By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
MANCHESTER — In the first game of the Big Red Shootout at Clay County High School, the Corbin Redhounds defeated the Letcher Central Cougars 66-50. Corbin found themselves down two points at halftime, but was able to pull away for a big lead in the third quarter.
It’s the second win in as many games for this Redhounds’ squad who came into the season as an underrated team in the 13th Region. In just their first two games this year, Corbin has proved they are not a team to sleep on. Despite their early success, Coach Tony Pietrowski knows his team will have to continue to work in order to accomplish their goals this season.
“As good as that Jackson County win was, I think we bought into it a little bit too much. We had a good practice yesterday, but we can’t come out the way we did the first half and expect to beat quality teams,” Pietrowski said. “This team’s going to learn every time they touch the court. We were lucky we were able to regroup. It sure beats the heck out of a loss.
Corbin came out of halftime down 25-23, but the Redhounds’ pressure started to take a toll on the Cougars. Behind junior guard Kenny Hopper’s nine points, Corbin outscored Letcher Central 19-9 in the third quarter, taking a 42-34 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Redhounds did not let up in the final period. Senior guard Kevin Goins scored 11 points, and eighth grader Andrew Taylor added eight in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach and give the Redhounds a decisive 66-50 victory.
“This team has the chance to be a pretty good basketball team, but we have to play with a whole lot of effort,” Pietrowski said. “I didn’t think we did that in the first half. We were very lackadaisical, kind of going through the motions. We’re a work in progress, but everyone in that locker room has one goal and that’s to get better, and we’re going to hit every day as hard as we can go.”
Corbin 66, Letcher Central 50
Corbin 16 7 19 24 – 66
Letcher 11 14 12 13 – 50
Corbin (66) – Goins 20, Hopper 13, Taylor 10, Taylor Waddle 8, Trevor Browning 4, Bayley Rice 4, Joey Shelton 2, Zach Henson 2, Connor Hopkins 2.
Letcher (50) – Chippy Frazier 14, Josh Owens 13, Torell Carton 13, Tyler Collins 4, Jordan Gregory 3, Jordan Morrow 2, Hunter Hall 1.
Clay County 79, South Laurel 57
It was all about the Clay County Tigers in the second game of the Red River Shootout as the host team walked away with an easy win over the visiting South Laurel Cardinals 79-57.
It was an unusual game for the Cardinals who were without their head coach Jeff Davis and star player Zac Baxter. The team has been without Baxter for two games, but lost Davis right before the tip, as the coach had to be taken to the hospital after feeling light headed. Reports after the game said Davis was doing well and alert.
Assistant Coach Dennis Hammons stepped in for Davis and has his team playing well in the first half. Despite being seemingly outmanned, the Cardinals were able to keep the game close with superb three-point shooting. Senior Tyler Grubb knocked down two three-pointers in the first quarter and Brennan Miller hit another to keep the Clay County lead close, with the Tigers holding a 15-13 advantage heading into the second quarter.
South Laurel was able to tie the game at 18-18 midway through the second quarter on a three-point shot from freshman Jared Grubb, but that would be the last time the Cardinals would be in the game as the Tigers slowly began to take over.
By John Stepp 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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