By Chris Parsons
The Corbin Redhounds are the champions of the 2012 Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament, knocking off Easley, S.C. 83-73 Saturday night.
Tony Pietrowski’s squad had to get past three out-of-state teams during the four-day event, including two teams from South Carolina.
Though they made things look easy in the early stages of Saturday’s finals, leading by as many as 24 points in the third quarter (23-point lead at halftime), but the Greenwave managed to make a game of it in the end.
After the win, Pietrowski said he was proud of how hard his team worked in an effort to get their name on the wall at Corbin’s Gilliam Gymnasium.
“We really looked good on offense tonight,” Pietrowski said. “We really moved the ball well and made the extra pass and our kids really shared the ball well.
“The first half was the best half of basketball I’ve seen our kids play in a long time,” he added. “I’m really proud of those kids, who came out with a lot of emotion and worked really hard. This is a tournament that’s been going on a long time and I take pride in putting my team’s name up there and I’m happy to do it with this group.”
The Redhounds were led in the scoring column by Kaleb Maguet for the second straight game with 20 points, but the win was a team effort as Corbin saw four players reach double figures.
Trevor Hill added 18 for the Redhounds, while Kevin Goins came off the bench to score 17 and Robbie Igo added 16.
Corbin stormed the gates early, taking a 17-7 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to an 8-0 run that included consecutive three-pointers by Goins and Maguet , followed by a Hill field goal to close the first-quarter scoring.
The Greenwave came to life as the second quarter got started, trimming the gap to 23-18 on an 11-6 run, but Corbin answered in a big way as their hot shooting continued.
An 18-4 run put Corbin ahead 40-22 in the final minute of the half and a pair of baskets by Goins and Maguet extended the Redhounds lead to 47-24 as the two teams headed to the locker room for halftime.
Corbin connected on 19-of-34 shot attempts (55 percent) in the first half, while the Greenwave was 50 percent from the field, connecting on 10-of-20 shot attempts.
Easley came out in the third quarter firing on all cylinders as Alex Preston pured in 10 of his game-high 30 points in the period, helping to trim the Corbin lead to 67-51 as the fourth quarter got underway.
Easley, S.C., continued to shoot the ball well in the fourth quarter as Preston scored 10 for the second straight quarter and senior points guard Trey McGowens added 10 as well.
In the end, the Greenwave outscored Corbin 49-36 in the second half, but the 23-point first half deficit was too much to recover from.
“I’m so proud of my kids for putting together three really good games of basketball and I’m especially proud of the way they did it,” Pietrowski said. “We continued to make plays and we got defensive stops when we needed them and that’s something you have to do to win.
“Hopefully this will propel us into the new year and we can finish the season the same way,” he added.
Corbin 83, Easley, S.C., 73
Easley 7 17 27 22 73
Corbin 17 30 20 16 83
Easley (73) – A. Preston 30, McGownes 25, Robinson 8, Ferguson 6, Fosetr 2, Crawford 2.
Corbin (83) – Maguet 20, Hill 18, Goins 17, Igo 16, Grubb 6, Farley 4, Waddle 2.