Red Bird challenges Middlesboro

Published 4:20 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Playing six games in the month of February thus far, the Middlesboro Yellow Jackets were tested at home against Red Bird on Monday. Led by Jabari Kyle with 27 and Scott Overbay with 17, it took all four quarters for Middlesboro to put Red Bird away, posting a 75-54 victory.

“It was a sloppy game,” said Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris. “We played a lot better in the second half of the game, but getting there was sloppy. We’re thankful we pulled out the win. Credit Red Bird for playing an exceptional game.”

A big first half effort from Max Kitoko of Red Bird helped keep the Cardinals in the game. Kitoko totaled 17 points in the first half. Both offenses had a hard time finding production in the first quarter, with each team totaling 10 points apiece.

Both offenses picked things up in the second quarter, with Red Bird edging Middlesboro 19-17 in the period to take a 29-27 lead into the half.

Kitoko’s foul trouble caught up with him in the second half, as he fouled out when called for a three-point shooting foul on Kyle at the end of the third quarter. Kyle connected on all three free throws giving the Yellow Jackets a 47-43 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Yellow Jacket defense tightened up in the final quarter holding Red Bird to only 11 points. The Middlesboro offense caught fire in the final frame with the team scoring 28 points to secure the 21-point victory.

“We’ve played a lot of basketball so far this month,” said Morris. “I don’t know if we got tired, or what, but there was a lack of intensity for the whole game. I’m glad we came out and played better in the second half, but we have to get off to a better start. We’ve still got a few games before districts get here, and hopefully we can clean up a few of the smaller things that we haven’t been doing so great at lately.”

Middlesboro is back in action on Friday against Lynn Camp at home. Red Bird faced off against Pineville on Tuesday.

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Middlesboro (15-12) (75) — Jabari Kyle 27, Scott Overbay 17, Trey Brock 12, Mykel Griffin 10, Josh Overbay 3, Christian Hubbard 2, T.J. Patterson 2, Jay West 2.

Red Bird (8-18) (54) — Max Kitoko 17, Deagon Finley 16, Dalton Finley 9, David Collett 6, Austin Napier 6.