By PATRICK CASEY
Injuries to Shaq Jackson and Colby Forehand did not slow the Paxton Bobcats on their journey to a second consecutive district championship as the host for the district tournament knocked off Laurel Hill 66-41 on Saturday night to claim the District 1, Class A crown.
Dan Geoghagan continued his hot shooting of late and scored 20 points, while Demetrius Moore added 16 points and Zack Vickers 10 as Paxton improved to 23-4 on the year and earned a first-round home playoff game on Thursday against Malone.
Paxton got to the title game after dispatching Central on Friday night 59-28 as Vickers put up 16 points in that win. The Bobcats had no trouble with Central, defeating the Jaguars for the third time this year as they raced to a 34-11 halftime advantage and never looked back.
Laurel Hill also went down for the third time as Paxton started the third quarter with a 9-0 run to build a 35-18 lead that was more than enough to send the Bobcats to the district title.
Game notes: Paxton will be making its 14th appearance in the state playoffs and holds a 13-11 record in 24 games. The Bobcats made it to the Region Final for the first time since they won the 1962 Class C title. The Bobcats will face a familiar foe in the first round as Malone comes to town on Thursday. The Bobcats are only 1-3 against the Tigers in the playoffs, but handled them 77-56 last year in Paxton. The Bobcats have never won first round playoff games in back-to-back years, so history will be on the line. Graceville edged Malone 57-56 in Malone on Saturday night to send the Tigers on the road. A win over Malone could send Paxton to Graceville on Tuesday night in the second round.