Jackets earn 49-39 victory

Published 2:30 pm Sunday, January 21, 2018

Entering Friday’s road game against Pineville, Middlesboro was looking to rebound from a disappointing showing in the semifinals of the 13th Region All A Classic. The Yellow Jackets did just that earning a wire-to-wire 49-39 victory over the Mountain Lions.

A strong showing in the first half allowed Middlesboro to gain a nine-point lead heading into halftime. The Jackets never surrendered the lead during the game with Pineville tying it only once.

“(Pineville) was in a zone, and we penetrated and got some good shots. That always helps — if you’re making shots ,” said Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris. “I thought the second half we rebounded the ball better. We’re still trying to find some stuff. We got to play some of the younger kids, and some of the younger kids came in and did a good job.

“We just got to get where we can execute when the games are tight and against pressure. At times we do OK and at times it’s like we go blank. We’ll keep working at it. We made some shots, and Pineville missed some easy ones. It was good for us tonight. It was a good win for them.”

Drake Thomas paced Middlesboro offensively with 17 points while going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Mykel Griffin added 14 points after scoring five baskets from the field. Jabari Kyle chipped in seven points.

It was an off shooting night for Pineville with the team hitting only 29.4 percent of their shots from the field. Clay Goodin led the team in scoring with 10 points. Ben Goodin added eight points, and Josh Lawson finished the game with six.

Reed Baker and Brendan King tied for a team-high five rebounds on the night.

“We came out flat and didn’t play well. I’d like to give Middlesboro some credit for that,” said Pineville coach JD Strange. “We dug ourselves a hole early. We’ve done that quite a bit this year. We go back to trying to get some consistency. Middlesboro did a good job keying on some people that thought they needed to.

“We were glad to see some of our kids come off the bench with some effort. They picked it up. I felt like they got us back in it. The only thing is we were down by too much to overcome. I thought we fought hard and just come up short. Hopefully we can keep working at it and get better.”

In what was a low scoring first quarter, Middlesboro grabbed a 4-2 lead with a jumper by Kyle. A 3-pointer by Thomas increased the Jacket lead to 7-2.

A layup from Ben Goodin cut the deficit to three before a free throw by Clay Goodin narrowed the margins to 7-5. The Jackets ended the first with a pair of baskets from Kyle and Jordan Davis to take an 11-5 lead into the second quarter.

Middlesboro’s lead grew to as much as 14 in the second. After a putback basket by King, the Jackets went on a 10-0 run to increase their lead to 14. Thomas started and ended the run with a 3-pointer with the last giving Middlesboro a 21-7 lead.

A jumper by Clay Goodin ended the run and cut the deficit to 21-9. A pair of free throws from Griffin returned the lead to 14.

The two teams swapped baskets in the final three minutes of the half with consecutive baskets from Baker and Lawson narrowing the halftime deficit to 27-18.

A low scoring third quarter favored Pineville with a 5-0 run cutting the deficit to 31-25 with 4:02 remaining in the period. Ben Goodin scored each point during that stretch.

A jumper by Kyle and a free throw from TJ Patterson increased the Middlesboro lead to nine before a Matt Golden basket cut the deficit to 34-27 heading into the final quarter.

The Jackets’ lead grew to as much as 14 in the fourth quarter before baskets from King and Clay Goodin narrowed the deficit to 44-34 with less than three minutes to go in the game.

The two teams drew even down the stretch with Middlesboro walking away with a 10-point victory.

Up Next

Middlesboro (9-9) returns to action at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday when they host Harlan (1-12).

Pineville (4-13) will travel to Owsley County (8-9) at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

———

Middlesboro 49, Pineville 39

MIDDLESBORO (9-9)

Jabari Kyle 3 1-2 7, Christian Hubbard 2 0-0 4, Drake Thomas 4 6-6 17, TJ Patterson 1 1-2 3, Mykel Griffin 5 4-5 14, Jordan Davis 2 0-1 4. Totals: 17 12-16 49.

PINEVILLE (4-13)

Clay Goodin 4 1-2 10, Josh Lawson 1 4-5 6, Braxton Caldwell 0 0-0 0, Ben Goodin 3 2-4 8, Landon Couch 2 0-2 4, Brendan King 2 1-2 5, Matt Golden 1 0-0 2, Reed Baker 2 0-0 4.

Middlesboro 11 16 7 15 — 49

Pineville 5 13 9 12 — 39

3-point goals: Middlesboro 3 (Thomas 3), Pineville 1 (C. Goodin 1).

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