By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
WHITLEY COUNTY — The Whitley County Colonels picked up their third straight win Friday, when they defeated the visiting Pineville Mountain Lions 76-53.
It was a complete team effort for the Colonels who had every player on the team score in the game. Junior guard James Sasko led Whitley County with 15 points on the night, while Levi Barton and Corey Johnson each finished with 13 points.
A team-oriented attack is what Coach Jerry Overbey likes to see from his squad, especially this late in the season. The Colonels have four games remaining in the regular season, and Overbey hopes they'll continue to improve and carry some momentum into the postseason.
“It's always good to get guys minutes, especially when you're having a good night, and tonight was a good one. You want to get guys in the game now, instead of waiting until the district tournament, and just throwing them in there,” said Overbey. “I was happy with how we played tonight. We passed the ball well and did a good job of finding the open man on offense.”
The Colonels offense got off to a slow start, scoring just 13 points in the first quarter. It was the Whitley County defense that dominated the first quarter, limiting the Mountain Lions to just two field goals in the period.
“We're getting better. Those two losses to Knox Central and Corbin were tough, but I think we've gotten our feet back under us,” said Overbey. “Our kids have been working hard and are standing to understand a little better where they are supposed to be on defense.”
The second and third quarters saw the Colonels do the most damage. Johnson and Barton both hit a pair of threes in the second quarter, while Whitley County went on a 10-2 run to take a 25-14 lead midway through the quarter. The Colonels were able to take a 34-20 advantage into the half.
The Whitley County offense went off in the third quarter. After back-to-back baskets put the Colonels up 43-28, Whitley County proceeded to score the next 10-points of the quarter to blow the game open. Sasko and Woods scored seven points each in the quarter, helping Whitley County to a 60-33 lead after three.
“We've changed up our zone offense a little and we've worked on it the last few practices. I thought it worked well for us tonight,” said Overbey. “We knew we had an advantage with our quickness coming into the game. We liked our chances of winning if we could get the score into the 70s, and we did.”
Pineville went on to outscore the Colonels 20-16 in the final period, but Whitley County worked to get all 12 of their players on the scoreboard. Josh Richardson, Jon Sasko, Zach Brooks, and Tyler Downs all scored for the Colonels in the fourth quarter.
Whitley County 76, Pineville 53
Pineville 7 13 13 20 – 53
Whitley Co. 13 21 26 16 – 76
Pineville (53) – Collett 22, Longsworth 5, Shackelford 4, Ford 4, Ledbetter 3, Woolum 3, Hoskins 3, Sproles 3, Adams 3, Robbins 2, Brock 1.
Whitley County (76) – Sasko 15, Barton 13, Johnson 13, Woods 7, Foley 7, Richardson 6, Crisologo 4, Johnson 4, Petrey 2, Sasko 2, Brooks 2, Downs 1.