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McCracken dream lives

By James D. Horne jhorne@paducahsun.com

The dream was not deferred and continues for McCracken County and so does its stay in the KHSAA Boys Sweet 16 State Tournament.

The Mustangs (25-8) earned that right after beating Wayne County 81-74 in a first-round game Thursday afternoon in Rupp Arena and they knew it shocked many of those who watched, but not those in McCracken County crimson, black and white.

"Nobody expected us to win this game," senior guard Jared Burnett said. "But we all felt like we were going to be able to come in here and play well, and we did. I love that we did this for our students and our pep band, because we had a ton of them here. Our fans sold all the tickets they had so it was nice to do this for them."

McCracken County coach Burlin Brower was also elated. "I was really proud of the students, parents and fans that came up here because Paducah is a long way away from Lexington and that is a lot of kids to travel this far. I know we had sold our 800 tickets and then with the band and cheerleaders, it's a long way to go. But it showed our people's dedication by driving up here when they just could have listened to the game on radio. So our fans coming out and supporting these kids made it feel a little more at home."

McCracken County advances to the state quarterfinals and a 5:30 p.m. game today against Bowling Green (28-6) in Rupp Arena. The Mustangs set a state tournament record by hitting 34 free throws, they never trailed in the game and led it 81-66 with 1:07 to go.

Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow on Twitter @psunsports.

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