“Tyler’s shot has been rimming out on him, but he’s been right on. Him and Kyle both,” said Bell County coach Lewis Morris. “Both of them shot the ball well tonight. You’ve got to have that to score, especially against teams that are packing it in or playing zone. When we hit shots it opens a lot of stuff up for us that makes our offense go much better.”
Lee, a senior swingman, scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter as Bell shook off a mini run by the Tigers and pulled away to win by 16.
Potter, a sophomore shooting guard, hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored 11 of his 27 points in the period. The Bobcats opened up a 16-6 lead and were up 22-11 after one quarter.
“We rebounded the ball better than we have been and when you rebound, you can transition a little bit. We got some easy buckets early and we hit some shots,” Morris said.
Clay County got 10 first half points from Kody Reed and nine from fellow junior Stephon Lyttle, but Potter scored ten more points in the second quarter and Bell held a 39-31 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw the Tigers close the gap further as Lyttle scored four points, Reed hit three free throws and Tyler McGeorge added one.
“Again we had a lead — we had a lead both games against Harlan County — and we played like we were behind. They started again a little bit in that third quarter and we called time out and got into something to kind of slow us down,” Morris added. “Once we did that, we really executed well out of it and they had a hard time trying to trap us out of it.”
Bell sophomore Jake Patterson hit a 3 and scored six of his seven points in the quarter. Lee added three free throws and Potter drove inside for a basket as the Bobcats pushed their lead back out to 11 by the end of the period at 50-39.
Senior forward Zac Kemp provided a boost off the bench for Clay County in the fourth quarter with all six of his points. the Tigers got within eight, but Lee hit seven of nine free throws and scored those 13 points as Bell pulled away. Potter had two baskets and sophomore forward Jesse Greene added another as the Bobcats went on to the 70-54 win.
Lyttle led Clay with 17 points while Reed finished with 15.
“It’s January. This is a good win for us, but we understand that we’ve got to get a lot better,” Morris said. “Teams are going to have bad nights, you are going to have good nights. You’ve just got to stay focused and keep working in practice. I really liked the effort tonight, I thought we really played hard and didn’t back down. That was a plus for us.
“We’ve been preaching it and working on it, hopefully we can get a lot better at it. We’ve got three weeks left and hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be a lot stronger than what we are now.”
Clay County (15-8) travels to Perry Central on Friday. Bell County (16-6) returns to action Thursday at Corbin.
— — —
Clay County 12 19 8 15 — 54
Bell County 22 17 11 20 — 70
CLAY COUNTY (54): Stephon Lyttle 17, Kody Reed 15, Zac Kemp 6, Tyler McDaniel 5, Zach McGeorge 5, Steven Wagers 3, Travis Smith 2, Brandon Word 1, Jarrod Rice 0, Jordan White 0.
BELL COUNTY (70): Kyle Lee 28, Tyler Potter 27, Jake Patterson 7, Jesse Greene 5, Ryan Cox 2, Tanner Lefevers 1, Josh Asher 0, Lake Slusher 0, Ben Collett 0.