LEXINGTON — Lyon County junior Travis Perry passed Wayland legend Kelly Coleman’s 4,337 career points to take the top spot on the state’s all-time scoring list in the opening game of the 2023 UK Healthcare Boys’ Sweet 16 state basketball tournament at Lexington’s Rupp Arena on Thursday afternoon, March 16.
Perry was just 20 points behind Coleman going into the Lyon County vs. Newport matchup. As Perry scored the first of a pair of free throws with 3:48 remaining in the game, a crowd of nearly 14,000 witnessed the milestone in Kentucky high school boys’ basketball history, as well as the 61-46 Lyon win over Newport.
Coleman’s title has stood since 1956.
“I am not replacing him. I am just joining him,” Perry said. “There are only two guys that have been over that 4,000 point mark (in Kentucky). Kelly played at a different time and he’s a legend in high school basketball. For my name to be mentioned in the same sentence as his is just humbling.”
In the Lyons’ 61-46 victory over Newport, Perry finished the game with 23 points, leading all scorers.
Perry’s three-point basket was followed up by back-to-back steals from Brady Shoulders to give the Lyons the early 7-3 lead. After an explosive opening to the contest, Newport’s defense limited Lyon to just two long-range baskets from Perry and Jack Reddick. Newport finished off the frame with a last second layup from Taylen Kinney to cut the Lyons’ lead 13-11.
“They are really good on the defensive end. I think it’s probably the best defense that we have played this year,” Lyon County head coach Ryan Perry said.
With the Newport defense focusing on Perry, Reddick put together a 5-0 run in the final minutes to give Lyon the 24-20 advantage. A Perry putback just before the buzzer boosted him into double digits and gave Lyon a six-point deficit, down 26-20. That would be the last time that Newport would see the lead.
The Lyons led by as much as 12 in the third quarter, scoring the first six points to complete a 13-0 run for the 32-20 lead. A 3-pointer from Jabari Covington got the Wildcats within eight, 38-30, but Bradin Nelson broke through the paint to extend the Lyons back into double figures 40-30 just ahead of the buzzer.
A rotation of man and zone defenses, paired with defensive rebounding allowed the Lyons to take a 57-37 lead in the final frame, out-shooting Newport 17-7.
The Lyons outperformed the Wildcats 23-14 on the glass in the second half for 32 second half possessions. Lyon converted those possessions to 47.4% shooting overall, while holding Newport to just 32% from the field and 25% from behind the arc. An assist from Isaac DeFew turned layup from Jonathan Downing gave the Lyons the 61-46 win.
Besides Perry’s historic night, both Reddick and Shoulders posted double-doubles for the Lyons. Reddick finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Shoulders added 12 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals.
For Newport, Marquez Miller led the way with 17 points. Taylen Kinney was the only other Wildcat to hit double figures, scoring 11 points.
After a Ninth Region upset to advance to the Sweet 16, Newport ended their season 28-6. Lyon County, moving to 31-5, advanced to the state quarterfinals to play against defending state champions George Rogers Clark.
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