Fourth-quarter free throws send Bobcats to victory

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Contributing writer

LOG MOUNTAIN — Bell County held a double-digit advantage in the fourth quarter Monday and hit 11 of 14 free throws in the period to escape with an 81-78 win over visiting Cordia.

The Lions missed a potential game-tying shot at the buzzer.

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Senior guard Dalton Stepp made six of eight free throws, Hayden Callebs went three for three and Carter McCune made a pair in the final eight minutes for the Bobcats.

Stepp, Cameron Burnett, a senior forward, and Dawson Woolum, a junior guard, powered Bell with 17 points apiece. Callebs, a senior guard, scored 14. McCune and Cole Hoskins each added seven while Conner McGeorge tossed in two.

“We didn’t play our best game of the year, but found a way to get a good win against a quality team,” said Bell County coach Brad Sizemore. “I think our kids are growing up and that shows we have a veteran ball club.”

Freshman guard Greg Brooks led the Lions with a game-high 23 points. Senior forward Gordon Malone fired in 16 and Alex Antoine, a sophomore guard, added 10. Nazim Welch scored nine and Samiar Bennett had eight for Cordia.

Bell County took a 58-53 advantage into the fourth period.

Brooks nailed four 3-pointers in the final quarter to keep Cordia close. He finished with five treys on the night.

Calebs scored seven points in the last period for Bell. Stepp and McCune each had six.

Burnett had five points and Woolum scored four as both teams played to a 15-all time after one quarter.

Bennett knocked down three jumpers in the second quarter as the Lions took a 34-33 edge at halftime.

“After a sloppy first half, I thought our guys responded and played really well. I was really pleased with how we took care of the ball and made free throws down the stretch and got some huge stops,” added Sizemore.

Bell County hit seven of eight free throws and Woolum scored seven points in the third period. Malone had nine points for the Lions in the quarter.

The Bobcats were 22 of 29 from the free throws for the game while Cordia was just six of eight.

Bell County (9-2) returns to action Thursday at Whitley County. The Bobcats will take on South Laurel in the Raymond Reed Classic in London on Saturday.

Cordia (4-4) will battle Breathitt County (11-2) in the 14th Region All “A” Classic on Thursday.