- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Nick Ruthsatz scored 28 points and made four 3-pointers to lead Covington Catholic to an 80-78 triumph over Clay County on Thursday night in the first round of the Kentucky boys Sweet 16 state basketball tournament at Rupp Arena.

The Colonels (30-2), the Region 9 winner, made 12 of 18 shots from long range. Covington Catholic drained eight 3-pointers in the first half, including six treys in the first quarter. The Colonels will play Bardstown in the quarterfinals at 8 p.m. Friday. The Panthers defeated Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park 75-70 Thursday.

Cole VonHandorf followed Ruthsatz with 19 points and Ben Heppler connected on five treys and finished with 16 points for the Colonels.

Clay County (23-9), the 13th Region champion, got 29 points from Tyler McDaniel, who made five of his team’s six 3-pointers. Trey Farmer, son of former University of Kentucky guard Ritchie Farmer, scored 19.