By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are looking to close out regular season play with their fifth straight win, but to do so, they've got to find a way to get past a much-improved Pineville Mountain Lion squad on the road Friday.
The two teams met up during a pre-season SEKC game in August and the Yellow Jackets dominated Pineville, but Williamsburg coach Jerry Herron was quick to point out the Mountain Lions are a much-improved team.
“Coach Bart Elam and his coaching staff has done a great job with their team,” he said. “They have an experienced line, and they have improved a lot since we played them. It's going to be a tough game. They have improved a lot, and we know this is going to be a tough game for us.
“It's also an important game for us, too,” Herron added. “We have played so many times and we know each other really well. Plus, we could meet up again in the playoffs in a couple of weeks. It's going to be an interesting game.”
Williamsburg enters the game red-hot, but the Yellow Jackets haven't received a lot of attention during their dominance over their district opposition, a win over Pineville could do just that, and allow them to enter their game against Jenkins next week with even more momentum.
“That's what we're hoping for. We're hoping to continue to gain more momentum heading into the playoffs,” Herron said. “This is going to be a good test for us, and it's also an important game for us. Like I said, Pineville is much-improved and I am very impressed with them.”
The Mountain Lions (6-3) saw their five-game win streak come to an end last week after a 50-28 loss to defending region champion Hazard. They are led by a two-headed monster in the backfield – Conner Ford has 1,045 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns while teammate Brad Fuson has 774 yards on the ground and has reached paydirt 13 times. Quarterback Tuck Woolum has completed 69-of-129 pass attempts for 1,097 yards and 10 touchdowns. His main targets are Will Adams (29 catches for 422 yards and five touchdowns), Ford (10 catches for 366 receiving yards and four touchdowns) and Dalton Ledbetter, who has accumulated 19 catches, 307 yards and four touchdowns.
“They are a very good offensive team," Herron said. “We've got to make plays on defense to win. Right now we are doing some things really well and doing some things really poor, so there is room for improvement.
“This is a huge game for us," he added. “Having a lot of momentum heading into the postseason is huge and yes, I'm happy with where we are at, but we need to continue to improve. We know we might play Pineville down the road, so we've got to come out Friday and execute on both sides of the ball. If we do that, I like our chances."
Williamsburg hopes to finish regular season with solid effort
By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune
- 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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