MANCHESTER — Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds ran into a buzz saw during their season-opener against 13th Region co-favorite Clay County.
The Tigers opened up a 22-10 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they handed the Redhounds a 91-74 loss on Tuesday.
Clay County led by as many as 24 points in the game while five of its players finished in double figures in scoring.
Connor Farmer led the way with 23 points while Jacob Curry added 22 points. Evan Langdon (17 points), Connor Robinson (13) and Raven Abner (10) followed.
The Tigers hit 39-of-65 shot attempts including a 6-of-17 effort from 3-point range.
“I was disappointed that we came out and did the exact opposite of some things we talked about,” Pietrowski said. “We were a little bit rushed offensively, and we didn’t rebound the ball well at all, and then we played poor transition defense. When you have kids that’s been together as long as they have, they’re going to expose you — they did that in the first half.”
Corbin never found rhythm shooting the ball throughout the first half which led to a 47-25 deficit at halftime.
The Redhounds (0-1) did manage to cut into Clay County’s lead with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Cole Hicks and Josh Hibbits cut Corbin’s deficit to 64-50, but the Tigers pushed their lead back to 22 points in the fourth quarter before wrapping up the 17-point win.
The Redhounds shot 27-of-53 from the floor, including a 10-of-22 effort from behind the arc. Corbin was outrebounded 34-24 and turned the ball over 15 times.
Matthew Taylor and Hibbits each led Corbin in scoring with 19 points apiece.
Despite the loss, Pietrowski likes the pieces he has in place with his team.
“As bad as we looked today, I really feel that we have a lot of upside,” he said. “There are a lot of kids that haven’t been to many practices because they were with football. Our best kids are ahead of us. I believe this group will come in and practice really hard. There is a big upside, and hopefully we can reach it.”
The Redhounds will participate in North Laurel’s Legacy Nissan Classic on Saturday with a game against Texas’ Montwood High School. It is scheduled for a 1:45 p.m. tip-off.