By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron admitted his team’s bye week came at the right time. His Yellow Jacket players were able to heal some nagging injuries while some players were able to get eligible to play during the time off as well.
The Yellow Jackets will try to take advantage of the week off by welcoming Harrison County to town Friday with hopes of gaining some momentum heading into district play, which will begin next week.
“I thought we had a great off-week,” Herron said. “It really came at the right time. We’ve played some tough games and we were able to heal up some and get some kids eligible that were ineligible.
“We know what we have in front of us, and we know that Harrison County is a good team,” Herron said. “They play in a tough district with Highlands and they have already played some very good teams like Bourbon County and Mason County.”
The Thorobreds started the season with two wins, beating both Fleming County (35-7) and Gallatin County (34-24) before hitting their current three-game slide.
They dropped a 28-19 decision to Montgomery County before falling to Mason County (41-19) and Bourbon County (64-21).
“They’ve had some tough games and so have we,” Herron said.
Williamsburg is looking to gain some momentum after dropping a 40-12 decision to Class 3A power Wayne County two weeks ago.
“We’ve got to execute our offense against Harrison County,” Herron said. “We got away from that against Wayne County and we can’t do that this week. We need to attack.”
The Yellow Jackets will try to get things going against a Thorobred defense that is allowing close to 200 yards on the ground and through the air.
Offensively, Harrison County has been hurting teams running and passing the ball.
The Thorobreds are averaging 25 points per game with Zack Mastin leading the way on the ground with 389 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Justin Hunter has carried the ball 46 times for 251 rushing yards and a TD while quarterback Robbie Stroud has scrambled for 199 yards and three scores on the ground. He’s also completed 63-of-119 pass attempts for 868 yards and seven touchdowns while throwing five interceptions.
Stroud has a slew of receiving targets in Jovon Williams (16 receptions, 254 receiving yards and two touchdowns), Hunter (14, 227, two touchdowns), Zach Royce (14, 178, one touchdown) and Grant Carr (13, 158).
“They are very athletic,” Herron said. “Our kids have been focused on them, and we know they’re a very good team.”
Herron admitted his players know how important it is to come away with a win Friday.
“It’s huge,” he said. “The kids know the big picture. They know we need to get things going and it starts Friday. Our goal is to get the district’s No. 1 seed, so we can get a home playoff game and try to reach the region championship game again and win it this time.
“We did it a different way the past two years and lost in the region finals, and it didn’t work either time, so we did something different this year,” he added.
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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