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Cooper to play for state basketball crown

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Sean McNeil scored 22 points Saturday to lead Cooper over Fern Creek 51-44 in a KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 semifinal and into the championship game in its first state tournament appearance.

Cooper meets Bowling Green in Sunday’s title game at 2 p.m. in Rupp Arena.

Bowling Green (35-2) advanced with an 80-79 win over Scott.

Cooper (31-4) scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to cap a 19-4 run and take a 41-31 lead over Fern Creek (35-3) with 2:51 remaining. The Tigers got as close as three points in the closing seconds before the Jaguars closed out their win at the free throw line.

McNeil scored 10 points during the decisive run for Cooper, the 9th Region champion. Brayden Runion added 15 points for the Jaguars, who will face Bowling Green in Sunday’s title game.

Anthony Wales scored 13 points and Ahmad Price had 11 rebounds to lead Fern Creek, the 6th Region champion also making its first state tournament appearance.

Neither team led by more than four points before Fern Creek went up 27-22 three minutes into the second half.

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