Pineville wins All “A” play-in game

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021

By Paul Lunsford
Contributing Writer

The lead changed hands 12 times before Pineville closed the game with a 23-11 run to defeat Oneida Baptist 75-64 in the play-in game of the 13th Region All “A” Classic at Harlan on Tuesday.

The Mountain Lions took a 48-47 edge entering the final quarter.

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Jerrod Roark hit four free throws to give the Mountaineers the lead twice before Pineville’s Ashton Moser’s 3-pointer, at the 6:31 mark, gave the Lions the lead (55-53) for good.

“It was a fun game,” said Pineville coach Brad Levy. “We punched, they punched, we counter-punched and it went back and forth. We just hit a little harder at the end.”

Evan Biliter powered Pineville with 23 points. Sawyer Thompson scored 21 while Moser added 15 points.

Oneida Baptist, who did not have a team last season, was led in scoring by Isaiah Marcum with a game-high 25 points. He also contributed 11 rebounds. Roark finished with 15 points. Kazim Faisal, a 6’6” 255-pound senior forward, scored nine points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

The Mountaineers won the battle of the boards, 37-23. Thompson, Biliter, and Moser pulled down five each for Pineville.

Both teams shot 45 percent from the field. The Mountain Lions were 25 of 56 while OBI hit 24 of 49.

Pineville made more 3-pointers (10) and free throws (15). The Mountaineers committed 21 turnovers compared to Pineville’s 11.

“They’re a pretty good team. I think they’ll challenge in that (49th) district,” said Levy of Oneida Baptist.

Dylan Honeycutt and Biliter each made a pair of 3-pointers, but it was the Mountaineers grabbing a 22-19 advantage after one quarter.

Faisel scored six points to lead OBI in the period.

Baskets by Canaan Tyree and Marcum gave the Mountaineers their biggest lead of the night at 26-19 with 6:40 left in the half.

Following a Pineville 30-second timeout, the Lions responded with a 9-0 run, including seven from Thompson.

Jumpers by Biliter and Logunn Littles allow the Lions to take a 32-31 edge at halftime.

After Marcum opened the second half with a 3, Pineville scored seven unanswered points, including a three-point play from Ashton Burns.

Thompson scored five points and Biliter hit two jumpers given the Lions a 48-38 advantage with three minutes left in the third quarter.

OBI received 3-pointers from Roark, Marcum, and Andrew Smith to make it a one-point game.

Pineville advances to play Middlesboro in the tournament quarterfinals on Jan 8 at HHS.

The rest of the tournament includes Barbourville facing Williamsburg, Lynn Camp taking on Jackson County, and the host Green Dragons playing Red Bird.

Pineville (3-1) welcomes Thomas Walker (Va.) on Friday in the second game of a girls/boys doubleheader. The Lions will play Grace Christian Academy (Tenn.) on Saturday in Williamsburg.

Oneida Baptist (2-3) will host Middlesboro on Friday and before traveling to Jackson County on Tuesday in the girls/boys doubleheader.