Hayden Llewellyn was Hayden Llewellyn, and Brody Wells triggered an 11-0 scoring run midway through the fourth quarter to propel the Corbin Redhounds past Harlan Monday night, 63-53, and set up a semi-final matchup with North Laurel in the 13th Region Tournament on Friday.
Corbin started off the game on a 10-1 run, and extended the lead to 15-3 as Llewellyn found his rythmn, scoring nine of his 22 points.
Consecutive turnovers by Corbin led to a comeback by the Green Dragons late in the first quarter, cutting the lead to 17-12.
However, Llewellyn knocked down two consecutive shots and the Redhounds led by nine, 21-12 at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, Harlan found its offense, including a 9-0 run late, while the Redhounds struggled with just six points in the period.
“We just took really bad shots bad shots,” said Corbin Coach Tony Pietrowski.
The Green Dragons tied the score at 26 with 1:30 remaining, and hit a late 3-point shot to go into the half with the 29-28 lead.
Corbin continued to struggle in the third quarter, going scoreless for the first 3:30.
“We talked to our guys about attacking the rim and then we come out at the beginning of the third quarter and jack up two more 40-footers,” Pietrowski said. “So, I was disappointed in the fact that we weren’t trying to attack the rim on them.”
The Green Dragons were only marginally better but led, 41-37 at the end of the period.
Josh Hibbits started off the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and Llewellyn added a basket to cut Harlan’s lead to just one point, 42-41.
Near the five-minute mark, Dakota Patterson’s basket put Corbin back on top, 44-43.
On Harlan’s next possession, Stewart Carter committed his fourth foul and Harlan hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 44.
That was when Wells came to life.
Wells’ next basket gave Corbin a lead it would not relinquish, adding the next three points to extend the lead to 49-44.
Wells ended the night with 15 points, hitting five of seven shots and five of six free throws, and adding eight rebounds.
“It was almost like he flipped the switch,” said Pietrowski on Wells’ performance. “He looked different than everybody else out on the floor. That is something special with the amount of athletic prowess that was out there tonight.”
Patterson nailed his only 3-pointer of the night, and then Hibbits followed with a basket to extend the Redhounds’ lead to 10, 54-44.
“A quarter here, hit and miss, a quarter there, hit and miss, but the main thing is what we did in the fourth quarter and ended up pulling away and winning by 10,” Pietrowski said. “In the post season you’ve got to survive and advance.”
Advancing means Corbin will be back on the floor at 6 p.m. Friday night to play 49th District Champion North Laurel.
Pietrowski thanked the fans that turned out for the Redhounds Monday night, adding that Friday night would be an even bigger environment as it is a win-or-go-home situation.
“Lets pack it out in Corbin red and get behind these kids,” Pietrowski said.