged right back into the game. With Gunnar Bingham and Nick Whalin giving the Lyons a big push in the final moments of the game, Lyon County would close to within one point at 49-48 and 51-50, but, as had been the case most of the night, the Lyons had trouble getting shots to fall when they most needed them to, and the Tigers were able to hold on for the win.
The game had been a tough, physical, 1st Region type of game for most of the night. The first quarter saw five lead changes as the teams went back and forth. With Grant Whitaker scoring 7 points, the Tigers were able to lead 15-11 at the quarter’s end. Lyon County took a couple of minutes to get their offense going, not scoring until the 6:00 mark.
Another issue early for Lyon County, possibly foreshadowing the key moment of the game in the final quarter, was the early foul trouble for Jackson Shoulders. Shoulders would spend a big chunk of the first half on the bench after picking up his second foul with 1:18 to go in the first.
The grind-it-out style of play continued into the second quarter. Murray would lead by as many as six points early in the quarter at 17-11. Travis Perry answered a late Tiger basket by drilling a 3-pointer at the horn to tie the game at the break 23-23.
The momentum from that basket appeared to carry over into the beginning of the third quarter. The Lyons used a 7-0 run to take a four-point lead at 35-31 and would lead by three points when the quarter ended. Nick Whalin came up big for Lyon County, scoring five points as the Lyons moved to the front, setting up the pressure-packed finish over the final eight minutes.
Travis Perry was the only Lyon to reach double figures on the night, finishing the game with 16 points. That total gives the freshman 1,998 points in his career at Lyon County. Nick Whalin and Jack Reddick added 9 points each.
Murray’s Grant Whitaker led all scorers in the game with 19 points. Trey Boggess and Gabe Taylor added 14 points apiece.
Lyon County sees their record drop to 16-3. The Lyons are set to host Crittenden County Tuesday night.
Murray improves to 10-5. The Tigers move on to the quarterfinal round of the All A Classic and will travel to take on the winner of Tuesday night’s game between Owensboro Catholic and Clinton County.
MHS — 15 8 12 19 – 54
LCHS — 11 12 15 12 – 50
Murray (10-5) – Whitaker 19, Boggess 14, Taylor 14, Wilson 4, May 2, McCallister 1
Lyon County (16-3) – Perry 16, Reddick 9, Whalin 9, J. Shoulders 7, Bingham 5, B. Shoulders 4