Rivalries will be renewed on December 2nd and 3rd for the Clay County Tigers. Two straight home games against OBI and Corbin could set the tone for the Tigers season, as both wins are instrumental for future success. OBI is as athletic as they’ve ever been. Corbin always competes as they have a man many deem as the region’s best coach, Tony Pietrowski. These are major foes of the Tigers, and these two games are huge.
Oneida Baptist is now under the leadership of OBI alum Kenneth “Boo” Woods. Woods inherits a team loaded with athleticism and leadership. Led by Elijah Woods, the Mountaineers pose a threat to win each night. OBI has three former Clay County Tigers in Wayne Estep, a talented JR guard. Jacob Hall, a senior who is very skilled in the post, along with Austin Simpson, a 6’7 forward who will be relied on to be the anchor for the Mountaineers. This rivalry will have a different flavor than years past.
Woods (17.2ppg) leads a talented backcourt that consists also of Sochi Onuoha (19.1ppg) and Tyler Preston (8.5ppg). Estep, who has grown nearly five inches since suiting up with the Tigers, will likely get significant minutes as he is vastly improved. Hall and Simpson will be asked to do the majority of the dirt work for the Mountaineers. Expect a very feisty, run-n-gun style of play from this group at Oneida.
Corbin is a much different animal. A traditional regional powerhouse, and a near shoe-in at the 13th region tournament, the Redhounds are never down. Coach Tony Pietrowski and his usually veteran led teams always have a say so in who will be the regional champion, and this year is no different. This is one of Clay Counties all-time rivals in the mountains.
Matthew Taylor (14.2ppg), a senior who is expected to lead the Hounds as his brother Andrew did just two years ago. The Redhounds return Alex Byrley (8.1ppg), Josh Hibbits (5.7ppg) and senior guard Cole Hicks. Clay County was sitting pretty at 16-0 last season, having already previously defeating Corbin 70-59. The Tigers would fall 69-55 just two games later to the Redhounds, ending their perfect season. To say that Corbin has been a proverbial thorn in the Tigers side would be putting it lightly.
The Tigers will have their hands full with both Oneida Baptist and Corbin. These are historic rivalries with tons of storylines behind them. Clay meets OBI on December 2nd at 7:45PM, while they meet Corbin on December 3rd at 7:30PM. Both games are at Clay County High School.