Three days after falling to the Rockcastle County Rockets, the Barbourville Tigers traveled a short distance down the road to take on the Pineville Mountain Lions.
In a gritty game, the Tigers emerged victorious with a 64-55 decision.
“We are making a lot of mental mistakes right now,” said Barbourville coach Cody Messer. ”I’ve got about five or six guys competing for playing time right now, and I think a lot of it comes down to them being so afraid to make a mistake and get benched that they play hesitant.”
“At the end of the day, you just have to go compete. You can’t think about making a mistake, you just have to go play,” he added.
“It’s like I told our guys, our effort was there 100%, but our execution was not,” said Pineville coach Brad Levy.
The first quarter was a back-and-forty contest, with each team trading buckets in the opening minutes of the game.
Pineville led 8-7 before the Tigers were able to gain their first lead of the game at 9-8 on a lay up from Jordan Collins with 3:30 remaining. The Lions came down with an offensive rebound on the ensuing possession to regain the lead at 10-9.
The teams traded buckets with Pineville holding a 12-11 advantage with just 1:40 remaining in the first, until Shawn Vaughn took a charge underneath the basket, giving Barbourville possession back trailing by one.
Colby Martin worked his way inside for a lay up, giving the Tigers a 13-12 advantage with under a minute remaining. Barbourville added two more buckets to hold a 17-14 advantage after one quarter.
To resume playing the third, the Tigers extended their lead to 19-14 on a pair free throws. Pineville chipped away at the lead with a pair of free throws of their own from Keann Fuson.
Collins worked inside for a lay up, further extending the lead to 21-16. After a five foot jumper from Sean Phipps, the Lions drew the score to within five, at 23-18.
With Pineville earning an extra possession with a defensive stop, they were able to further chip away at the lead, drawing to within two points, 25-23 with five minutes remaining.
After extending their lead to 27-23, Barbourville stepped to the line for the front end of the single bonus. After Dylan Bingham connected on one of two, the Tigers led by five, 28-23, with four minutes remaining in the half.
At that point, the Tigers went on a 10-0 run, which resulted in them holding a 33-23 lead with 2:16 remaining in the half. The run was halted as Tristan Hibbard stepped to the line and connected on a pair of free throws, drawing the Lions back to within eight, 33-25, with two minutes remaining in the half.
The Lions closed the second quarter on a 6-0 run, allowing them to pull back to within four points of the Tigers at the second horn, 33-29.
The Tigers opened the second half on a 6-0 run, bringing the score to 39-29 with just under six minutes remaining in the third period.
Clay Goodin halted the run from Barbourville with 1-of-2 free throws, drawing back to within single digits. Goodin then connected on another lay up for Pineville, bringing the score to 39-32, before Jonathan Mills connected on a corner three, exiting the Tigers’ lead back to 10, 42-32.
Pineville drew back to within eight points with just under three minutes remaining 46-38.
With a steal and a fast break lay up from K. Fuson, Pineville pulled back to within four points, 46-42. K. Fuson then stepped to the charity stripe and connected on 1-of-2 free throws, making it a one possession game at 46-43 with less than a minute remaining in the third.
A missed dunk by Phipps was rebounded by K. Fuson and put back for two. With 38.8 remaining in the third, the Tigers led by a slim margin of 46-45. Another missed dunk by Phipps allowed Barbourville to hold the slim lead heading into the final frame.
Both teams struggled in the opening minute of the fourth quarter before Tigers got a big bucket from Vaughn inside, extending the lead to three points, 48-45.
A controversial foul call on Vaughn allowed Pineville to regain possession. Phipps then finished a lay up through contact. After missing the free throw, the Tigers still held a slim 48-47 lead with under six minutes remaining.
On the ensuing play, J. Collins connected a lay up through contact of his own, and finished with a successful free throw to extend Barbourville’s lead to 51-47.
On the ensuing possession, Phipps again connected on a layup through Contact, this time hitting the free-throw as well. After the free throws all mom the Tigers held a slim 51-50 lead.
After an offensive rebound and lay up by Martin, the Tigers again held a three point lead at 53-50. A pair of free throws from Phipps pulled the Lions back to within a point, 53-52, with 4:32 remaining in the game.
An offensive foul from Dylan Moore gave the Lions the ball back, trailing by one with less than four minutes remaining.
After an empty possession from Pineville, Moore drove the length of the court and connected on a lay up through contact, after a successful free throw, the Tigers’ lead grew back to four at 56-52 with less than three and a half minutes remaining.
After missing the front end of a single bonus free throw, Pineville came down with a rebound. In the bonus as well, the Lions were able to get two points from the charity stripe from Phipps, pulling the game to a single possession 56-54 with less than two and a half minutes remaining.
Collins stepped to the line for the front end of a single bonus and connected on 1-of-2 free throws, extending the Tigers’ lead to 57-54 with 1:51 remaining.
Goodin stepped to the line for Pineville on the ensuing possession, connecting on 1-of-2 free throws, drawing back to within two points of Barbourville, 57-55 with 1:17 remaining.
After adding one bucket to extend the lead, Collins stepped to the charity stripe with 50 seconds remaining, and connected on one free throw, giving Barbourville a 60-55 advantage with 24 seconds remaining.
The Tigers held the Lions into a five second call with some strong defense, allowing them to regain possession leading 60-55 with 17.3 seconds remaining.
With 14.8 seconds left and trying to save time, Pineville fouled and sent Collins back to the line. He connected on both free throws, extending the lead to 62-55.
Two more free throws from Moore with under six seconds remaining iced the game, allowing the Tigers to secure a nine point victory.
The Tigers were led in scoring by Jordan Collins with 15 points. He was followed by Matthew Gray with 14, Shawn Vaughn with 11, Colby Martin with 10, Dylan Moore with 7, Michael Smith and Jonathan Mills with 3 each, and Dylan Bingham with 1.
The Lions were led in scoring by Sean Phipps with 21 points. He was followed by Keann Fuson with 14, Clay Goodin with 10, Dalton Mason, Landon Couch, Ian Middleton, Tristan Hibbard and Austin Fuson added 2 points apiece.