Bell wins district clash with MHS

Published 6:55 pm Saturday, February 3, 2018

Middlesboro had more on the line than simply a rivalry during Friday’s clash with Bell County. A win over the Bobcats would have set the Jackets up with a decent chance at the No. 3 seed in the district tournament in a few weeks.

The Jackets held the lead by one after the first quarter and never trailed by double digits through three quarters. The game remained scrappy throughout before a 6-0 run at the end of the fourth allowed Bell County to leave with a 48-38 victory.

“(We) had trouble scoring. Missed some easy ones. It is what it is,” said Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris. “The last two games, at least they are competing. They’re battling. It’s hard to go into a game when you’ve been at home in the bed sick with the flu. The ones that’s been here this last couple of weeks, they’re working hard. They’re attitudes are good, and as long as they do that they’re going to get better.

“We’re limited now hitting shots when teams are packing in. We’re down four late, and they go to a little zone. We can’t hold it. If we got the lead, we’re holding it. Three straight possessions we get nothing, and they’re just in a little bitty zone. Most times you come down (and) they’re in a zone, you run a little set or something and get an easy shot. You get the shot you got to knock it down, (and) we just didn’t do that.”

With the loss, Middlesboro would need Bell County to defeat Harlan in order to force a tie at the bottom of the district. The Bobcats will be the No. 2 seed no matter the outcome of their game against the Dragons on Tuesday.

Christian Hubbard paced Middlesboro during the game with 16 points while going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. TJ Patterson added seven points, while Drake Thomas and Mykel Griffin chipped in four points apiece.

Sawyer Brock was the only Bobcat to finish in double figures with 11 points. Tyler Partin led the team with five rebounds while also tallying nine points on the night. Trey Brock, Colby Frazier and Ryan Lambdin each scored seven points during the game.

“It’s that time of the year. Everybody is playing for a chance to go to the region. All the games now, especially district games, are amplified because you are playing for seeds,” said Bell County coach Frankie Smith. “I knew coming in tonight Middlesboro would have their A-game because of the upset by Harlan the other day.”

Middlesboro looked to slow the pace early in the game with a total of 13 points being scored in the opening quarter. A 3-pointer by Patterson gave the Jackets a 3-0 lead to start the game. Trey Brock answered with a three of his own to knot the score at 3-3.

Free throws from Patterson and a jumper by Steven Poore gave the Jackets a 7-3 lead before a Partin 3-pointer cut the lead to one, 7-6, at the end of the first.

The two teams traded baskets for the majority of the second before Bell went on a 6-0 run midway through the frame. A pair of free throws from Partin gave the Bobcats a 22-15 lead with 1:58 remaining in the half.

Free throws from Patterson cut the lead to 22-17 heading into halftime.

The Bell County lead grew to as much as nine after a 3-pointer from Partin gave the Bobcats a 32-23 lead with just under three minutes remaining in the third. Coming out of a timeout, Middlesboro went on a 9-0 run.

A free throw by Andrew Padgett sparked the run while a 3-pointer by Hubbard narrowed the deficit to 34-30 heading into the final quarter.

Bell County opened the fourth with a 5-0 run that extended their lead back to nine, 39-30, with 4:11 to play. Free throws from Hubbard narrowed the lead temporarily before a layup by Trey Brock and a free throw from Partin pushed the lead to 10.

A pair of free throws from Thomas brought the Jackets to within single digits, 42-34, with 2:20 remaining. The Bobcats went on a 6-0 run after that to increase their lead to 48-34.

Middlesboro ended the game with a pair of free throws and a layup from Hubbard, but Bell County claimed the 10-point victory.

Up Next

Bell County (16-5) will square off against Harlan (3-14) at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in a district clash.

Middlesboro (10-13) travels to Claiborne, Tennessee at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.

———

Bell County 48, Middlesboro 38

BELL COUNT Y (15-5)

Sawyer Brock 3 5-8 11, Kyle Burnett 1 0-0 2, Tyler Partin 2 3-4 9, Trey Brock 3 0-0 7, Colby Frazier 1 4-4 7, Issac Collett 1 2-2 5, Ryan Lambdin 2 2-4 7. Totals: 13 16-22 48.

MIDDLESBORO (10-13)

Jordan Davis 0 0-0 0, Christian Hubbard 4 6-6 16, TJ Patterson 1 4-4 7, Mykel Griffin 2 0-0 4, Steven Poore 1 0-0 2, Drake Thomas 1 2-2 4, Jabari Kyle 1 0-2 3, Andrew Padgett 0 2-4 2. Totals: 10 14-18 38.

Bell County 6 16 12 14 — 48

Middlesboro 7 10 13 8 — 38

3-point goals: Bell County 6 (Partin 2, Collett 1, Lambdin 1, T. Brock 1, Frazier 1). Middlesboro 4 (Hubbard 2, Patterson 1, Kyle 1).

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