CORBIN — Using an aggressive zone in the half-court along with full-court pressure for key stretches of the game, the Corbin Redhounds forced Bell County into 27 turnovers on Saturday and held on late for a 56-48 win in the 13th Region semifinals.
“We knew we had to play with a lot of heart and a lot of effort because Bell has a big, strong team that’s going to challenge you in a lot of ways. Heart and courage has been kind of the motto we’ve been playing with and we did that tonight,” Corbin coach Tony Pietrowski said. “They’re young, they’re inexperienced, but they bought into the system and what we’re trying to do. They stepped up and made plays on the floor and at the foul line as well.”
Senior guard Kevin Goins led the Redhounds with 26 points while freshman Zach Maguet finished 14 and eighth-grader Andrew Taylor added seven.
The Bobcats were led by Tyler Potter with 16 points and Jake Patterson with 14 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore center Zach Partin, who had scored 20 points in Bell’s win over Corbin during the regular season, battled foul trouble the entire game and finished with nine points and six rebounds in 16 minutes.
“Corbin is well-coached and they did some things we weren’t expecting. We kind of thought they would chase Potter more than they did. Instead they extended their zone out and we didn’t do a good job of getting the ball where it needed to go,” Bobcat coach Lewis Morris said. “We didn’t play well. We never quit or anything, but Corbin was a little bit quicker than we were tonight and they got after the loose balls better than we did.”
Bell County jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the early going behind a 3 from Potter, two free throws from Patterson and a pair of inside baskets from Partin. But Partin picked up his second foul while going after a rebound less than three minutes in.
“I won’t mince words. He was a big key that we talked about doing some things to take away from him. I thought our kids did a heck of a job taking some of his tendencies away and then battling him on the glass,” Pietrowski said of Partin. “The kid is a heck of a player.”
Goins scored seven of his points in the first quarter and Trevor Hopper’s basket capped an 11-2 run that put the Redhounds up 15-11 with 2:00 to play in the first.
A free throw from Patterson and a 3 from Josh Asher made it 15-all after one period.
Patterson scored to open the second quarter, but Goins hit a 3 with 6:10 to play in the half to give Corbin the lead for good. Maguet scored seven of his points in the period, including a 3-pointer and then both ends of the bonus that stretched the lead to 29-20. It was 29-23 at the half.
The Bobcats got a 3 from Patterson to open the scoring in the third and Partin’s basket at the 3:34 mark brought Bell within 34-30.
Goins took a steal in for a layup and Partin was called for a charge at the other end — it was his fourth foul.
“He was in foul trouble the first quarter. As much as they were letting them bang, I don’t know but it seemed like they were quick to call them on him,” Morris said. “(Partin) is a big part of our success, he does a lot of rebounding for us and scores inside for us. He wasn’t out there very much and when he was out there he was timid because he didn’t want to pick up a foul. But that’s the way it goes.”
Bell got a basket from Chase Woolum, then senior Cody Ferguson came up with a steal and Potter sank a runner to make it 40-36 after three.
“Chase Woolum played this whole tournament with the worst sprained ankle I’ve ever seen. Not many kids would have been out on the floor. Tonight it must have slowed him down more than what it had been, I think the soreness got to him,” Morris added. “He was playing really well down the stretch (of the season) for us, too. He sprained in practice Monday and that just got us out of rhythm a little bit.
Patterson’s basket brought Bell within two early in the fourth and he drew a charge at the other end. Asher’s trey for the lead was off the mark and Goins beat the Bobcats down the court for a layup. He did it again after the next possession and converted a three-point play to push the lead to 45-38 with 6:31 to play.
Partin fouled out diving after a loose rebound at the 5:29 mark. Potter hit three 3-pointers over the next three minutes to pull the Bobcats within 51-47.
Taylor missed two free throws with 2:01 to play, but Potter’s shot to make it a one-possession game rattled out. Goins hit two free throws at the other end and the Redhounds would add three more free throws late as they went on to the eight-point win.
“They did what they had to. But I’m proud of my kids. We kept fighting and had an opportunity to cut it to two. If we had made that bucket I would have felt good about our chances. It just didn’t go in for us,” Morris said.
Corbin (22-10) advances to Monday’s championship game against Clay County.
“They’re obviously a very good basketball team, they’ve probably been top two (in the region) all year. We’ll have our hands full but we’ve overcome a lot throughout the year, why not do it one more time,” Pietrowski said.
Bell County ends the season with a record of 21-11. Saturday’s game was the final one for seniors Potter, Patterson, Asher, Collett and Ferguson.
“They’ve had a really good year. They won 21 games, won the district and made it to the semifinals of the region. The only way it could have got much better is if we would have won it,” Morris said. “I’m proud of them and they’re a great bunch of kids. Like I said before, their parents ought to be proud of them because they’re excellent students, they’re really good, disciplined kids. They’re all going to be very successful in life because they’re such hard workers.”
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Kevin Goins 10-19 4-5 26, Zach Maguet 3-5 7-9 14, Taylor Waddle 0-1 0-1 0, Joey Shelton 0-0 1-2 1, Andrew Taylor 3-7 1-5 7, Kenny Hopper 2-2 0-1 4, Trevor Browning 2-7 0-0 4, Conner Hopkins 0-1 0-0 0, Sam Taylor 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 20-42 13-24 56.
BELL COUNTY (21-11)
Chase Woolum 1-2 0-1 2, Tyler Potter 6-14 0-0 16, Zach Partin 3-4 3-4 9, Jake Patterson 4-7 5-8 14, Josh Asher 1-4 2-2 5, Ben Collett 1-2 0-1 2, Cody Ferguson 0-0 0-0 0, Donovan Napier 0-0 0-0 0, Trent Lefevers 0-1 0-0 0, Vic Morris 0-0 0-0 0, Ethan Gambrell 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Hunley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-34 10-16 48.
|3-point goals: Corbin 3-12 (Goins 2-6, Maguet 1-2, ATaylor 0-2, Browning 0-2), Bell County 6-15 (Potter 4-9, Asher 1-1, Patterson 1-3, Woolum 0-1, Lefevers 0-1). Rebounds: Corbin 25 (Shelton 7), Bell County 21 (Patterson 9, Partin 6). Assists: Corbin 4, Bell County 11 (Patterson 5, Potter 4). Turnovers: Corbin 19, Bell County 27. Total fouls: Corbin 17, Bell County 25. Fouled out: Bell County (Partin, Potter, Ferguson).|