By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
GATLINBURG (Tenn.) — Thursday’s 70-50 road loss to the Beech (Tenn.) Buccaneers in the Smokey Mountain Classic was a good teaching tool for Corbin head coach Tony Pietrowski — and that’s exactly how he said he would use it.
“We just have to grow from this, but I’m excited to see what we can do coming off this,” Pietrowski said. “You never know with this team and we have battled through some tough situations so far this season, so we have to do that again.”
The Redhounds fell behind 22-7 in the first quarter, but it looked like the team had righted the ship after the early struggles. Corbin closed the second period with a 15-3 run to trim the gap to 28-25 by the end of the first half and took the lead briefly (32-28) early in the third quarter.
Beech used a 20-4 run in the final 5:30 of the third quarter to regain the scoring advantage and held a 48-36 heading to the final period of play.
The Redhounds continued to struggle in the fourth quarter as senior guard Kevin Goins fouled out of the game with 6:40 to play in regulation. Goins was tagged with a technical foul after he disagreed with the call as he left the floor.
The Buccaneers made good on four straight free throws to push the lead to 57-37 before eventually closing out the 70-50 win.
Pietrowski said he didn’t feel like his team played as well as it has so far this season and that was the difference in the game.
“We just weren’t very consistent tonight and I thought we got frustrated early,” Pietrowski said. “Some of the calls out there frustrated us and one way or another, we didn’t play through that.
“Some kids that have played well didn’t do things that we need them to do to be good and it hurt us,” he added. “We’ve got to mature and we’ve got to learn to play through some stretches because you’re going to have some call that don’t go your way and some possessions that don’t turn out the way you want them to. That’s what happened tonight and I thought we hung our heads a little bit.”
Corbin will be back in action today at 5:30 p.m. when they face Mater Academy (Fla.).
Beech (Tenn.) 70, Corbin 50
Beech (Tenn.) 22 6 20 22 70
Corbin 7 15 14 14 50
Beech (Tenn.) – Pentecost 17, Bates 14, Henry 13, Taylor 11, Wilcox 6, Young 5, Walden 2, Frazier 2.
Corbin (50) – Browning 15, Taylor 9, Garrison 5, Shelton 4, Waddle 4, Maguet 4, Goins 3, Hopkins 3, Tinsley 2, Johnson 1.