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Bobcats survive scare at Pineville

There may have been no better way to end the regular season than the game between Pineville and Bell on Friday. With both sides of the crowd into it, the two teams needed extra time to decide a winner.

Down by three with 6.1 seconds remaining in the fourth, Bell County inbounded the basketball. Dawson Atkins found himself with the ball as time began to expire. With nowhere to pass it, the junior — who has made only four 3-pointers all year — took the shot with confidence and drained it as time as expired to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, it was Pineville’s turn to try and make some magic happen. With Pineville down by three, the Bobcats threw the ball away on the inbound with 0.3 seconds remaining. Clay Goodin got a good look on the ensuing possession and made the shot, but the clock expired before the ball left his hand delivering Pineville a 53-50 loss to Bell County.

“I was tremendously proud of our kids. I thought they fought the entire time and played with as much purpose and determination as we’ve seen them all year,” said Pineville coach JD Strange. “It ends our regular season, and it was a heck of a way to end it. We seen some things that we can do that we haven’t done all year.

“It was a heck of a ball game tonight. It was a great crowd, great fans’ game. We get the one-point win it’s jubilation and everybody’s thrilled to death, but instead they got the basket. I’m really proud of our kids.”

Bell County was paced by the efforts of Tyler Partin, who finished with a game-leading 19 points on seven field goals. Ryan Lambin added 11 points, and Issac Collett chipped in four 3-pointers for 12 points off the bench.

“I ask my guys this all the time — what’s our identity. I’ll be honest with you. We’re not very good on defense, we’re not really good on offense, (and) we’re not great on pressing. One thing you can identify our team with is that we do play hard all the time,” said Bell County coach Frankie Smith. “We’ll make mistakes. There will be highs, there will be lows throughout the game, but we do play hard.

“Now for us to win the district, we’re going to have to play hard and also play good or we’re not going to be able to. We’ve got to add something to playing hard. Playing hard is fantastic, but we’ve got to pick up something. We’ve got to add something else to that before we have any chance to win the district.”

Josh Lawson ended his final game inside the Pineville gym with a team-high 14 points. Braxton Caldwell finished the night with 11 points, while Ben Goodin went 5-for-5 from the charity stripe on his way to nine points.

The game went into halftime knotted up at 20-20 after Atkins ended the second period with a pair of free throws.

A Ben Goodin basket early in the third gave Pineville a 22-20 lead. Moments later Partin connected on the put-back to tie the game at 22-all.

A Clay Goodin floater gave the Lions the lead temporarily before baskets from Sawyer Brock and Lambdin gave the Bobcats a 26-24 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the frame.

Ben Goodin converted the and-1 moments later to return the lead back to Pineville, 27-26.

The lead changed five more times over the next three minutes as the teams traded baskets. A 3-pointer by Collett gave Bell a 35-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Collett opened the period with a 3-pointer to give the Bobcats a five-point lead. A Clay Goodin 3-pointer cut the deficit to 38-36 with just under six minutes remaining. A pair of free throws and a dunk by Partin — surrounded by a free throw from Hayden Callebs — gave Bell a 42-37 lead.

A 3-pointer by Lawson quickly cut the lead to two, 42-40, on the ensuing possession. Pineville cut the lead to one, 44-43, with Lawson hitting another three after a Partin basket.

A Bell County turnover helped set up a chance for the Lions to take the lead. Partin fouled Lawson on the step-back 3-pointer and the senior guard hit two of the attempts to give Pineville a 45-44 lead with 23.4 seconds remaining.

Brock was fouled with 10.1 seconds and watched his attempt bounce off the rim. Pineville grabbed the board and Ben Goodin was fouled with 8.7 seconds remaining. He hit both attempts to give the Lions a 47-44 lead.

Pineville called a timeout with 6.1 seconds with Bell County inbounding the ball from the sideline. Atkins caught the inbound pass and hit the 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime, 47-47.

The overtime period was slow moving with Collett hitting a 3-pointer to open the period to give the Bobcats a 50-47 lead. Caldwell quickly answered with a three of his own to tie the game at 50-all.

Lambdin then answered with a 3-pointer to give Bell the three-point lead. Pineville used about two minutes looking for a shot before calling a timeout with 25.5 seconds remaining.

After the inbound pass, the Lions continued to struggle to find an open look before Caldwell took a desperation shot and watched the ball soar out of bounds with 0.3 seconds remaining.

Bell called a timeout after the play. On the inbound pass, Atkins threw the ball away giving Pineville a puncher’s chance to tie the game.

The Lions found Clay Goodin in the corner, and he hit the 3-pointer but the buzzer sounded before the ball left his hands — instantly turning Pineville’s jubilation into sadness.

Up Next

Bell County (17-10) will open the 52nd District Tournament against Harlan (5-18) in Middlesboro at 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

Pineville (5-21) will open the 51st District Tournament against Knox Central (24-5) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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Bell County 53, Pineville 50 OT

BELL COUNTY (17-10)

Sawyer Brock 3 0-2 6, Trey Brock 0 0-0 0, Kyle Burnett 0 0-0 0, Tyler Partin 7 4-6 19, Ryan Lambdin 5 0-1 11, Issac Collett 4 0-0 12, Dawson Atkins 5. Totals: 20 6-11 53.

PINEVILLE (5-21)

Clay Goodin 3 0-0 7, Hayden Callebs 2 1-2 6, Josh Lawson 5 2-3 14, Braxton Caldwell 3 2-2 11, Ben Goodin 2 5-5 9, Matt Golden 1 1-2 3. Totals: 16 11-14 50.

Bell County 8 12 15 12 6 — 53

Pineville 11 9 13 14 3 — 50

3-point goals: Bell County 3 (Partin 1, Lambdin 1, Atkins 1), Pineville 7 (Caldwell 3, Lawson 2, Callebs 1, C. Goodin 1).

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