Monday: With a 66-62 win in overtime against the South Laurel Cardinals, the Corbin Redhounds are now your 2018 13th Region champions. The 25-7 Hounds will advance to next week’s Sweet 16 tournament at Rupp Arena where they will face the winners out of Region 14.
Look below for a box score from Monday night’s championship, look in Wednesday’s print edition for complete coverage from the game and look in next week’s print edition for a special section dedicated to previewing Corbin’s appearance in the upcoming 2018 KHSAA state tournament.
Corbin 66, South Laurel 62
Corbin – 14 14 14 15 9 – 66
S Laurel – 20 13 9 15 5 – 62
CHS – Sanders 12, Stewart 7, A Taylor 37, M Taylor 10
SL – Norvell 3, Hostettler 4, Anders 11, Madden 7, Cromer 19, Ramey 14, Weaver 4
Saturday: With a 75-60 victory over the Knox Central Panthers the Corbin Redhounds improved to 24-7 on the year, and they advanced to play in Monday’s 13th Region championship game.
“That’s probably the craziest game that I’ve been a part of in a long time,” said junior Chase Sanders after the win. “We just wanted to come in, stay calm and stay focused each and every play.”
The Hounds had some trouble with senior Panther Markelle Turner early in Saturday’s contest at the Arena, but a three-point basket by senior Andrew Taylor allowed Corbin to take a 17-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Redhounds got out to a 33-26 lead in the second quarter, prompting Knox Central head coach Tony Patterson to take a timeout with 58 seconds before the half. A Sanders buzzer-beater three put Corbin up by ten shortly after the break, giving them a commanding 36-26 lead going into the third quarter of play.
The Hounds continued to lead at the end of three, 52-41, and they extended that lead further in the fourth. Knox was able to rally, cutting the deficit to 56-49 and forcing Corbin to take a timeout of their own in order to settle down and regroup.
The Redhounds did what they had to do down the stretch, eventually going on to secure the 15-point win.
“It’s awesome,” said head coach Tony Pietrowski of the victory. “I’m not going to downplay it. This is a huge rivalry with a whole lot on the line, so for us to come out and play the way we did is very impressive. I’m very excited about it.”
“I liked the that way we celebrated after this win,” Pietrowski continued. “We were excited, but we also weren’t over the top. I saw a look in our kids’ eyes of ‘we’ve still got work to do.’ That is encouraging to me as a coach.”
The Hounds do indeed still have work to do if they hope to make an appearance in this year’s Sweet 16 tourney at Rupp Arena. They will have to get past longtime rivals South Laurel one more time in order to accomplish their ultimate goal after the Cardinals knocked off North Laurel late Saturday afternoon to set up a 50th District championship rematch in the finale of the 2018 boys’ 13th Region tournament.
“This feels great,” said Andrew Taylor Saturday. “Myself and my teammates have put in a lot of work over the years to get to this point. Everybody is stepping up.”
“We were kind of satisfied after our region semifinal game against Knox last year,” Taylor added. “But I don’t think we’re going to let that happen again.”
Fellow senior Hound Chandler Stewart said, “Coming in as a transfer from LCA this year, I wasn’t sure how this team would fit together. As the season has went along we’ve really come together as a family, though, and we’ve all worked very hard to get to where we are now.”
“We’ll probably be back in the gym tomorrow to get ready for Monday. We just have to stay together, and keep playing as a team.”
Corbin 75, Knox Central 60
Corbin – 17 19 16 23 – 75
Knox – 15 11 15 19 – 60
CHS – Maguet 2, Sanders 14, Stewart 28, A Taylor 20, Wine 2, M Taylor 9
KC – Carton 6, Patterson 3, M Turner 17, Martin 16, Imel 8, Adams 4, K Turner 6
Thursday and Friday: The second night of quarterfinal action in the boys’ bracket took place Thursday, with South Laurel defeating Harlan County 51-31 in game one, and the North Laurel Jaguars outlasting the Lynn Camp Wildcats 63-54 in game two.
The Cards and the Jags will face off at the Arena Saturday after the conclusion of the Corbin versus Knox Central game. The winners of those two contests will advance to Monday evening’s region championship.
With the loss Thursday, Lynn Camp ended their 2017-18 season with a final overall record of 23 wins, and eight losses.
The girls were back on the court Friday, with both semifinal round games taking place to set up Saturday evening’s region championship. In game one, Harlan County defeated South Laurel 68-62. In game two, the Whitley County Lady Colonels fell to North Laurel, 64-44.
Whitley senior Abbey Estes hit a three-point shot to tie the game up at 8-8 at the end of the first quarter. Things remained competitive in the second, with North taking a 19-15 lead into the half. The Lady Jags were able to get out to a more comfortable lead in the third quarter, however, going up 43-27. The Lady Colonels continued to battle in the fourth, but eventually saw their season come to a close with the 20-point defeat.
Whitley head coach David Estes spoke about his team after the game, saying, “They are more than just players, and they always will be. They are a special group. They won 25 games, which is the most the program has had since the 1985 season.”
Estes went on to say that he believes there are more “good times ahead” for the Lady Colonels despite the fact they will be graduating a very talented senior trio in Abbey Estes, Sierra Feltner and Hannah Clear. Next season the Whitley girls will look to be led by another promising group of seniors in Kaelie Frazier, Sarah Bolton and MacKenzie Smith.
As for Saturday’s girls’ region tournament finals, the game between Harlan County and North Laurel is scheduled to tipoff at 7:00 p.m. at the Corbin Arena.
Whitley County Lady Colonels photos courtesy of SCOTT POWELL
Wednesday: The boys’s region tournament kicked off at the Corbin Arena tonight, and the 50th District champion Corbin Redhounds were in action against Jackson County in the evening’s late game.
The Hounds only held on to a four point lead at halftime, 25-21, but outscored the Generals 42-26 in the second half to come away with the 20-point win, 67-47. Senior Andrew Taylor had a huge night, scoring 26 points, grabbing 19 rebounds, recording nine assists and finishing with six steals.
“Andrew dominated the glass, and distributed the ball extremely well,” said Corbin head coach Tony Pietrowski after the game. “He just literally took over in the second half. He’s a whale of a basketball player.”
“All of our kids are buying in,” Pietrowski added. “We always talk about individual roles in our program, how you can help your team, and I think we’re really starting to figure that out.”
The Redhounds, now 23-7 on the year, will square off against the Knox Central Panthers in the region tournament semifinals Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Knox (27-5) defeated Harlan Independent 86-54 in the early game Wednesday to earn their spot in the semis.
When asked about the upcoming matchup against the Panthers, Coach Pietrowski said, “They’re a great basketball team. They’ve played well the entire year, and Tony (head coach Tony Patterson) has done a super job with them. This is the game that everybody talked about as soon as the draw came out, and it’s going to be a fun environment.”
Knox bested Corbin 73-61 back on December 30 in the championship game of the 2017 Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament. The Hounds returned the favor on January 19, however, beating the Panthers at CHS 81-67. To find out how the third meeting between these two talented teams will go, be sure to check back here Saturday for updates.
Corbin 67, Jackson Co 47
Corbin – 16 9 16 26 – 67
Jackson Co – 7 14 13 13 – 47
CHS – Sanders 16, Stewart 7, A. Taylor 26, Wine 2, Unthank 2, M. Taylor 14