Lexington (Ky.) Catholic, led by Vee Sanford, took on Lexington (Ky.) Tates Creek, with the winner advancing to the 43rd District finals and guaranteeing themselves a spot in the 11th Region Tournament, while the loser was sent home.
And when Sanford, a senior standout, was needed most, he rose to the occasion. After a rough start to the game, Sanford turned it up, knocking in floaters and deep off the dribble jumpers on his way to 31 points.
"I came into the game a little excited and I forced some shots, but I listened to my father and my coach and they told me to let the game come to me and that's what I did," Sanford said. "I started taking good shots."
Sanford's big effort, on 12-for-21 shooting, is the main reason the Knights will play in the District championship on Friday against Lexington (Ky.) Lafayette. To go with his 31 points, he also tossed out five assists, had five steals, but turned it over five times.
With coaches from Georgetown, Virginia and Charlotte in attendance, Sanford showed his ability to take over a game. At halftime it was a one-point game, Sanford dialed in from deep in the second half and got his hands in passing lanes, and helped Catholic pull off a double-digit win.
The 6-foot-3 combo guard has seen varying levels of college interest thus far. He holds scholarship offers from Wyoming, Toledo, Indiana State, Miami, Bradley, Saint Louis and Loyola-Chicago, while Kentucky, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Georgetown, Virginia and Charlotte are showing interest.
"I'm just trying to handle it and find the right fit," Sanford told Scout.com. "I'm trying to enjoy it while I can because I'm going to commit pretty soon. I'm just trying to enjoy it all."
"The level isn't a big deal for me," he said. "I'm just trying to find the right fit. I want to go somewhere where I can be an impact on the team. That's what I feel is important, no matter what level whether it's low D-1 or high D-1."
With the Knights in the middle of a state tournament run, now isn't the best time for Sanford to take visits, but once the season ends he's going to try and see some campuses before he comes up with a decision.
"Coach told me Georgetown wants me to come for an official visit and Virginia as well," Sanford said. " Nebraska and Charlotte too."
Sanford has been patient with the recruiting process since it began getting hectic at the beginning of the season, and he said he's not planning to change that approach.
"I'm just trying to be patient," he said. "I'm not trying to force too much and commit too early. I'm just trying to be patient."