Tigers rally past PHS
Jay Compton Sports Editor
Barbourville closed the third quarter with a 13-2 run to take their first lead of the game and went on to a 69-63 win over the Pineville Mountain Lions in 51st District basketball on Friday.
“They started hitting some shots there at the end of the third quarter and they made some big plays,” Pineville coach J.D. Strange said. “They had the momentum and we couldn’t stop their run.”
Alexander Phipps started and closed that pivotal run with 3-pointers — he hit five from long range on the way to 20 points in the game. Jason Mills, who led the Tigers with 24 points, added two baskets during the spurt and Brentley Perry also hit a trey.
Junior guard Cody Collett had the hot hand early for the Mountain Lions. He tied a school record with six 3-pointers in the first quarter and put up 20 of his game-high 30 points in the opening period as Pineville built a 26-18 lead after one.
“He was on fire. Cody is obviously a big scorer for us and everybody knows it that plays us. Barbourville knows it, too, and still he hit his first six threes,” Strange said. “Cody is just a good basketball player. I’ve got others that can play, too, we’ve just got to get them contributing more and I think they will.”
Two baskets from Mills and one from Wade Liford brought Barbourville within 27-26 near the midway point of the second quarter.
Senior forward Conner Ford scored seven points and senior center Dalton Ledbetter added a bucket during a 9-0 run. Ford converted a three-point play with 36 seconds remaining in the first half to put the Lions up 36-26 and it was 36-29 at the break.
A basket from Ledbetter and two free throws from Collett extended the lead to 40-29 early in the third quarter and a little jumper from Tucker Woolum had Pineville leading 44-35 with 4:22 to play in the period.
The Lions turned the ball over four times over the final 3:30 of the quarter as Barbourville surged into the lead. A 3 from Phipps put the Tigers on top 48-46 after three quarters.
“We started out playing extremely well, executing and everything. We say there are three things we want to do: take care of the ball, do a good job rebounding and execute offensively. The first half we did two of those things well, but Barbourville got some second chance points that kept them in the game,” said Strange. “They made some adjustments, we gave up a lot of hi-low post action and never adjusted to it well. Then we hit a stretch where the turnovers became our nemesis.”
Mills scored after grabbing an offensive rebound and Perry hit two free throws after coming away with a steal as the lead quickly grew to six. Another trey from Phipps made it 55-48 with 6:20 to go.
Pineville closed to within three points after a free throw from John Robbins, a steal and layup from Isaac Longworth and a 3 from Collett. It was 57-54 with 3:24 remaining.
Barbourville got baskets from Perry, Mills and Phipps, who converted a three-point play at the 1:53 mark that pushed the lead to ten and the Tigers held on down the stretch to win it by six.
Ford finished with 13 points and ten rebounds while Ledbetter added 11 points in the game for the Lions.
“I thought the kids played really hard and their approach to the game was great. We’ve got another 14 or so games to play and we’ll just keep working and we’ll be patiently persistent,” Strange said.
Barbourville (11-5, 2-1 in district play) will be the number two seed for the 51st District Tournament, the Tigers play at Oneida Baptist on Friday. Pineville (6-8, 1-2) will be the three seed, the Lions play at Jackson County on Tuesday.
“We’ll play Barbourville in the first game of the district. This shows us where we are with them today and where we need to be in a matter of seven weeks,” Strange added.
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BARBOURVILLE (69) — Brentley Perry 11, Tanner Moore 7, Jason Mills 24, Alexander Phipps 20, Brandon Gray 0, Wade Liford 4, Tate Carter 3, Collin Grubb 0.
PINEVILLE (63) — Cody Collett 30, Isaac Longworth 4, Dalton Ledbetter 11, Conner Ford 13, John Robbins 3, Tucker Woolum 2, Will Adams 0, John Sproles 0, Keith Sexton 0.
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