Fourth quarter lifts Middlesboro over Pineville in All “A”

Published 10:29 am Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Contributing writer

The Pineville Mountain Lions led most of the first three quarters on Saturday in the first game of the boys 13th Region All “A” Classic Basketball Tournament at Harlan.

The game was even at 41 with 6:27 remaining, but Middlesboro’s Caleb Grigsby nailed a 3-pointer at the 5:13 mark to give the Yellow Jackets the lead for good in a 55-49 win.

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Ashton Burns hit two free throws as Pineville pulled within one, but Jay Tyler West scored seven points during a 7-4 spurt as Middlesboro advances to play Barbourville on Monday in the semifinals at 6 p.m.

Sophomore guard Cayden Grigsby and West, a senior forward, scored 20 points apiece to lead the 6-8 Yellow Jackets. Bryce Bowling added four points.

Middlesboro also got three points each from Jordan Shertz and Caleb Bogonko. Trey Kyle and Brayden Barnard tossed in two apiece while Richie Logan had one point.

Freshman guard Sawyer Thompson once again led the Mountain Lions with 22 points. Evan Biliter, a junior forward, tossed in 10. Eli Thompson had six points. Sam Caldwell scored five. Ashton Burns followed with four points. Dylan Abner tallied two.

Pineville missed 11 of 12 shots in the final quarter, but did hit eight of eight free throws in the period.

Eli Thompson and Biliter each nailed 3-pointers as the Lions took a 13-10 advantage after one quarter.

Grigsby opened the second period with a 3-pointer to tie the game, Eli Thompson and Biliter hit treys as Pineville built a 23-17 lead with 2:20 remaining in the quarter.

The Mountain Lions took a 27-22 halftime lead as Sawyer Thompson scored four points and Abner hit two free throws.

West scored twice and Kyle added a basket as Middlesboro started the third period with a 6-0 run to take a one-point edge.

Sawyer Thompson had a basket and completed a three-point play as Pineville regained the lead. A putback and 3-pointer by Sawyer Thompson had the lead at 39-36 heading into the final quarter.

Middlesboro outscored the Lions 19-10 in the fourth period.

The Yellow Jackets committed 13 turnovers compared to Pineville’s 12.

The Lions held a 27-26 rebounding edge. Burns had a game-high eight for Pineville. Sawyer Thompson pulled down seven and Biliter added six.

West led Middlesboro seven boards. Shertz grabbed six.

In Pineville’s 101-86 loss at Jackson County last week, Shertz scored his 1,000 career high school point. Shertz, a senior guard, was ruled eligible to play after the New Year.

Also on Monday, Lynn Camp will battle the host Green Dragons at 7:30 p.m.

The 9-8 Mountain Lions will return to action Friday at home against Harlan County. Pineville takes on Cordia in the Big Lou Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Perry Central on Saturday at 2 p.m.
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In other All “A” Classic games from Saturday, Williamsburg missed two shots in the closing seconds as Barbourville edged the Yellow Jackets 65-64.

A 3-pointer by Jordan Collins put the Tigers ahead for good with 29 seconds to play.
Collins, a senior guard, fired in 25 points to lead Barbourville. Matthew Warren, a junior guard, scored 18. Ethan Smith added six.

The Jackets, who have lost three straight, were led by junior forward Conner Lay and junior guard Martin Shannon with 17 points each. Micah Steely scored eight.

Williamsburg (9-5) will play host to South Laurel on Friday and Powell County on Saturday.

Senior guard Micah Engle poured in 28 points as Lynn Camp down Jackson County 73-64.

The Wildcats also got 19 points from senior center Gavin Allen. Duane Sparks collected 14 points.

Luke Adkins, a senior guard, paced the Generals with 17 points. Jude Lakes, a junior guard, followed with 15 points. Colby Bales scored 11 and Trent Hammons added 10 points.

Jackson County (7-4) travels to Powell County on Tuesday, plays host to Red Bird on Friday and meets Buckhorn in the Big Lou Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Perry Central on Saturday.

The Harlan Green Dragons met an outmanned Red Bird team in the last quarterfinal game.

The Cardinals were missing seven doom students, including three starters. Red Bird started a senior, a junior and three eighth-graders.

Harlan senior guard Jordan Akal scored 25 first-quarter points and the Dragons rolled to a 100-35 victory.

Johann Gist and Tristan Burgan each tallied 11 points for Harlan. John Mark Bryson added 10.

The Dragons outrebounded Red Bird 65-17. Darius Akal grabbed 13 rebounds for Harlan.

Junior guard Austin Osborne led the 2-9 Cardinals with 19 points. Juan Bynum, a senior guard, scored 16. No other Red Bird player scored.

The Cardinals played at home Monday against Buckhorn. Red Bird will visit Jackson County on Friday and Bell County on Saturday.