TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

December 30, 2013

Redhounds continue to surprise

CORBIN — By Les Dixon for the Times-Tribune

Boys Player of the Week

Jordan Fox, Jackson County — Fox has been as cool as a cucumber during the Generals’ two games in the Cumberland Falls Invitational. He scored 19 points during Jackson County’s 81-56 win over South Carolina’s Chesnee High School, and followed that with an 18-point performance against Maryland’s Largo High School, who Jackson County defeated, 80-75. Jackson is peaking at the right time.

Girls Player of the Week

Natalie Gallagher, Corbin — Gallagher has scored 14 points apiece during the Lady Redhounds’ first two games in Florida. She’s also recorded a double-double along the way. Her play is key with Corbin trying to repeat as 13th Region champions this season.

Pietrowski’s Redhounds continue to surprise

I’ll be the first to admit, so far Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have made me look like a fool. Before the 2013-14 high school basketball season tipped off in December, I had Corbin ranked as low as No. 9 in the 13th Region, but now the Redhounds have to be considered as one of the teams to beat.

Yep, once again Pietrowski and his coaching staff worked their magic, and their kids believe, and Corbin is a team to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season.

How does Pietrowski do it?

Corbin has lost its entire starting lineup during the past two seasons, but still continue to win, and pick up wins against some of the best teams in the 13th Region.

The Redhounds already own victories over both Jackson County and Knox Central, two of the top three teams heading into the season.

Corbin’s lone loss in 13th Region play came against top-ranked Clay County, a 69-62 loss in Manchester.

With that said, look for this Corbin team to continue to improve.

Eighth-grader Andrew Taylor plays like a solid veteran out on the floor, while Trevor Browning has been solid, and recorded a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) during Corbin’s 63-59 win over Knox Central Sunday.

Then you have Joey Shelton, who is solid on both offense and defense, and you can’t forget about leading scorer Kevin Goins, who is a threat to score 20 points during any game.

Yep, all of the people who thought the Redhounds were going to be down this season, you might want to change your mind.

Tournament success

On the boys’ side, both Corbin and Jackson County will meet in the finals of the 27th Annual Cumberland Falls Invitational today after going a combined 4-0 so far.

The two teams tipped the season off less than a month ago, with Corbin coming away with a slim two-point win thanks to a last-second shot made by eighth-grader Andrew Taylor.

Even with the win, Corbin coach Tony Pietrowski expects another close game today.

“Jackson County is playing really well right now,” he said. “I haven’t seen Clay County play in a while, but I’d be hard-pressed not to put Jackson County as the top team in the region right now.”

Speaking of Clay County, the Tigers will play for the Sunshine Classic championship today after picking up two wins. The Tigers are now 10-1 on the season with their lone loss coming to Breathitt County, 68-65.

The Whitley County Colonels have had some success during the holidays. They have went 4-3 overall while falling to Bowling Green, 61-56, in the TJ Sampson Holiday Classic.

On the girls’ side, the Whitley County Lady Colonels are undefeated so far during Christmas Break.

Whitley County seems to be hitting stride at the right time, winning the Berea Holiday Classic by going 4-0 while defeating Corbin in the finals, 65-57.

The Lady Colonels are 2-0 so far in the Titan Holiday Classic with wins over Clark County and Eastern.

Lynn Camp has the region’s best record at 11-1 after going 1-1 in the Food Pantry Christmas Tournament while capturing the Pine Mountain Classic, going 4-0 and defeating Pineville in the championship game, 51-45.

Struggling just a bit

On the boys’ side, after posting an impressive 2-1 mark in the legacy Nissan Classic, the South Laurel Cardinals are 1-2 in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Classic after losses to Clark County and Calloway County while Harlan County posted a 1-6 mark after playing in both the Berea Invitational and the Teco Coal Commodore Classic.

Things looked bright for North Laurel after seeing the Jaguars go 2-1 in the legacy Nissan Classic, but a 1-2 mark in the Pikeville Invitational Tournament combined with consecutive losses to Betsy Lane and Letcher Central has put a damper on North Laurel’s Christmas Break.

On the girls’ side, the Bell County Lady Bobcats are 3-2 so far in Christmas tournaments after going 2-1 in the Lady Ads Christmas Tournament and 1-1 so far in the Landair Ladies Classic.

The Williamsburg Lady Yellow Jackets’ struggles continued, as they are now a 13th Region-worst 1-9 on the season after going 0-2 in the Allen Central Invitation while getting outscored 119-62 in the process.

13th Region Rankings

Boys


•    Clay County — The Tigers keep rolling along.

•    Jackson County — The Generals seem to be peaking at the right time.

•    Corbin — If the Redhounds can pull off another win over Jackson County today, look for Tony Pietrowski’s squad to keep moving on up.

•    Knox Central — The Panthers have been very inconsistent this season.

•    Bell County — After starting off slow, the Bobcats are looking pretty good right now.

•    Harlan — The Green Dragons are quietly putting together a solid season right now.

•    South Laurel — The Cardinals are another team that have been very inconsistent.

•    North Laurel — The Jaguars need to get back to their winning ways or they’ll continue to drop.

•    Harlan County — The Black Bears are struggling right now, but look for them to turn things around in the near future.

•    Whitley County — The Colonels are improved. They have a chance to show just how good they are with a road game against Clinton County coming up and a home contest against North Laurel.

Girls

•    Whitley County — The Lady Colonels are red-hot right now. Combine their winning ways with Bell County’s struggles, and that leads to why they are ranked No. 1.

•    Bell County — The Lady Bobcats have hit a bump in the road, but will be fine.

•    Corbin — I was surprised with the defending region champs’ loss to Whitley County, but they look to have recovered well.

•    Harlan — Keep a close eye on the Green Dragons. They are solid.

•    Clay County — It’s odd to see Clay County sitting with a losing record at 4-6.

•    Lynn Camp — The Lady Wildcats have the region’s best record at 11-1 on the season.

•    Barbourville — The Lady Tigers have had their struggles this season.

•    Pineville — The Lady Mountain Lions are another team to keep an eye on.

•    North Laurel — Eddie Mahan’s squad is beginning to hit stride.

•    Middlesboro — The Lady Yellow Jackets are young, but improving.

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