Middlesboro surrenders lead late, falls to Berea

Published 10:18 am Friday, January 26, 2018

For about 26 minutes, Middlesboro was either tied or holding a lead over Berea. The Yellow Jackets saw that streak snapped with 2:14 remaining in the game when the Pirates took the lead for the first time off an old-fashion three-point play.

From there, Berea blitzed the Jackets going on an 11-6 run to claim a 60-49 victory over Middlesboro.

The loss gives the Jackets their second consecutive defeat of the week after also losing to Harlan on Tuesday. The Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak with the win.

Drake Thomas led Middlesboro with 22 points after hitting nine baskets from the field. Twelve of his points came from three-point range. Mykel Griffin chipped in 12 points on the night, while Jabari Kyle and Christian Hubbard were limited to single digits.

Four players from Berea ended the game in double figures. David Gadd paced the Pirates with 16 points. Tristan Duckworth tallied 15 points, Zane Brown scored 12 and Whaylen Connor finished with 11.

Middlesboro started fast out of the gate with an 8-2 run that saw three different Jackets score baskets from the field. The run was capped with Kyle hitting a pair of free throws after Tylen Hall was called for a technical foul.

Middlesboro’s lead grew to 13-2 after a Griffin hook shot and a 3-pointer by Thomas. The Pirates ended the first on a 6-0 run to narrow the deficit to 13-8.

The two teams traded baskets early in the second with a Connor free throw cutting the lead to 19-16 with 1:55 remaining in the half. A 3-pointer by Steven Poore at the end of the period gave the Jackets a 25-18 lead at halftime.

Middlesboro continued having trouble separating themselves from Berea in the third. After falling behind 31-22, the Pirates went on a 7-0 run with a Duckworth free throw narrowing the margins to 31-29 with 2:13 remaining.

A catch-and-shoot 3-pointer by Drake increased the lead to five before a basket from Connor narrowed the deficit back to three, 34-31. A backdoor screen created an easy layup for Gadd at the buzzer to cut the Jacket lead to 36-33 heading into the final frame.

Middlesboro was able to grow their lead to as much as eight, 43-35, in the fourth quarter after a Thomas 3-pointer before Berea started making their move. Back-to-back layups cut the lead to three, 43-41, with just over three minutes to play.

A free throw from TJ Patterson gave the Jackets a three-point advantage before a 3-pointer by Gadd tied the game at 44-44. A Patterson free throw with 2:58 remaining gave Middlesboro the lead temporarily before an old-fashion three-point play by Gadd gave the Pirates their first lead of the game, 47-45, with 2:14 to play.

Berea never surrendered the lead and ended the night with an 11-6 run to secure the 11-point victory.

Up Next

Middlesboro (9-11) will host Burgin (8-10) at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Berea (10-8) will battle Nicholas County (6-9) on Saturday in the Bluegrass Conference Challenge.

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Berea 60, Middlesboro 49

BEREA (10-8)

Tristan Duckworth 5 4-5 15, David Gadd 6 3-3 16, Zane Brown 6 0-2 12, Whaylen Connor 5 1-2 11, Tylen Hall 1 2-2 4, Elliott Sandberg 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 10-14 60.

MIDDLESBORO (9-11)

Jabari Kyle 1 3-4 5, Christian Hubbard 0 2-2 2, Drake Thomas 9 0-0 22, TJ Patterson 0 2-6 2, Mykel Griffin 6 0-0 12, Steven Poore 2 0-0 5, Taylor McClelland 0 1-2 1. Totals: 18 8-14 49.

Berea 8 10 15 27 — 60

Middlesboro 13 12 11 13 — 49

3-point goals: Berea 2 (Duckworth 1, Gadd 1), Middlesboro 5 (Thomas 4, Poore 1).

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