HINDMAN — Tournament host Knott Central had their way with the Middlesboro Yellow Jackets on Wednesday at the WYMT Mountain Classic. The Patriots jumped out to a big early lead and rolled to a 71-25 win.
The Jackets turned the ball over on four of their first six possessions and Knott got two 3s from Camron Justice and one from Chance Cornett. A tip in by Keegan Sammons made the score 11-0 by the 5:40 mark of the first quarter.
Senior center Tyler Prater got Middlesboro on the board with a free throw, but baskets by Evan Hall and Sammons pushed the lead to 15-1.
Major Edwards scored two baskets inside for the Jackets, but Simon Christon added a trey and Justice scored again to give the Patriots a 26-5 lead after one period.
Tyshon Kincaide gave the Jackets a bit of a spark in the second quarter, the senior came off the bench to score six points in the period. His driving layup and a 3-pointer from Donnie Foister made it 28-10, but Hall dunked twice as the lead grew to 34-10 and the rout was on.
“They hit a few threes to start the game and then when they had that big dunk, I felt like our team got awestruck. We sort of got big-eyed and got nervous,” Middlesboro coach Russell Thompson said. “We had some big guys that did not have good games and just didn’t produce. It caught us from the get-go.”
Knott led 43-15 at the half and 63-22 after three quarters.
Justice led the Patriots with 16 points while Hall finished with 14 and Cornett 13.
Prater and Edwards scored seven points each to lead Middlesboro. Kincaide finished with six and Foister five.
“I was proud of Major Edwards, Tyler Prater and Tyshon Kincaide. I felt like they stepped up and did a good job throughout the game,” Thompson added.
Knott Central (11-2) advances to play Hazard in Friday’s late semifinal.
Middlesboro (3-10) will play Jackson County in a consolation game on Friday.
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MIDDLESBORO (25) — Major Edwards 7, Austin Poindexter 0, Tyler Prater 7, Donnie Foister 5, Brandon Hale 0, Tyshon Kincaide 6, Justin Miracle 0, Abhishek Singh 0, Matt Mike 0, Cody Smith 0.
KNOTT CENTRAL (71) — Camron Justice 16, Keegan Samons 6, Evan Hall 14, Chance Cornett 13, Simon Christon 7, Cheyne Miller 3, Clay Nichols 4, Dalton Cornett 2, Braxton Hayes 2, Skyler Taylor 2, Zac Johnson 2, Caleb Trent 0, Landon Noble 0.