Bowling Green senior forward/center Joseph Ayers left his mark during the Purples’ run in the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16.

The 6-foot-7-inch Ayers was a huge part of Bowling Green’s run to its first Final Four since 1991 and second overall.

In an opening-round 65-58 win over Knott County Central, Ayers had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots – including a pair of highlight-reel dunks.

Ayers followed with eight points in the Purples’ 64-58 quarterfinal win over McCracken County and capped the tournament with 14 points in an 81-68 loss to eventual state champion Covington Catholic.

For his efforts, Ayers was named to the all-tournament team.

“My junior year I was pretty much nonexistent on this team,” Ayers said. “I had 90 points on the year. This year, I knew I had to play a bigger role – start a lot more games and finish a lot more shots. I think in this tournament I scored half of what I did all of last year.”

Ayers’ future on the court is uncertain. He already had plans to attend Western Kentucky University and concentrate on academics, but said he has gotten some offers, mainly from NAIA schools.

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