Redhounds take control in third quarter to eliminate Bell County

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2024

By John Henson

Contributing Sports Writer

In their quest to once again be a 13th Region contender, the Bell County Bobcats learned a valuable lesson Wednesday in the opening round of the regional tournament at The Corbin Arena.
Bell County led Corbin by one at halftime and was locked in a tie midway though the third quarter before the Hounds took over the game physically, using a 13-3 run to end the third quarter and a 14-4 run to start the fourth on the way to a 60-43 victory.
“Their physicality took over the third quarter. They had a lot of offensive rebounds, and we turned it over a couple of times and it got away from us,” Bell County coach Brad Sizemore said. “They put us in positions we couldn’t do things against, and that zone really bothered us.”
Senior guard Carter Stewart had a huge game for the 20-10 Redhounds with 21 points. Eli Pietrowski and Zander Curry added 10 points each.
Freshman forward Ethan Buell paced the 25-8 Bobcats with 20 points. Blake Burnett scored 10,
Two Stewart 3s in the opening minute helped Corbin race to an 8-0 lead before Buell broke the Bobcats’ scoring drought three minutes into the game. Lucas Brittain hit a 3 and then a shot in the paint as the final seconds ticked away to give the Hounds a 15-6 lead.
Two more Buell baskets to start the second quarter cut the deficit to 15-10. The Hounds went cold over the final four minutes of the half as Jaxon Thomas hit two 3s and Burnett added a basket as Bell closed with a 10-2 run to take a 22-21 halftime lead.
“I thought the first couple of minutes we came out shell-shocked, but then we responded and played well to finish the half. I was really proud of them,” Sizemore said.
The game was tied at 26 when baskets by Ryder Akins and Zander Curry started a 14-4 run over the final five minutes of the third quarter to give the Hounds a 40-30 lead. Pietrowski had two baskets in the run, including one off the offensive glass. Pietrowski pulled down 15 rebounds as Corbin dominated the boards with a 31-15 advantage.
Bell County will bring everyone back next year with a roster that features no seniors and only one junior.
“We’re happy with the experience we got to get down here. We hope we can learn from it,” Sizemore said. “We have everyone back and this should be a good learning experience. We hope it will pay off.”
The Redhounds will play Knox Central in the semifinals at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Corbin (60) — Trey Worley 6, Zander Curry 10, Carter Stewart 21, Ryder Akins 6, Eli Pietrowski 10, Connor Middleton 0, Zach Reynolds 2, Lucas Brittain 5.
Bell County (43) — Cameron. Hall 1, Blake Burnett 10, Cayden Huff 0, Jaxon Thomas 9, Ethan Buell 20, Braxton Ferguson 3, Chase Wilder 0, Logan Stepp 0, Logan Greene 0, Kaleb Cornett 0.

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Bell County 6 16 8 13 — 43
Corbin 15 6 19 20 — 60