However, it was the Blazers who felt like their date included Halle Berry, a limo, and a steak dinner while Trigg County felt like they had wined and dined Kathy Bates with a bologna sandwich and milk.
UHA raced out to a 10-2 lead and never allowed the Wildcats back into the game on their way to a 91-80 win Friday in the semifinals of the All-A Second Region Tournament at Lyon County High School.
The Blazers went on to claim their 12th region title in the 16-year history of the tournament with a 97-60 win over Fort Campbell in Saturday’s championship.
Against the Wildcats, UHA had an answer for Trigg County’s 1-3-1 zone, that had proved to be effective in a three-game winning streak leading up to the UHA game.
The Blazers effectively used the skip pass to find Cody Stallons open on the wing. The senior guard hit his first three trifectas and scored 11 points in the opening quarter as the Blazers opened up a 24-16 lead.
Stallons finished the game with 28 points, including four 3-pointers, and added eight rebounds for good measure.
UHA’s starting backcourt of Stallons and Joshua Mack combined for 48 points (on 18-of-27 shooting), 14 rebounds, and nine assists.
Stallons scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half, while Mack scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half to stave off any comeback attempts by the Wildcats.
Ahead 33-23 midway through the second quarter, the Blazers used a 13-3 run to build a 46-26 lead with just over minute left in the first half.
Logan Chesnut scored consecutive buckets to begin the run, and a technical foul on Chumbler for protesting a no-call added four more points to the run and gave the Blazers a 41-24 lead.
"You can’t get down 20 points to a good team like UHA and expect to come back," Wildcat head coach Bill Chumbler said. "We didn’t run many offensive sets in the first half and tried to match their threes with our own."
Trigg County missed ten of 11 attempts from behind the 3-point line in the first half against UHA’s man-to-man defense, and didn’t help themselves at the free throw line, hitting just 5-of-13.
"I think we may have wanted the game too much. Some of out guys were pumped up maybe a little too much," Chumbler said.
Down 46-28 at halftime, Trigg County made a concerted effort to get the basketball inside and the result saw the Wildcats slowly chip into the Blazer lead.
A three-point play by Joshua Mack gave the Blazers their biggest lead at 58-37 with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
Trigg County’s frontcourt duo of T.J. O’Hara and Jamaal Boyd combined to hit Trigg’s next four field goals as the Wildcats tried to climb back into the game.
Boyd scored 11 of his season-high 28 points in the third quarter, but the Wildcats found themselves matching the Blazers bucket for bucket.
Trigg’s last gasp came with a 9-2 run in the fourth quarter, fueled by a Zack Wright 3-pointer and six points by Jeremy Jones to bring the Wildcats to within 79-66 with 3:20 left.
"I thought we had a chance to get over the hump when we cut it to 12, but they made some huge threes. They have so many weapons and they can shoot," Chumbler said.
A bucket by Boyd drew Trigg to within a dozen points with 2:26 left, but UHA ran off five straight points to thwart any comeback bid by the Wildcats.
Four of Trigg’s starters scored in double figures in addition to Boyd’s 28 points. Jones added 21 and Rodney Davis scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, but the duo combined to shoot just 11-of-35 from the floor, including 5-of-19 from long range.
O’Hara scored ten points and grabbed six rebounds.
UHA has now won four straight games over Trigg County and nine of the 14 career meetings.
The Blazers improved to 18-3 after winning the region title and will play Shawnee in the first round of the All-A State Tournament Wednesday in Richmond.
Trigg County dropped to 14-5 and returned to action Tuesday at Providence.
Next week, the Wildcats have home games Monday with Webster County and Tuesday with Dawson Springs.
"We’ll see how they react. They should pick up where they left off and use the loss as a motivator to try and face UHA again down the road (in the region tournament). I guess we’ll see what happens," Chumbler said.