Jackets make it 5 in a row

Published 10:00 pm Friday, December 22, 2017

The Middlesboro boys basketball team continues to roll in the early portion of the season as they added another win on Friday against Oneida, Tennessee as part of the J. Frank White Classic.

The Yellow Jackets were effective throughout the game on both sides of the ball on their way to a 53-40 victory over the Indians. The win is Middlesboro’s fifth straight with all but one coming by double digits.

“I thought we played pretty consistent. This was a different type team. We’ve been playing a lot of teams that’s been three-point shooting teams. We came out tonight and they had several strong kids inside, and it took us a little bit to adjust,” said Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris. “We talked about it before coming over here, but it took a quarter or so before we started keeping the ball out of that post area.

“For the most part, I thought they were disciplined on offense until the last two minutes. We had a lead and we kind of freaked out for about two possessions and had to call time out to cool things down. I thought they did a pretty good job though for the game.”

Jabari Kyle, Mykel Griffin and Drake Thomas each ended the game in double figures. Kyle paced the team with 17 points while knocking down 42.9 percent of his shots. He also went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

Griffin and Thomas both finished with 12 points apiece. Thomas finished shooting a team-best 75 percent from the field. Griffin and TJ Patterson led the team in rebounds with five apiece.

On the other end of the floor, Zach Kazee put up a team-high 15 points. Dalton Yancy chipped in nine points off the bench.

Middlesboro held a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer by Kolby Morgan cut the lead to 37-31. The Jackets responded with a 6-0 run that was capped by back-to-back baskets by Griffin to increase the lead to 43-31.

Middlesboro began to slow the pace at that point with Oneida reluctant to come up to the top of the key to guard.

“We had a 12-point lead and they weren’t coming out. We don’t need any more points. We did a pretty good job of taking care of the ball there. When (Oneida) did come out, they had to start fouling,” said Morris about slowing the pace.

Thomas added to the lead with a pair of free throws with 2:23 remaining on the clock to increase the lead to 45-31.

The Indians made things interesting midway through the quarter after going on a 7-0 run that cut the lead to seven, 45-38. A two-point basket by Nate Bowling narrowed the deficit to 46-40.

That was as close as Oneida would get as Middlesboro hit their free throws down the stretch to claim the 13-point victory.

Up Next

Middlesboro (6-3) will enjoy the Christmas holiday over the next few days. They return to action on Dec. 28 when they travel to Leslie County to compete in the Hyden Bank Christmas Tournament.

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Middlesboro 53, Oneida 40

MIDDLESBORO (6-3)

Jabari Kyle 6 4-4 17, Christian Hubbard 1 4-6 7, Drake Thomas 3 5-6 12, TJ Patterson 0 0-0 0, Andrew Padgett 0 0-0 0, Mykel Griffin 5 1-2 12, Steven Poore 1 0-0 3, Jordan Davis 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 14-18 53.

ONEIDA

Dante West 1 2-2 4, Chancery Botts 0 0-0 0, Zach Kazee 6 3-4 15, Elijah West 1 0-1 2, Logan Stephens 0 0-0 0, Nate Bowling 3 0-0 7, Kolby Morgan 1 0-0 3, Dalton Yancy 4 1-2 9. Totals: 16 6-9 40.

Middlesboro 15 9 13 16 — 53

Oneida 10 9 9 12 — 40

3-point goals: Middlesboro 5 (Kyle 1, Hubbard 1, Thomas 1, Griffin 1, Poore 1), Oneida 2 (Bowling 1, Morgan 1).

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN