Bell takes Yellow Jackets in defensive showdown

Published 2:32 pm Sunday, January 23, 2022


Contributing writer

MIDDLESBORO — In a low-scoring affair, in which Middlesboro coach Lewis Morris is famous for, Bell County capitalized on second-quarter and fourth-period scoring runs to claim a 43-26 win over the Jackets on Friday in 52nd District action.

In the last 10 seasons, Bell County has escaped with eight of 10 victories when the winning team scores under 50 points.

“I thought the boys played really well tonight,” said Bell County coach Brad Sizemore. “I was proud of them! We were very disciplined on offense, we took good shots when they were there and didn’t get in a hurry.
“I thought we had several guys make big threes down the stretch to extend the lead and I was very happy of how we rebounded the ball.”
Seniors Cameron Burnett and Dalton Stepp led the Bobcats with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Dawson Woolum, a junior guard, scored 10. Chanse Belcher followed with three while Carter McCune had two and Hayden Callebs added one.
Senior guard Jayden Schertz paced Middlesboro with eight points. Jay Tyler West scored seven and Trey King tossed in six. Trey Kyle added three while Cayden Grigsby was held to two points.
“Middlesboro is a lot bigger than us and we were concerned that they would hurt us on the backboard, and I was really proud of our guys for coming ready to play tonight and everyone did a good job on both ends of the floor.
It was a big win especially for seeding purposes for the district.”
Bell County stands at 2-1 in 52nd District play while the Yellow Jackets are winless at 0-3.
Trey Kyle knocked down a 3-pointer and Trey King added a basket as Middlesboro led 7-6 after one quarter.
Bell County got rolling in the second period as Burnett fired in eight points and Woolum scored five to give the Bobcats a 22-13 advantage at the break.
Stepp had five third-quarter points as Bell maintained the lead at 30-19 after three periods of play.
The Bobcats made six free throws in the final eight minutes with Woolum scoring five in the quarter. Bell High outscored the Jackets 13-7 in the last period.
Bell connected on 13 of 19 free throws while the Jackets were 11 of 12 on the night.
Stepp knocked down three 3-pointers for the Bobcats. Belcher added one. Middlesboro didn’t have a trey in the game.
Schertz recently scored his 1,000 high school point. He also played basketball at Cumberland Gap High School.
Bell County (13-3) was scheduled to host Estill County on Saturday and Harlan on Tuesday in a girls/boys doubleheader.
The Bobcats will play host to the Pride of the Mountains Basketball Showcase on Friday and Saturday.
Middlesboro (7-12) welcomed Whitley County on Tuesday. The Yellow Jackets will close out the week hosting Harlan on Friday in a district doubleheader before entertaining Burgan on Saturday.
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The Bell County-Middlesboro girls game was not played due to sickness on the Lady Jackets’ team.
The Lady Cats improved to 12-6 overall and 3-0 in district play. The Lady Jackets dropped to 6-11 on the season and 0-3 in the district.
Bell County was scheduled to host Somerset on Saturday and Harlan on Tuesday. The Lady Cats will travel to South Laurel on Thursday.
Middlesboro will not play against until Friday when they host Harlan in a girls/boys doubleheader. The Lady Jackets will visit Perry Central on Saturday and Clay County on Monday.
Pride of the Mountains Basketball Showcase schedule
Friday, Jan. 28
Lynn Camp vs. Bell County (G), 6 p.m.
Leslie County vs. Bell County (B), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 29
Washburn, Tenn. vs. Bell County (G), 1 p.m.
Oneida Baptist vs. Washburn, Tenn. (B), 3 p.m.
Wolfe County vs. South Laurel (B), 5 p.m.
Garrard County vs. Bell County (B), 7 p.m.

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