DIGGING A HOLE
Redhounds rally falls short
Corbin's Travis Smith dribbles around two Harlan County defenders in Monday's loss to the Black Bears.
The Harlan County Black Bears invaded Gilliam Gym Monday night and threatened to rip the Redhounds apart. But, the Redhounds stood up for themselves in the fight and gave the 13th region’s number one team all they wanted and more in a 71-64 loss.
Harlan County came in with the region’s best record, 24-4 and literally pushed the Redhounds all over the court in the first quarter, jumping out to a 20-5 lead.
Exchange student Victor Berezutchi scored all five points for the Redhounds. Harlan County junior Tyler Brewer had his way with the Redhounds, scoring 14 of his team-high 25 points.
“We dug such a hole in that first quarter, we were just battling to get back,” Corbin Coach Tony Pietrowski said. “You can’t do that against a team the caliber of Harlan County and expect to win.”
The Black Bears kept their claws in the Redhounds for most of the second quarter and led 34-17 when James Bond hit a runner in the paint with 2:40 left in the opening half.
However, that’s when the Redhounds got up off the floor and fought back. Junior Zach Farley hit a pair of free throws followed by a 3-pointer by Kaleb Maguet. Then a steal at midcourt led to a Farley basket and Corbin had cut the lead to ten, 34-24 less than a minute later.
Chase Calton hit a pair of free throws as the Black Bears went to the dressing room with a 36-24 lead.
“I am really proud of my kids. I thought we showed a lot of resilience. We played three quarters of really good basketball,” Pietrwoski said. “The kids stepped up and played big roles and made some big shots. We will get better from this game down the road.”
Farley took charge for the Redhounds from that point on. He scored eight of the 14 points in the third quarter as the two teams scored 14 points each.
It was Corbin putting on the pressure in the fourth quarter as the Redhounds outscored the Bears, 7-2 in the first two-and-half minutes. Farley scored six of the seven points.
Farley connected on a pair of free throws when Aaron Caldwell jumped on a pile of players going for the ball and was awarded with a technical foul. Farley’s free throws allowed Corbin to pull with seven (52-45).
Junior Hunter Grubb got in on the scoring act and nailed two 3-pointers in an 8-0 run that saw Corbin pull within three, 58-55 with 3:19 left in the game.
Corbin got even closer with 1:26 left when Farley nailed a 3-pointer and Harlan County held onto a 62-60 lead.
A three-point play by Brewer took some of the air out of the Redhounds as he pushed the visitors back on top by five, 65-60. A couple of rushed shots by the Redhounds resulted in scoreless trips down the court. Bond hit a basket then added a pair of free throws and the lead was nine, 69-60 with thirty seconds left.
Farley led all scorers in the game with 29 points while Berezutchi scored in double figures with 11 points.
“Farley continues to step up and be the guy we need for him to be,” Pietrowski added. “He made some big shots and ran our team and played a whale of a game defensively for three quarters. He is a big key down the stretch. If we get that kind of play out of him and get Travis back healthy, we feel good about our team.”
“Plain and simple, we have harped on Victor about how we want him to play and the things we want to do. We told him he wouldn’t see much playing time until he did,” Pietrowski added. “That’s just how things are and he is getting over the hump. If Victor could play like that for us the remainder of the year, we could really elevate the level of our play.
“I am proud of the kid because he is grinding. He has grinded and worked and we saw some really good things out on the floor tonight,” Pietrowski said.
The Redhounds will finish the regular season with “Senior Night” Friday as they entertain the Harlan Green Dragons in their annual game. Harlan will come in with a 7-16 record, but very capable of pulling off the win.
Harlan Co. 71, Corbin 64
Harlan Co. 20 16 14 21- 71
Corbin 5 19 14 26- 64
Harlan Co. (71) – Brewer 25, Sergent 2, Massingill 4, Caldwell 17, Bond 17, Miller 2, Calton 4.
Corbin (64) – Farley 29, Maguet 3, Smith 8, Igo 2, West 2, Grubb 7, Hill 7, Berezutchi 11.
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