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Billy Hicks Classic

2025 Malachi Moreno 2025 Vince Dawnson III Co-MVP

This year’s Billy Hicks Classic was held with heavy hearts as its namesake, legendary high school coach Billy Hicks, passed away just days before the event. Hicks has been a main fabric of the high school landscape in Kentucky and will undoubtably be missed.

This year’s event has a few teams that can make some noise in March, so we look forward to how they progress during the season. Great Crossing High School, one of the favorites to win the state and hands on favorite to win the Classic, didn’t disappoint.  

First Round Games

Franklin County vs Great Crossing

This game was over in the first quarter, with Crossing jumping out to a 21-7 lead and Franklin County looking over-matched. The two headed monster of 2025 seven-footer Malachi Moreno and 2025 6’6” wing Vince Dawson III were just too dominant for Franklin County. 

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Moreno, who’s being recruited by a number of high major schools in the country, dominated with 23 points and 7 rebounds, shooting over 90 percent from the floor. Dawson showed his versatility scoring inside out and wasn’t far behind Moreno with 18 points, shooting over 80 percent from the field. Dawson has some low level offers but I can see his recruitment picking up in a big way this year. Franklin was led by junior Kiyas White and senior Noah Sowders, who scored 12 points and 10 points respectfully.

Frederick Douglas vs Woodford County

This first round game matched two teams with their eyes on playing at Rupp Arena in March and the intensity matched that. Douglas and Woodford are very familiar with each other and that provided for the hard-fought game. The game went back and forth with both teams making runs. Douglas 2025 guard Armelo Boone set the tempo, controlling the game with his poise, and keeping the pressure on County. His teammate, 2025 forward Avelon Chenault was also instrumental in the game with intensity and pressure. He is relentless attacking the basket and Woodford didn’t have an answer. Junior guard Santonio Wade made plays to keep Woodford close in the 2nd half but it wasn’t enough as they fell 56-55. A name to remember is Woodford County freshman Omari Pointer. He stayed poised throughout, never rushed and showed good feel.

County had a balanced attack with Wade leading with 13 points, Jaunte Jenkins (12), Omari Pointer (10) and Layton Starks 11 points.

Lafayette vs Scott County

The host, Scott County, has a very scrappy team, but isn’t the talented team we’re accustomed to seeing from coach Hicks over the year.  County’s junior guard Tristan Christopher continued his scoring streak, tallying 18 points, leading County to a 59-50 win. Lafayette was led by senior Yashiro Hurst, who was their only player in double figures with 10 points. 

Montgomery County vs Ballard

I thought this be a more competitive game with Ballard losing 4 players to transfer in the last couple weeks, but it wasn’t. Sometimes more is less. Ballard lost four players to transfer in the last few weeks, so we thought Montgomery had a shot to seriously compete and even win, but Ballard hit on all cylinders, bouncing Montgomery County 98-65. County is very talented but young and the pressure got to them. Ballard had a pressure attack led by junior guards Nate Richardson (27) and Sam Frazier (18). County was led by 2026 Luke Fawn with 20 points and 6 rebounds. 

2n Round

Losers Bracket

Montgomery County vs Lafayette

Expectations are high for both teams this year but they have been somewhat underwhelming so far. Junior point guard Ethan Dunn was able to give Luke Fawn the help he needed to pull out the tough 66-64 win. Senior guard Yashiro Hurst once again led Lafayette in scoring with 17 points and had help from two other teammates who scoring 15 a piece, it just wasn’t enough to get the win.

Woodford County vs Franklin County

Woodford bounced back with a much-needed win against Franklin. Once again star point guard Santonio Wade led with 20 points and only one turnover. Freshman Omari Jointer was once again impressive with a solid 12 points. The difference for Woodford in this game was the physical play of senior Layton Starks who contributed 13 points and seven rebounds. Franklin’s senior guard Noah Sowders scored 24 points but didn’t get enough help in the loss.

Semi-final round 

Frederick Douglas vs Great Crossing

Most fans in attendance felt this should’ve been the championship game, self-included. It was a tight first half battle, followed by both teams taking turns, going on runs in the second half, with Douglas coming up short. Malachi Moreno had a monster game with 22 points and 14 rebounds and Vince Dawson III added another 22 points. The x-factor in the game for Crossing was junior forward Junius Burrell who came up big with 17 points. Douglas Junior guard Armelo Boone did everything possible to try to will his team to a win, scoring 27 points and adding 11 rebounds. He had help from sophomore DeMarcus Surratt with 17 points, but needed more from the supporting cast, losing 71-66.

Scott County vs Ballard

What was a close game in the first half turned into a Ballard all-out pressure attack, overwhelming Scott and leading to a 71-55 win. Ballard’s balanced attack had every player get into the scoring column, led by star junior Sam Frazier with 15 points. County was led by 2025’s Tristan Christopher (17) and Ben Glenn (18). 

3rd Round 

Losers Bracket

Lafayette vs Franklin County 

This game was game for two teams that needed a feel-good win after losing their last outings. Lafayette fought back in the 4th quarter but came up short 70-69. Coming into the game they knew they needed to contain Franklin senior Noah Flowers and he ended up with 15 points. What broke their backs was four other players scoring in double figures. Lafayette gave all they had, keeping it close with senior guard Peyton Prichardexploding for 25 points and senior Yashiro Hurst adding a solid 15 points. 

Woodford County vs Montgomery County

Woodford’s experience overwhelmed the young and inexperienced Montgomery County team. From the start you could see that Woodford seemed more focused and ready to play…It looked like the game just meant more to Woodford. Guard Santonio Wade was his usual steady self, tallying 20 points while shooting 80 percent from the field. Freshman Omari Jointer was once again solid on both ends and contributed 10 points, but the player of the game for Woodford was Layton Starks. He scored a powerful 27 points going 10-11 from the field. Montgomery Sophomore Luke Fawn scored a game high 38 points, but this game was never in doubt.

Frederick Douglas vs Scott County

Frederick Douglas got the bounce back win they sorely needed after a tough loss to Great Crossing . Junior guard Armelo Boone was again had a stellar game with 23 points. His new sidekick sophomore DeMarcus Surratt added 13 points and 8 rebounds in the 72-65 win. Once again junior guard Tristan Christopher led the way for Scott County with a game high 26 points. 

Championship Game

Great Crossing vs Ballad

This final was a little anticlimactic with Great Crossing overwhelming Ballard to win the game going away 88-60. Once again the Crossing junior tandem combined for 47 points with Vince Dawson III going for a game high 31 points and Malachi Moreno adding 16 points and 15 rebounds in the blowout win. They held Ballard star guard Sam Frazier to eight points and kept him off rhythm all game. Ballard’s Javeon FairmanNick Hayden and Cash Whitehead all tallied 12 points each.

2025 Malachi Moreno 2025 Vince Dawnson III Co-MVP

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