Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
BARBOURVILLE — The Barbourville Tigers played as good as a team can play and still lost Monday, dropping a 62-60 decision to Jackson County thanks to a buzzer-beater from the Generals’ Steven Wagers.
After the game, Barbourville head coach Dinky Phipps said he told his team what to do during the timeout before the final play, but it didn’t work out the way he planned.
“I told them not to let them get the ball inside,” Phipps said. “They couldn’t keep it out and that’s what happens.
“This is our fourth loss in a row and you just keep telling the kids to keep their heads up,” he added. “It’s getting kind of tough to do that though after losses like this.”
Jackson County jumped ahead early thanks to a poor start shooting by the Tigers. Phipps’ squad connected on just 4-of-12 attempts from the field in the first eight minutes and trailed 23-10 after the first quarter.
The Tigers clawed their way back into the contest in the second quarter with a 10-2 run to open the period and trim the gap to 25-20.
Jackson County stopped the run with a three-pointer and closed the quarter by outscoring the Tigers 13-10 and held a 38-30 lead at halftime.
Barbourville picked up the pace on both ends of the floor in the third quarter, limiting the Generals to just eight shot attempts in the period as they outscored them 14-9. That stretch cut the lead to 47-44 by the time the third quarter ended.
The fourth quarter saw the Tigers fall behind by as many as six points before using an 8-0 run to take a 58-56 lead with just under two minutes to play.
The Generals regained the lead on a pair of free throws by Wagers, but Barbourville’s Tanner Moore put his team back on top 60-59 with a running jumper in the lane with 1:00 to play.
After Wagers tied the game up connecting on one of his two free throw attempts with :45 to pay, Barbourville had a chance to take the final shot, but missed, giving the ball back to Jackson County.
The Generals took a timeout with just over three seconds to play and executed on the final play of the game to get the win.
Greg Parrett was quick to credit his kids for their effort, but also applauded the effort of Barbourville as well.
“You have to give credit to this group here at Barbourville,” Parrett said. “You know when you come in here against one of Dinky Phipps’ teams, you are going to have to earn a win.
“Our kids battled all night and they did what we asked them to do there at the end,” he added. “This is a big win for us because we’re about to hit a real tough stretch, so it’s good to gain some momentum as we head into it.”
Jackson County 62, Barbourville 60
Jackson Co. 23 15 9 15 62
Barbourville 10 20 14 16 60
Jackson Co. (62) – Lawson 16, Hammons 14, Wagers 12, Whitehead 9, Fox 8, Bingham 3.
Barbourville (62) – D. Mills 23, Phipps 14, J. Mills 10, Moore 7, Rose 3, Strong 3.