By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
WILLIAMSBURG — A 50th District rivalry night continued in Williamsburg on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets hosted the Colonels of Whitley County in their first meeting of the season.
Whitley County entered the contest winning its previous three out of four games, while Williamsburg had lost its last three out of four. A near capacity crowd witnessed a thriller as the Yellow Jackets came away with their first district win of the season, defeating the Colonels 53-52.
Williamsburg coach Patrick Robinson commented on the Williamsburg performance.
“It was a good win for our team and our kids,” Robinson said. “Especially with the intensity that we played with tonight and the effort.
“We were flying around getting loose balls,” he added. “Even when we made mistakes we'd follow it up with a steal and make them turn it over, so it's just a really good win for our kids.”
Whitley County grabbed an early lead in the first quarter on a pair of 3-pointers by Levi Barton and one from Luke Woods, which helped stretched the Colonel lead to 15-9 early, but the Yellow Jackets countered with scoring of their own from Hunter Sulfridge and Corey Shelton. Chase Lowrie knocked down a three-point basket which helped rally the Yellow Jackets back from its six-point deficit to tie the score at 15 the end of the first period.
Williamsburg took its first lead on two consecutive Andrew Griffith baskets, giving Williamsburg a four-point edge. The Colonels continued to find Luke Woods who came up with big numbers for the Colonel offense. Woods connected on two more three-point baskets in the second quarter to keep the Colonel offense in stride, but the Jackets turned to Hunter Sulfridge who found his way to free throw line on several Yellow Jacket possessions throughout the first half and helped stretch the lead to a three-point, 29-26 lead at halftime.
Williamsburg opened the third quarter with the momentum and turned to Dalton Sizemore who extended the Williamsburg lead to 36-31 with a three-point basket. Sizemore put the Yellow Jackets in the lead 40-34 as Williamsburg scored on a series of points off Whitley County's full court pressure. The Jackets closed the third quarter leading 42-35.
The gap would close as Whitley County continued to find its hot hand in Luke Woods. A Woods' three-point basket trimmed the deficit to 43-40. Williamsburg's biggest lead of the quarter extended to 49-44 on an Andrew Griffith layup, but a Woods answered with a basket of his own, cutting the lead to 51-49. Corey Shelton's two free throws gave Williamsburg a 53-49 edge. Whitley County's Corey Johnson nailed a three point basket to cut the lead to 53-52. The Colonels had one more attempt to score with four seconds remaining after a Yellow Jacket turnover on the inbound pass. Corey Johnson's three-point basket was off the mark and the Yellow Jackets held on to the one-point victory.
Whitley County coach Jerry Overbey commented on the Colonels' performance.
“The kids played hard,” Overbey said. “It's just the detail things that we miss some. They gave a great effort.
“I can't fault the kids for the way they played. They give it to me every game,” he added. “We just have to get in the gym and fix a few things and hope to get this thing turned around.”
The two teams are scheduled to meet again on Feb. 13th.
Williamsburg 53, Whitley County 52
Whitley County 15 11 9 17 – 52
Williamsburg 15 14 13 11 – 53
Whitley County (52) – Woods 25, Ja. Sasko 6, Barton 6, Petrey 5, Co. Johnson 4, Crisologo 4, Foley 2.
Williamsburg (53) – Sulfridge 17, Shelton 12, Griffith 10, Sizemore 9, Lowrie 5.