By Jay Compton For the Times-Tribune
PINEVILLE — The Pineville Mountain Lions made it four wins in a row on as they edged Whitley County, 58-56.
Pineville has shown a knack lately of pulling out the close ones and Friday it was senior forward Jacob Skinner hitting six straight free throws over the final 34 seconds to secure the win. All of them were one-and-ones and every one turned out to be important as Whitley’s Zack Rutherford hit a three-pointer from midcourt at the buzzer to set the final.
“Jacob did a great job for us and he’s been coming along. He’s always been one of our top offensive players and he’s picking it up on defense, too,” Mountain Lions coach J.D. Strange said. “He was out after gallbladder surgery and now he’s starting to play more like he can and that’s a big asset to our team. When our kids play together and pull for each other I think we can be really fun to watch.”
Senior center John Simpson led the Lions with 21 points while Skinner finished with 14 and Jared Philpot added nine.
Michael Powers led the Colonels with 16 while Boston Bryant added 15 and Rutherford 11.
“Our group of kids have got a wonderful opportunity in front of them and I just hope they realize it. Whitley County has not got a bad team, they’re very disciplined and they’ve played in a lot of real close games,” Strange said. “We did the right things to win and came out on top. (But) we’ve got to keep getting better and take advantage of the times when we’ve got the ball and make the little things count.”