Middlesboro falls to Corbin

Published 11:02 am Monday, February 25, 2019

Three days after winning the 52nd District championship, the Middlesboro Yellow Jackets fell to the Corbin Redhounds 57-52 in the opening round of the 13th Region tournament on Monday. Middlesboro fell behind by as many as 14 points before battling back to within one point with under a minute remaining in the game, but the Jackets were never able capitalize on late-game opportunities.

“I’m proud of the way they fought,” said Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris. “I thought we did a great job at battling back. Unfortunately, we just didn’t make some of the shots we needed to to win the game. We had quite a few young guys in there that had never played up here before, and I think they may have gotten a little shell-shocked. Overall, I’m proud of the way we competed.”

Jabari Kyle paced Middlesboro with 20 points. Christian Hubbard put together a 14-point performance. Mykel Griffin tallied 10 points and seven rebounds.

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Chase Sanders led Corbin with 26 points, while Matthew Taylor scored 14.

The Redhounds got off to a quick start, jumping out to a four-point lead just under two minutes into the game. Hubbard answered for the Yellow Jackets with an old-fashioned three-point play, bringing the score to 4-3.

The Corbin lead grew to nine points with just over one minute and a half remaining in the opening period before Middlesboro took a time out. After the time out, Middlesboro went on a 4-0 run to round out the opening period, with the Redhounds leading 18-13 heading into the second quarter.

The two teams battled almost even in the second quarter with Corbin outscoring the Jackets 9-8 to take a 27-21 lead into halftime.

Corbin began to separate from Middlesboro in the third period. Behind Sanders’ trio of three-point shots, the Corbin lead quickly grew to 14 points at 44-30 with two and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter. Middlesboro fought back to within seven points behind an 8-1 run, capped off by a Griffin 3-pointer, bringing the score to 45-38.

Corbin scored four more points before the end of the period, including a buzzer-beating layup, bringing the score to 49-38 in their favor.

Trailing by 11 to start the final quarter, Middlesboro’s defense began to shut down the Corbin offense, holding them scoreless until four minutes remained in the game. Behind a 9-0 Middlesboro run, the Yellow Jackets were within two points of the Redhounds, 49-47.

Corbin’s first points in the final period came with under four minutes remaining. Alex Byrley hit two free throws, giving Corbin a 51-47. Kyle drove the length of the court to connect on a driving layup, bringing the Yellow Jackets back to within two points, 51-49. A Sanders’ basket increased the lead to 53-49.

On the ensuing possesion, Griffin hit a deep three for Middlesboro, bringing the score to 53-52 in favor of Corbin with under two minutes remaining. That would be as close as the Jackets would come as the Redhounds scored four unanswered points to secure the victory.

After the loss, Middlesboro finishes the season at 17-14 (4-5). Corbin moves on to take on the Knox Central Panthers in the 13th Region semifinals.


Middlesboro (17-14) (52) — Jabari Kyle 20, Christian Hubbard 14, Mykel Griffin 10, T.J. Patterson 6, Josh Overbay 2.

Corbin (21-8) (57) — Chase Sanders 26, Matthew Taylor 14, Josh Hibbits 8, Jacob Unthank 5, Cole Hicks 2, Alex Byrley 2.