By Steve LeMaster
NICHOLASVILLE – McCreary Central slipped back into the loss column on the road in Jessamine County. In a late-season boys’ high school basketball game, host East Jessamine topped the Raiders 72-64 on Friday night.
With the loss, McCreary Central dropped to 12-14.
East Jessamine improved to 11-16 with the win.
Homestanding East Jessamine claimed its second straight victory after suffering through a three-game losing skid. The Jaguars are showing much improvement down the stretch in the regular-season portion of the 2017-18 season.
McCreary Central shot 48.9 percent (23-of-47) from the field. The Raiders were 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from 3-point range.
McCreary Central shot 87.5 percent (14-of-16) from the free throw line.
Nick Longmire led McCreary Central with a team-high 23 points. Longmire was 10-of-11 from the free throw line in the Raiders’ short effort.
Derrick Paige delivered a double-double for the Raiders, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds,.
Joining Longmire and Paige in double figures for McCreary Central, Ryan Jones posted 11 points.
Brandon Troxell scored eight points, Hunter Jones netted seven points and John Cash chipped in three points for the Raiders in the loss.
McCreary Central entered the final week of the regular-season with games remaining versus 12th Region rival Casey County and Lynn Camp, an opponent out of the nearby 13th Region.
The Raiders are nearing the start of the postseason. Jimmy Voight-coached McCreary Central is preparing to compete in the 48th District Boys’ Basketball Tournament at Wayne County High School in Monticello.