By Chris Parsons
BARBOURVILLE — The Barbourville Tigers closed out the regular season in fine fashion Thursday, knocking off Oneida Baptist Institute 93-73.
The win is the sixth straight for Dinky Phipps’ squad and improves the Tigers to 18-10 on the season overall and 11-6 against 13th Region competition.
As if the 20-point win wasn’t enough, Devon Mills went out with a bang on senior night, pouring in 30 points to lead the way. The Tigers’ only other senior, Zack Strong, sat out the game with what Phipps called a “minor ankle injury.”
After the win, Phipps said he was pleased with the way his team came out of the gates and put up a lot of points early.
“We wanted to come out and put a lot of quick points on the board and we did,” Phipps said. “After we got a big lead our plan was to keep the lead and play a lot of kids because we didn’t want to get anybody hurt.
“This being the last regular season game, we did what we had to do to get the win,” he added. “It was senior night, so it was a little bit emotional for the kids, but I thought they played well in spite of that.”
Barbourville started the game at a staggering pace, connecting on 10-of-15 shot attempts in the first quarter, sprinting out to a 22-4 lead by quarter’s end.
The Tigers continued to push the pace in the second quarter, despite Phipps clearing the bench to give his starters a rest midway through the period. When all was said and done in the first half, Phipps and company had secured a 45-19 lead on 19-of-35 shot attempts as they headed to the locker room at halftime.
As the third quarter got underway, OBI decided to play at the same pace as Barbourville, scoring 24 points in the period, 20 of which came from John Waithaka. Despite the impressive third-quarter effort by the Mountaineers, Barbourville outscored their opponent 29-24 in the period to lead 69-47 with eight minutes to play.
Both teams continued to shoot the ball well in the fourth quarter as the Tigers kept their lead around 20 points for most of the period before grabbing the 93-73 win.
When all was said and done, Barbourville had shot 61 percent from the field (30-of-49) shot attempts in the game and made eight-of-17 from three-point range.
With the regular season over, Phipps said his team’s focus will shift to getting healthy and preparing for their showdown with Lynn Camp in the 49th District Tournament Monday.
“We’re going to try to get healthy since we’ve got a couple kids hurt,” Phipps said. “Zack Strong is hurt right now and Jacob Rose has a few stitches in his face from the Bell County game.
“We’ll come in tomorrow and go short in practice and work on some things we’re doing wrong,” he added. “We’ll talk about Lynn Camp and talk about getting ready for the District Tournament.”
Barbourville will face Lynn Camp Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the opening round of the 51st District Tournament.
Barbourville 93, OBI 73
OBI 4 14 29 26 73
Barbourville 22 23 24 24 93
OBI (73) – Waithaka 30, Henri 10, Nfor 8, Elendu 8, Wisdom 8, Garner 6, Quarshie 3.
Barbourville (93) – D. Mills 30, J. Mills 15, Phipps 13, Peyton 8, Engle 8, Rose 5, T. Mills 4, Moore 3, Eldridge 3, Perry 2, Grubb 2.