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.