Jackets advance to semifinals

Published 2:16 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Christian Hubbard started feeling it in the third quarter. With the Yellow Jackets trailing by three, the junior forward hit three 3-pointers in a row to put Middlesboro in front of Oneida Baptist Institute. The rest of the team fed off his energy and rallied to a 74-66 victory over the Mountaineers on Monday in the opening round of the 13th Region All A Classic.

“He stepped up and hit some open shots. That helps,” said Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris about Hubbard. “I thought they all took pretty good shots tonight.

“I thought we did alright. We’ve got to cut down on some mistakes, but playing a team like (OBI) I thought they did a pretty good job. You can’t do a whole lot when they’re running around and jumping you. When we settled down in the second half and just took our time and ran a few things (and) got some easy baskets, that helped us…extend our lead a little bit.”

Hubbard finished the game with 11 points. The Jackets were paced offensively by the big man down low, Mykel Griffin. The junior center ended the night with a team-high 19 points.

Drake Thomas wasn’t far behind scoring 16 points. Jabari Kyle chipped in 12 points.

OBI shot lights out from beyond the arc hitting 10 3-pointers during the game. The Mountaineers were led by Elijah Woods and Darrin Callaway. Woods hit five 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 23 points. Callaway ended the night with 16.

Clay Hembree added 13 points to the final score.

“OBI has got some good shooters. They take shots from long range. If you’re not on them when they catch, they’re going to have a chance to make them,” said Morris about the Mountaineers. “They hit several tonight.”

The game stayed tight throughout the first quarter with both teams scoring 14 points. OBI grabbed a 19-17 lead early in the second before Griffin scored a basket to knot the game at 19-19. The big man hit a 3-pointer to give Middlesboro a 22-19 lead.

The Jackets stayed out in front before a Tyler Preston 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Callaway gave OBI a 31-30 lead with 2:48 remaining in the half. The Mountaineers capped the 9-0 run with a layup from Preston that gave OBI a 35-30 lead with 2:18 remaining in the half.

Middlesboro responded by ending the second with a 6-0 run. Kyle hit a layup at the buzzer to give the Jackets a 36-35 lead.

The Mountaineers started off hot in the third taking a 41-38 lead on a Hembree putback. Hubbard helped the Jackets regain the lead scoring nine straight points off 3-pointers to help Middlesboro grab a 47-41 lead with a little under four minutes to go in the third.

An old-fashion three-point play by Callaway cut the deficit to 47-45, but that would be the last points OBI scored in the quarter. The Jackets went on an 8-0 run that stretched across the final three minutes to take a 55-45 lead into the final period.

The Mountaineers were able to outscore Middlesboro 21-19 in the fourth period, but the Jackets advanced with an eight-point victory.

Up Next

Middlesboro (8-8) moves on to the semifinals of the 13th Region All A Classic and will square off against Williamsburg (7-9) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

OBI (5-7) will travel to Lee County (0-17) on Friday.

———

Middlesboro 74, Oneida Baptist 66

MIDDLESBORO (8-8)

Drake Thomas 6 3-5 16, Jabari Kyle 4 4-7 12, TJ Patterson 0 4-5 4, Christian Hubbard 3 2-3 11, Mykel Griffin 7 4-5 19, Jordan Davis 2 0-1 4, Steven Poore 3 0-0 7, Andrew Padgett 0 1-2 1. Totals: 25 18-28 74.

ONEIDA BAPTIST (5-7)

Sochi Onouha 2 0-0 6, Elijah Woods 7 4-5 23, Teni Onitiri 0 0-0 0, Clay Hembree 5 2-8 13, Darrin Callaway 3 7-7 16, Jindu Onouha 1 0-0 3, Tyler Preston 2 0-0 5. Totals: 21 14 20 66.

Middlesboro 14 22 19 19 — 74

Oneida Baptist 14 21 10 21 — 66

3-point goals: Middlesboro 6 (Hubbard 3, Griffin 1, Thomas 1, Poore 1), Oneida Baptist 10 (Woods 5, S. Onouha 2, Callaway 1, J. Onouha 1, Preston 1).

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