Corbin holds off Williamsburg in first-round
Skylar Griffith tried to alter the shot by Corbin's Kaleb Maguet.
Survive and advance. That pretty much sums up Corbin’s 58-48 win over the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets in the first-round of the 50th District Tournament Monday night at Mountjoy Gym in Williamsburg.
“First of all, hats off to Williamsburg,” Corbin Coach Tony Pietrowski said. “They did a good job of forcing us into their tempo and making it the game they needed it to be. I thought those kids showed a lot of effort and the coaching staff did a good job.”
“We didn’t play up to our capability and we didn’t play the way we played throughout the season, but you can shut down in those times and fold and pout and bow out and go home. We didn’t and we persevered in a tough environment to say the least.”
“We got the win. Win and advance. We put ourselves in the regional tournament and we are excited about that,” Pietrowski said. “I am proud of my kids. I thought late in the game we controlled the basketball and stepped up and made foul shots.”
The Redhounds jumped out to a 10-0 lead and led by as much as 13 points in the first quarter only to see the Yellow Jackets slowly climb back into the game.
The Yellow Jackets outscored Corbin, 10-5 in the second period then cut the lead to one (32-31) on a layup by sophomore Skylar Griffith, but that’s when Corbin stretched the lead to six in the final minute of the third period and went to the fourth quarter with a 39-33 lead.
The Redhounds stretched the lead back out to nine (42-33) early in the final period only to see Williamsburg take one more run at the four-time defending district champs.
Griffith cut the lead to four (48-44) with a pair of free throws, but senior Robbie Igo took charge of the game and scored six of the final ten points including a break-away dunk that put the Redhounds ahead, 56-47 in the final seconds.
“We just couldn’t get that one basket to get over the hump,” Williamsburg Coach Patrick Robinson said. “We had our chances, but when you make 22 turnovers your going to have a really hard time against a team like Corbin.”
It was the senior class that took charge in the opening minutes of the game. Hunter Grubb had back-to-back baskets including a three-pointer, Zach Farley hit two free throws and Kaleb Maguet knocked down the three-ball to put Corbin on top, 10-0.
Griffith hit a pair of free throws for the first two Williamsburg points with 4:10 left in the quarter. Dalton Sizemore hit the first basket from the floor, a three-pointer, with 3:46 on the clock. His basket had the Yellow Jackets within six (11-5).
“We had to go away from what we totally wanted to do,” Robinson said. “It worked, but it took so much effort and energy to claw back that it took a lot out of us for sure.”
Even in the first quarter after pulling within six, the Redhounds went on a 7-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 18-5.
It was Corbin struggling to score in the second period as the Redhounds tossed in just five points while Williamsburg put 10 points on the board and trailed the Redhounds at the half, 23-18.
“We didn’t take advantage of our free throws there in the second quarter,” Robinson said, referring to the five-plus free throws his team missed.
After Corbin moved ahead 28-18 on a Trevor Hill three-pointer and a basket by Farley to open the third quarter, the Yellow Jackets began their rally.
Sizemore scored from the paint while Griffith hit a three-pointer. A three-point play by Corey Shelton with 5:35 had the Yellow Jackets within, 28-26.
The Yellow Jackets (6-15) were within one twice in the final minutes before Corbin’s 5-0 run that sent the Redhounds to the fourth quarter with a six-point lead.
Free throws paid off in the fourth quarter for the Redhounds as Corbin hit 11-of-12 from the line to pull away for the 58-48 win.
“We have to battle through games like this,” Pietrowski said. “Sometimes you win these ugly ones and it gets you going and propels you throughout the year.”
Griffith and Sizemore led the Yellow Jackets to 18 points each while Igo topped the Redhounds scoring with 12 points. Hill added 10 points to the win.
Corbin will play in the district championship game Thursday at 7:3 p.m., against the winner of the Whitley County-South Laurel game.
Corbin 58, Williamsburg 48
Corbin 18 5 16 19- 58
Williamsburg 8 10 15 15- 48
Corbin (58) – Farley 7, Maguet 9, Hill 10, Grubb 7, Igo 12, Goins 7, Shelton 2, Waddle 4.
Williamsburg (48) – Shelton 6, Griffith 18, Lowrie 1, Sizemore 18, Creekmore 2, Poore 3, Faulkner 0.
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