Yellow Jackets rout Jenkins
Published 2:43 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Middlesboro’s strong start to the season continued on Monday when the Jackets hosted Jenkins. After a slow start in the first quarter, Middlesboro overpowered the Cavaliers en route to a 72-37 victory.
For the first time since the 2012-13 season, the Jackets have strung together four wins in a row. During the stretch, Middlesboro has defeated Red Bird; Lee, Virginia; Claiborne; and Jenkins. A seven-point victory over the Generals was the only win by single digits.
On Monday, the Jackets pulled away by double digits in the second quarter and never looked back outscoring the Cavaliers 43-20 in the second half.
With that said, Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris made it clear that he expects more from his team.
“I didn’t think we played well at all. We missed probably 20-some free throws. (We) didn’t box out all night. (We) just went through the motions,” said Morris. “We’re not good enough to do that. They’ve got to come ready to play every night whether it’s a big game or whether it’s an out-of-region game.
“They’ve got to prepare themselves to come in here and execute and be ready to defend and do the little things it takes to win. I just didn’t think we were very sharp tonight. I thought we looked bad at times really. They got out of here with a win, so that’s a good thing. We’ve got a lot of work to do (and) a long way to go.”
Jabari Kyle and Christian Hubbard led the way combining for 35 points. Kyle finished the night with a game-high 18 points while shooting 46.7 percent from the field. Hubbard scored 17 points while going a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range.
TJ Patterson chipped in six points to go along with his team-high seven rebounds. Drake Thomas ended the game with nine points.
Payton Rose paced Jenkins with a team-high 12 points. Kobe Brown finished with six points.
Middlesboro held a slim 12-9 lead at the end of the first. A free throw by Thomas and a floater by Kyle increased the lead to 15-9 early in the second. A Kyle jumper wedged between a basket from John Fleming and free throws by Joshua Wright brought the score to 17-13 with 5:14 remaining in the half.
The two teams went back-and-forth until a 3-pointer by Kyle and a layup by Thomas increased the lead to nine, 24-15. A free throw by Wright was quickly followed by a pull-up jumper from Thomas that gave the Jackets a 26-16 lead over midway through the second.
A free throw by Ethan Cummings was quickly negated by a free throw by Kyle and a putback basket Patterson at the buzzer that gave Middlesboro a 29-17 lead heading into halftime.
The Jackets blew the game open in the third quarter holding Jenkins to six points. A 7-0 run midway through the third gave Middlesboro a 41-19 lead. Hubbard capped the run with a 3-pointer.
Hubbard hit another 3-pointer right before the buzzer sounded to cap a 7-2 run down the stretch to give the Jackets a 48-23 lead heading into the fourth.
Middlesboro outscored the Cavaliers 24-14 in the final quarter to earn the 35-point victory.
Middlesboro (5-3) returns to action on Friday when they travel to Harrogate, Tennessee to play Oneida, Tennessee at 1:30 p.m. at the J. Frank White Classic.
Jenkins (0-10) played Pike County Central (7-1) on Tuesday.
Middlesboro 72, Jenkins 37
Jabari Kyle 7 3-6 18, Christian Hubbard 6 1-3 17, Drake Thomas 4 1-4 9, TJ Patterson 3 0-3 6, Andrew Padgett 3 0-0 6, Steven Poore 2 2-2 6, Taylor McClelland 0 1-2 1, Cameron May 0 1-2 1, Ethan Barton 1 0-0 2, Eric Helton 1 1-3 4, Bryson Barnard 1 0-0 2. Totals: 28 10-25 72.
Kobe Brown 3 0-0 6, Payton Rose 4 2-7 12, Ethan Cummings 0 4-6 4, John Fleming 2 0-0 4, Chad Fleming 1 3-3 5, Joshua Wright 3-4 3, Sam Collier 1 0-0 2, Sean McCall 0 1-2 1. Totals: 11 13-22 37.
Middlesboro 12 17 19 24 — 72
Jenkins 9 8 6 14 — 37
3-point goals: Middlesboro 6 (Hubbard 4, Kyle 1, Helton 1), Jenkins 2 (Rose 2).
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN