Bobcats streak ends at 4 with loss to Clay

Published 12:53 pm Friday, February 15, 2019

After winning four-straight games in the month of February, Bell County fell to Clay County at home on Thursday, 75-71. Led by Tyler Partin with 28 points and 11 rebounds and London Stephney with 10 points and 10 assists, the Bobcats struggled in the first half offensively but battled back and made the game more competitive in the second half.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said Bell County coach Frankie Smith. “We struggled to get our offense going in the first half. We picked up our defensive intensity as well as our offense in the second half, but came up a little short.”

In the opening quarter, the Bobcat defense struggled to lock down the Tiger offense. Clay County junior Jacob Curry shot the ball well for the Tigers, hitting three 3-pointers to lead the first quarter effort. Bell County junior London Stephney totaled half of Bell County’s first quarter points with six, as the Bobcats were outscored 18-12 in the period.

The second quarter was much of the same for the Bobcats, as they struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Clay County sophomore guard Connor Robinson paced the Tiger effort in the second with 11 points. Bell County was limited to just 13 total points in the second period, led by Partin with eight. The Tigers outscored the Bobcats 19-13 in the second quarter to take a 37-25 lead into the half.

The Bell County offense began to find a rhythm in the third period with six separate players finding their way into the scoring column for the Bobcats. The Clay County offense continued to shoot the ball well in the third period. With 12 of their 18 total third quarter points coming on three-pointers by Curry and Raven Abner, the Tigers managed to outscore the Bobcats 18-16 in the period, taking a 55-41 lead into the final frame.

The Bell County offense started working like a well-oiled machine in the fourth quarter. With four players scoring for the Bobcats in the final frame, the Bobcat offense played their best quarter of the night. Paced by Partin with 14 points in the period, Bell County managed to fight back to within four points but couldn’t get over the hump. Outscoring the Tigers 30-20 in the period, Bell County made the game competitive but came up a little short losing by four points.

Bell County played Red Bird Friday in their final game before the 52nd District Tournament. Clay County faced off against Harlan at home Friday.

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Bell County (17-11) (71) – Tyler Partin 28, Drake Thomas 11, London Stephney 10, Sean Phipps 9, Isaac Collett 8, Cameron Burnett 4, Andrew Caldwell 1.

Clay County (21-6) (75) – Jacob Curry 23, Connor Robinson 18, Evan Langdon 17, Raven Abner 11, Russell Farmer 4, Justin Begley 2.