Late run ends Jackets’ title hopes

Published 10:30 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Middlesboro had a trip to the 13th Region All A championship in their sights Wednesday evening. The Yellow Jackets held a one-point lead early in the fourth after a competitive game against Williamsburg.

Unforced turnovers would be the demise of Middlesboro as the visiting Jackets capitalized and used a 12-4 run down the stretch to pull away for a 43-36 victory. The loss eliminates Middlesboro from the All A tournament.

“We lost our composure the whole game. We just didn’t move. I mean I don’t know what it was,” said Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris. “Give Williamsburg credit. We had so many unforced turnovers. Just throwing it away (and) dribbling off our feet. We had no movement. It looked like they played scared to me.

“For whatever reason, that’s what it looked like to me — scared or not focused. You’re playing in the All A semifinals. You got two games. You would think you would be more focused than that. I probably did a poor job coaching, and they did a poor job playing. We didn’t do anything very good tonight. It was ugly both ways.”

Jabari Kyle was the only Jacket to finish in double digits. The sophomore ended with a game-high 22 points while going 7-for-8 from the charity stripe. Andrew Padgett chipped in six points off the bench.

Slaht Hunter led Williamsburg with 18 points with seven coming in the fourth-quarter run that helped the visiting Jackets pull away for the win. Caleb Rose was one-point shy of reaching double figures scoring nine points.

Williamsburg held a slight 12-11 lead after the first. The visiting Jackets pulled away to an 18-13 lead after a 6-2 run that was capped off by a Jeremie Purdie floater. The two teams swapped free throws that allowed Williamsburg to grab a 20-14 lead with 2:38 remaining in the half.

A hard foul that sent TJ Patterson into the stands seemed to fire up Middlesboro a bit with Kyle hitting a pair of free throws off the intentional foul. The sophomore then hit a floater to narrow the deficit to 20-18.

Rose hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Williamsburg a 22-18 lead going into the half.

The Yellow Jackets started the third quarter off strong with back-to-back baskets from Kyle and Mykel Griffin to tie the game at 22-22. Hunter responded with an old-fashion three-point play and a floater to return the lead to Williamsburg, 27-22, forcing Middlesboro to take a timeout.

Kyle answered the flurry with three straight baskets to give Middlesboro a 28-27 lead. The teams traded baskets down the stretch with Hunter hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the visiting Jackets a 31-30 lead heading into the fourth.

Middlesboro opened the final period with a Padgett put-back to give the Jackets a one-point lead, 32-31. From there, it was all Williamsburg. The visiting Jackets used a 12-4 run to claim a seven-point victory.

Up Next

Middlesboro (8-9) is slated for a road game against Pineville (4-12) on Friday.

Williamsburg (8-9) advances to the 13th Region All A championship Thursday against Lynn Camp (13-1).

———

Williamsburg 43, Middlesboro 36

WILLIAMSBURG (8-9)

Toby Cunningham 2 0-1 4, Caleb Rose 2 5-8 9, Jeremie Purdie 2 2-5 6, Stohn Hunter 3 0-0 6, Slaht Hunter 6 3-4 18. Totals: 15 10-18 43.

MIDDLESBORO (8-9)

Drake Thomas 1 0-1 2, Jabari Kyle 7 7-8 22, TJ Patterson 0 0-0 0, Christian Hubbard 0 0-0 0, Mykel Griffin 2 0-1 4, Jordan Davis 1 0-0 2, Andrew Padgett 3 0-0 6. Totals: 14 7-10 36.

Williamsburg 12 10 9 12 — 43

Middlesboro 11 7 12 6 — 36

3-point goals: Williamsburg 3 (Sl. Hunter 3), Middlesboro 1 (Kyle 1).

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