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Going deep: 3-pointers rule first night of Great 8 Classic

The Jefferson City Jays beat Hopkinsville (KY) 57-52 on opening night at the Great 8 Classic. (Tony Mullen/KRCG13)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. --- This is the 28th edition of the Machens Great 8 Classic and it's the 22nd that's had the 3-point arc, a change Missouri adopted in 1987.

Based on 12 games per tournament, there were 252 games contested with the 3-pointer in play entering Thursday night. And if you really love numbers, that's a span of roughly 7,670 days and 184,080 hours.

Nobody loves numbers that much.

But in the first game of this year's event at Fleming Fieldhouse, Chris Anthony of Harvest Prep (Canal Winchester, Ohio) hit eight 3-pointers to set a new tournament record, and the Warriors shattered the team record by hitting 19 3-pointers.

Of course, this team is called the Warriors.

Well, Anthony's record stood alone for about 1 hour, 10 minutes.

Because in just three quarters of the second game Thursday night, Sean Laughran of Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh) matched it with eight 3-balls of his own. For a team called the Blue Devils, no less.

Welcome to basketball, 2018.

A pair of local teams were on the business end of these efforts, as the Warriors outscored the Blair Oaks Falcons 83-64 --- Harvest Prep missed the team record for points in a game by one --- and Mt. Lebanon knocked off the Helias Crusaders, 69-44.

The brightest moment for local teams came in Game 3, when the Jefferson City Jays won a first-round game in the Great 8 for the first time in nine years --- nine years --- with an impressive 57-52 victory over Hopkinsville, Ky.

In the last game of the night, Kettering Fairmount (Ohio) outlasted Father Tolton 73-68 in double overtime.

In the State Farm Holiday Invitational at Helias, the Jefferson City Lady Jays stayed perfect (10-0, ranked No. 1 in Class 5) with a 58-28 rout of Blue Springs South (5-4); Helias (8-1, No. 4 Class 4) battled past Eureka (4-4) 62-57; defending tournament champion St. Joseph Benton (8-0) rolled to a 47-31 win over Blair Oaks (7-3); and Columbia Hickman (4-5) edged Poplar Bluff (2-7), 41-40.

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