By Les Dixon/Sports Editor
CLAY COUNTY — Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds opened their season in fine fashion by defeating 12th Region foe Wayne County, 75-72, in Clay County High School’s Big Red Classic Friday.
The Cardinals were coming off an impressive 73-57 win over South Laurel and held them to under 40 percent shooting, but they had trouble guarding the Redhounds the entire game.
Both teams were running and gunning throughout the contest, combining to hit 15 three-pointers for the game. Corbin shot a red-hot 70 percent from three-point range by knocking down seven-of-10 attempts while the Cardinals were eight-of-20.
“I don’t believe either team played great defensively,” Pietrowski said. “Early on it was a fun game to watch. I don’t know about as far as defensive execution is where it needed to be, but we scored well and shot the ball well and we do plan on playing a little faster than we have in the past.
“We’ve got to tighten up on the defensive side of the ball or we’ve got to shoot the ball well,” he added. “I thought tonight we shot it just enough to get the win.”
The game was nip-and-tuck for most of the game with the Redhounds leading by as much as eight points (46-38) in the second half before Rodney Woods’ squad rallied during the game’s final eight minutes.
Wayne County took a 66-65 lead with 5:07 remaining when Peyton Woods connected with a three-pointer, but Corbin went on a 4-0 run that made the score 70-66.
The Cardinals had one final rally in them and regained the lead again at 72-70 at the 1:44 mark before Corbin sealed the deal with a 5-0 run to pick up the win.
“Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you,” Pietrowski said. “This game was a game of runs. If you look at the entire game, we gapped them a couple of times and then they came back. It was tight late in the game when they came back and we didn’t hang our heads and we managed to get the win.
“I’m glad to get the win,” he added. “It’s the first time to come up here and get a win in this. To start out 1-0 with this team that is flying under the radar and not getting a lot of respect — it beats the heck out of losing.”
The Redhounds were led in scoring by Zack Farley, who finished the game with 25 points while hitting three three-pointers. Kaleb Maguet (13 points) and Robbie Igo (12 points) also scored in double figures for Corbin.
Pietrowski’s squad finished the game knocking down 24-of-57 shot attempts for the game while turning the ball over only 10 times and Wayne County connected on 26-of-64 shot attempts and turned the ball over 11 times.
Corbin won’t get much time to rest, as Pietrowski’s squad will be back in action today at home with an 11 a.m. matchup with Knoxville Catholic, Tenn.
“The first month we’re just going to see how we can get better,” Pietrowski said. “I want to play a team like Knoxville Catholic that will be big and physical a lot like Clay County, Harlan County and Knox Central. We are trying to improve and I think this month we’ll keep grinding and hopefully in January start fine-tuning and make a run at something.”
Big Red Classic
Corbin 75, Wayne County 72
Corbin 20 26 15 14 75
Wayne County 20 18 19 15 72
Corbin (75) — Farley 25, Maguet 13, Hill 4, Shelton 7, Igo 12, Grubb 5, Goins 6, Henson 3.
Wayne County (72) — P. Woods 17, Blevins 11, Gearing 3, Stearns 18, L. Woods 4, Gardney 6, Shelton 8, Perkins 5.
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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