Fourth-quarter outburst sends Lions past Clay

Published 7:29 am Thursday, December 2, 2021

Contributing writer

Trailing for most of the first three quarters on Tuesday at home against Clay County, the Pineville Mountain Lions needed a huge fourth quarter to win their season opener.

The Tigers led 18-10 after eight minutes, 30-22 at halftime and 44-35 entering the final period.

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Pineville used a 24-10 scoring advantage to defeat Clay 59-54 in the last eight minutes.

Both teams lost a lot of its scoring from last season.

Freshman point guard Sawyer Thompson powered Pineville with 23 points, including five 3-pointers. Senior guard Dylan Honeycutt scored 14 points. Evan Biliter tossed in 10 points and added six rebounds.

The Lions also got five points each from Logunn Littles and Ashton Moser. Eli Thompson scored two and had seven boards.

“I’m really proud of our kids tonight,” said Pineville coach Brad Levy. “We didn’t play our best, but we overcame some shooting struggles and played well defensively down the stretch.”

Pineville hit 18 of 49 from the field for 37 percent and was eight of 24 from behind the arc.

The Lions were 15 of 29 from the free throw line and grabbed 27 rebounds on the night. Pineville committed only nine turnovers.

Although the two teams don’t play one another every year, it snapped a seven-game losing streak by Pineville. The Lions’ last victory over Clay was Feb. 5, 2008, a 45-40 win in overtime.

“Hats off to Clay County because they are a perennial top program in our region,” said Levy. “This was a great win for our program. We will get back to work and keep working to get better.”

No scoring information or team statistics were available for the Tigers.

Pineville (1-0) returns to action Friday at Middlesboro in the second game of girls/boys doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. The Mountain Lions will take on Model in the 13th Region Media Network Ted Cook Classic at South Laurel on Saturday at 1.

Clay County (0-1) travels to Red Bird on Friday and plays host to Oneida Baptist on Saturday.