boys basketball

Tyreke Key sets state tournament record with 54 points in Tenn. quarterfinal

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Tyreke Key had 54 points to set a Tennessee state tournament scoring record as Clay County (Celina) beat Loretto 75-60 in the Class A quarterfinals Thursday.

Key, an Indiana State signee and Mr. Basketball award recipient, made 17 of 25 from the field and  19 of 23 from the free-throw line. He broke former South Fulton star Trey Pearson’s 16-year-old scoring record with a fourth-quarter free throw.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Key, who scored 32 of his team’s 38 first-half points.  “It’s the first time we’ve been to the final four since I’ve been there. It’s a good feeling.”

Key is also on the verge of the state record for most points in a single season.

Key, a 6-3 guard, also finished with 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals for Clay County (31-4), which takes on Knoxville Grace in Friday’s 4:30 p.m. semifinal.

“With Loretto playing man to man, that was to our advantage,” Bulldogs coach Rob Edwards said. “We just told him to attack the rim.”

Luke Childress had a team-high 17 points to lead Loretto (23-9), while teammate Jeremy Woods added 13 in the losing effort.

Tyreke Key dunks on the way to 54 points in the state quarterfinals (Photo: George Walker IV, The Tennessean)