By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
JELLICO, TENN. — The Corbin Redhounds returned to action Thursday evening on the road at Jellico.
Tony Pietrowski's club improved to 3-1 on the season with a 63-57 victory over the Blue Devils.
“I thought we came out and played really well in the first quarter,” said Tony Pietrowski. “Their coach does a good job of making some adjustments and I thought he did a good job tweaking some things on both ends of the court."
Both teams opened play to a sluggish start, but Corbin gained the momentum and maintained an 11-4 lead in the first period. After a small Jellico run, Corbin added to the lead as Kevin Goins knocked down two three-point baskets to pace the Redhound offense. The Redhounds held a comfortable 19-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Jellico responded in the second quarter as the Blue Devils went to Austin Hunley whose three-point field goal cut the Redhound lead to three. The Blue Devil surge continued as Logan Corss' basket tied the game at 20-20.
Gage Hyslope's free throw gave Jellico the lead followed by another three-point field goal by Hunley. The Blue Devils' lead extended to five points before Corbin's Kevin Goins' steal and layup put Corbin back in front. Corbin's Zach Maguet's field goal put the Hounds on top with a basket to close out the half and Corbin led 31-30 at intermission.
The third quarter saw both teams exchanging the lead on several possessions. Hunley continued to find the basket from three-point territroy as he would connect on six long range baskets during the evening.
Kevin Goins continued to make big plays on both ends of the court for Corbin and kept the offense in stride for the Redhounds. Both teams did not see a lead bigger than three points during the quarter.
Corbin battled to a 48-45 lead going into the final period of play and it appeared the final quarter would keep fans on both sides on the edge of their seats.
Corbin created turnovers on defense to begin the fourth quarter of play and jumped out to a 51-47 lead. Jellico's Justin Bowlin kept the Blue Devils offense in the game as a three-point basket trimmed the Redhound lead to two points. A trip to the free throw line a minute later tied the score at 53-53.
Corbin managed to pull ahead 59-54 on another Kevin Goins basket with 2:18 left in regulation. Corbin went into a four corner stall offense with under two minutes which forced Jellico to foul.
The Blue Devils made one last scoring run as Hunley hit one of two free throws, but scored on the ensuing rebound to trim the Corbin lead to 59-57. Corbin's defensive stops proved crucial going down the stretch.
The Redhounds closed the game by going to their senior leader, Kevin Goins, who scored on a break away layup and erased any thoughts of a Jellico upset in the closing seconds.
The senior finished with 28 points and led the Corbin offense in scoring on the night. Jellico finished the evening with three players in double figures led by Austin Hunley with 21.
“We didn't do everything right,” said Pietrowski. "We would have liked to have stepped up and hit a few more shots, but we gutted it out and it says a lot about an inexperienced team to lay it on the line, and you have to do those things to get wins sometimes.”
Corbin 63, Jellico 57
Corbin 19 12 17 15 – 63
Jellico, Tenn. 11 19 15 12 – 57
Corbin (63) – Goins 28, Rice 7, Waddle 7, Browning 7, A Taylor 4, Shelton 3, Henson 2, Hopkins 2, Maguet 2
Jellico (57) – Hunley 21, Hale 11, Bowlin 10, Cross 6, Creekmore 6, Marlow 2, Hyslope, 1.