TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
Barbourville — The Barbourville Tigers returned to action on their home court against the Rockastle County Rockets on Monday. The Rockets were looking to pick up their first win of the season, while the Tigers hoped to improve to 3-0.
Barbourville opened the game with the momentum as the lead in the first quarter grew to as much as nine points. The Tiger lead was 16-9 at the end of the first period.
Rockastle County stayed with the Tigers throughout the second period and closed the gap to 24-20 at one point during the quarter. Brandon Gray led the way on offense for Barbourville and Rockastle's Sam Pensol would nail two three-point baskets just before the half to keep the Rockets within striking distance. The Tigers held a 31-26 lead at intermission.
The pressure mounted once again for Barbourville as turnovers kept Rockastle County in the game. The Rockets found ways to score against the Barbourville zone defense as well.
Barbourville would go to Gray, Alexander Phipps and Brentley Perry for offense as each would hit one three-point basket during the quarter.
Rockastle County pulled to within one point, but the Tigers reamined in the lead 49-45 going into the final period of play.
Josh Mason of Rockastle County continued to find scoring paths underneath the basket and gave the Rockets their first lead of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers countered with Brentley Perry who continued his hot shooting by hitting a long range three-point field goal. That basket regained the Tiger lead with just over four minutes remaining.
Rockastle led 65-64 with 40 seconds remaining, but the Tigers' free-throw shooting made the difference.
Alexander Phipps and Brentley Perry connected at the foul line as each combined on three of four free throws down the stretch in the fourth quarter to secure the 67-65 Barbourville win.
Coach Dinky Phipps commented on the win.
"We had the momentum early in the first quarter, but from that quarter down, I just feel like we didn't put much of an effort into it," Phipps said. "Not taking anything away from Rockastle, they outplayed us, they hurt us on the boards, they broke our defense down. We were very fortunate to come away with the win."
The Tigers remain undefeated on the season.
Barbourville 67, Rockcastle Co. 65
Barbourville 16 15 18 18—67
Rockastle Co. 9 17 19 20—65
Barbourville (67) — Gray 24, Perry 17, Phipps 16, J Mills 8, Eldridge 2
Rockastle County (65) — Pensol 15, Mason 11, Hasty 9, Mullins 9, Reynolds 8, McPhetridge 7, Harper 4, Gentry 2