By: Jim Steele
For the first 13:25 of the District 13A quarterfinal game at McKenzie, the host Rebels burst to a 32-0 lead. Almost as fast as it started, it was over.
McKenzie defeated Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central 64-29. The victory earned the Rebels three more games, including a berth in the Region 7A tournament next week. McKenzie will next play Dresden 7:30 p.m. Friday in the 13A semifinals at Bethel University's Crisp Arena.
McKenzie senior Preston Henderson got things rolling for his team as he drilled a triple just 20 seconds into the game. The Rebels employed an aggressive defense that limited the Tigers to just four shots all quarter, all from the three-point line. The Rebels took a 23-0 lead as the first quarter ended. The Rebels maintained their shutout for another 5:25 of the second frame when Central's Mason Binkley found the mark from the three-point line. When the half ended, McKenzie led 37-9.
The Tigers had a little more success early in the third and trailed 46-18 after Braden Frye's three with 5:15 to play. From there, McKenzie enjoyed a 15-0 run to the buzzer and a 61-18 lead. Both teams allowed youngsters to play in the final frame.
Elijah Boyd led the Tigers with 11 points. Davion Harris scored five, Justin Hankins, Frye, Binkley, each scored three, Jeff Platt and Gage Lowery added two each.
Brandon Baucum led the Rebels with 22 points, Henderson scored 12, Tyler King had 10. Dajour Edmonson finished with seven, Paul Watkins added six, Tyler Spivey and Ben Austin scored two each, Lucas King, Chase Colotta and Nate Whitsell had one each.
McKenzie will either play in the consolation round 6 p.m. Monday or the 13A championship 7:30 Monday at Bethel University. If the Rebels get to the finals, they will host their Region 7A game against either the third or fourth seed from District 14A, depending on the finish. If the Rebels are relegated to the consolation round, they will travel to one of the top two seeds' gym for the 7A quarterfinals.