Jackson, KY, March 20, 2021

Patriots beats Bobcats 64-51

‘Cats took an 8-point lead into the half (29-21)

Cold shooting the 3rd-period essentially ended the year

Breathitt County came into the 14th-Region’s second contest of the day facing a rather tall task. The Bobcats drew the Patriots from Knott County Central in the first round of action at the Fairce O Woods Coliseum in Jackson, Kentucky.

Both teams entered the contest with impressive records both overall and in the 14th-Region. Both teams were representing storied, 14th-Region programs which have each had ample success in this same tournament which would pit the two heavyweights in the opening round. 

Well, that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. That is the luck, or in this instance, the un-luck of the draw. 

Knott entered the contest 15-7 overall and 12-1 in the Region-14 contests, including a 78-69 victory over this same Breathitt team on January 10. These weren’t those Bobcats, or so the Bobcats were hoping to show.

Breathitt entered the contest 16-6 overall, 14-3 in the region, and having won 3 of its final 4-contests entering the tournament. The Bobcats’ lone defeat came in the 55th-District final against Wolfe County at Wolfe. 

Breathitt would ride a huge 20-point, 2nd period into the halftime locker room staking the Bobcats to a 29-21 halftime lead. Caden Turner would pitch in 7-points of his own in a period where the Bobcats would outscore the Patriots 20-9.  

Things appeared rosy. Then came the 3rd-period.  

The Patriots roared out of the halftime break with 22-huge, 3rd-period points. While the Patriots were “filling it up,” its defense surrendered a paltry 4-points to Breathitt the entire period. From that point forward, it felt like the Patriots advancing was more of a “when” than an “if.”

The Patriots would ride its 10-point lead, entering the 4th period, to a 21-18 scoring advantage in the final stanza. The Patriots won the game by 13-points on the afternoon and move on to face Perry County Central in the second round. The Commodores vanquished the Engineers from Estill County in the first game of the day, 40-37. Breathitt County moves on to the baseball diamond. 

Colby Napier from Knott County Central led all scorers with 27-points as Josh McGuire chipped in 15-points down low and Kizer Slone had 12. The Bobcats were led in scoring by freshman, Austin Sperry, with 12-points, while Luke Bellamy was the only other Breathitt County player in double figures with 11. Caden Turner scored 9-points, 7 of those in the second period, with Tyler Christy and Andrew Combs also scoring 9-points. 

Breathitt ends its season, 16-7 on the year. The good news is the team may return next season close to completely in-tact as the “Academic Re-Do” bill, which has passed both chambers of the legislature, is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Should it be signed, or a veto of the bill gets overridden, Tyler Christie would be eligible to come back for another season. Christie is still 17-years-old, though a senior.  

Will he come back next season? Who knows; but Tyler may have both the right and opportunity.  

Note: Mr. Long is an award-winning Kentucky journalist recognized for excellence in both writing and reporting by the Kentucky Press Association.


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