Bell beats Red Bird

Published 4:19 pm Monday, February 18, 2019

The Bell County Bobcats closed out the regular season with a big win over the Red Bird Cardinals on Friday night in Red Bird. Winning six of their last eight games to close the season, the Bobcats are playing some of their best basketball ahead of the district tournament, which takes place this week.

Led by Drake Thomas with 19 points and 17 rebounds and Tyler Partin with 19 points, the Bobcats dominated the second half to pull away from Red Bird and post a 73-60 victory on the road. The Cardinals were led by Deagon Finley with 21 points.

“Tonight was a great learning experience for us,” said Bell County coach Frankie Smith. “Everyone stepped up tonight. We played really well as a team; all five of our starters made it to double figures. It was a good win for us.”

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The first half was contested more so than the second. Behind Finley’s 14 points in the first two periods, Red Bird was able to keep things close. Paced by Drake Thomas with 12 points in the first half, the Bobcats took a 31-25 lead into the intermission.

The Bobcat offense was a force in the second half, scoring 21 points in each of the final two periods to pull away. Red Bird’s offense had a hard time getting anything started in the third quarter as they were outscored 21-14, allowing Bell County to take a 52-40 lead. With the game in hand, the teams exchanged buckets for the remainder of the game, with Bell County outscoring Red Bird 21-20 in the final quarter for the 13-point victory.

“This is a good win for us ahead of districts,” Smith said. “We had to play without London (Stephney) the whole way. I thought all of our guys stepped up tonight. It gives us a little bit more momentum heading into districts. We are excited to be hosting the district tournament this year in front of all of our family and friends.”

Bell County takes on Harlan in the first round of the 52nd district tournament tonight at 7:30. Red Bird was in action against North Laurel in the first round of the 49th district tournament Monday night.

Bell County (18-11) (73) — Drake Thomas 19, Tyler Partin 19, Isaac Collett 11, Sean Phipps 10, Cameron Burnett 10, Dawson Woolum 4.

Red Bird (9-20) (60) — Deagon Finley 21, David Collett 12, Max Kitoko 10, Austin Napier 10, Dalton Finley 6, Adolphe Onasumba 1.