If there was any doubt that Corbin is ready to make a run at the 13th Region title, those worries were put aside Monday night when the Redhounds stormed back from a 16-point deficit to knock off the Harlan County Black Bears in Harlan.
The Black Bears tried to take control of the game with their physicality as they took a 7-2 lead going inside to senior Chad Massingill who scored six of the first seven points for Harlan County.
However, the Redhounds picked up their outside game and got to within 9-7 on a 3-pointer by Kaleb Maguet. Corbin (21-6) couldn’t get over the hump to take the lead in the opening period, and the Redhounds trailed by two, 19-17 at the end of the quarter.
Harlan County (20-7) took control of the game in the second period as senior Aaron Caldwell went on a tear with six straight points and pushed the Black Bears out to a 30-21 lead with four minutes into the quarter.
Shooting 60 percent in the first half, the Black Bears continued to rip through the Redhounds defense. In a two-minute stretch, Harlan County outscored Corbin, 11-4 and took a 41-25 lead when Massingill scored on a put-back with 2:10 left in the half.
Junior Kevin Goins came off the bench to give Corbin a spark in the final two minutes. He hit a 3-pointer then went inside for a basket for five unanswered points that allowed the Redhounds to creep within 11 points before Massingill answered for the Black Bears.
Goins picked up a loose ball and raced in for a layup to end the half with the host on top, 45-34.
Harlan County came out of the break with four straight points and gave the host a 15-point lead, 49-34.
However, Corbin responded with six straight points by senior Hunter Grubb and freshman Trevor Hill to get the ‘Hounds within nine, 49-40. A timeout by Harlan County Coach Mike Jones settled his team down just enough to regain a 13-point lead, 54-41.
Corbin refused to quit and outscored the Bears, 7-2 and got the lead down to eight on a basket by Goins. Harlan County went to the fourth quarter with a nine-point (57-48) margin after Aaron Caldwell hit one of two from the line to close out the third period.
It was Corbin’s turn to start a quarter with a spark and the Redhounds scored six unanswered points to pull within 57-54 as Jones took another timeout. The Redhounds went inside to senior Robbie Igo for two baskets while Hill added a lay-up.
The Black Bears missed five free throws during the run that allowed the Redhounds to get the score close.
It was Corbin with the hot hand over the next two and a half minutes, outscoring the Black Bears, 12-5. Senior Zach Farley gave Corbin its first lead of the game on a steal and layup to put the Redhounds ahead, 63-62. After a basket by Tyler Miller allowed Harlan County to regain the lead, Grubb knocked down a 3-pointer and Corbin never trailed again.
Corbin hit 8-of-10 free throws in the final 2:18 to maintain its lead. Grubb pushed the Redhounds ahead, 72-66 with a pair of free throws with :40 left in the game.
Goins led the Redhounds with 17 points as five players scored in double figures for Corbin. Grubb tossed in 13 points while Farley and Maguet added 11 points. Hill scored 10 points in the win while Igo finished the night with nine points despite foul trouble.
Miller led all scorers with 19 points.
Corbin will close out the regular season Friday night when they travel back to Harlan to take on the Green Dragons.
Corbin 74, Harlan Co. 70
Corbin 17 17 14 27- 74
Harlan Co. 19 26 12 13- 70
Corbin (74) – Farley 11, Maguet 11, Hill 10, Grubb 13, Igo 9, Goins 17, Shelton 3.
Harlan Co. (70) – Brewer 15, Sergent 0, Massingill 9, Miller 19, Aaron Caldwell 15, Bumgardner 4, ach Caldwell 8, James Bond 0, Fred Massey 0.