It all came down to two 50th District rival teams going at it Tuesday night for this year’s Cumberland Falls Invitational championship.
The host Corbin Redhounds squared off with the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets for all the marbles, and these two squads did not disappoint those fans who were in attendance.
Williamsburg senior Corey Shelton’s three-point shot with seconds left in the first quarter gave his team a 15-13 lead.
Things remained close until the half, when a six-point Redhound lead was cut to three, 31-28, after a buzzer beater three from Jacket Garrett Faulkner.
Corbin came out hot in the second half, and when the third quarter ended they still held on to a three-point, 43-40 lead.
A couple of minutes later the game was all tied up at 45-45 after a Fred Massey two-point bucket for Williamsburg, who had to battle back from a 10-point deficit to tie.
Late in the game, the Hounds took advantage of a technical foul on Williamsburg’s Andrew Griffith, hitting three-of-four free throws to take a 59-53 lead.
Free throws ended up being a crucial factor in the game, which was marred by an inordinate number of personal foul calls. Over 50 were whistled in the contest. The second techincal on Griffith disqualified him from the game. Teammate Chase Lowrie fouled out earlier in the game, as did Corbin’s Kenny Hopper and AJ Moore.
Despite Giffith’s ejection, the Jackets were still able to battle back again, and came away with the one-point 64-63 win thanks to a last second shot by Shelton after a five second violation on the ensuing Corbin inbound play
With the championship victory, Williamsburg remains unbeaten on the year at 9-0. Corbin falls to 8-4.
HOW THEY GOT THERE
The finals of this year’s Cumberland Falls Invitational at Corbin High School was also a showdown between two 50th District rivals, with the host Redhounds taking on the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets.
Both teams had their work cut out for them if they wanted to reach the championship game Tuesday night, beginning with Corbin, who opened up play in the tournament Saturday against the Easley Green Wave, an very talented team from South Carolina.
The Hounds held onto a narrow 27-25 lead at the half, and only led by four, 44-40, at the end of the third quarter. A 13-0 run propelled them past the Green Wave though, eventually winning 74-64.
After the game, Head Coach Tony Pietrowski said that he felt lucky to be able to advance to the next round, and despite the win, he wished to see more effort out of his team moving forward.
Corbin 75, Easley 64
Corbin – 19 8 17 30 – 74
Easley – 13 12 15 24 – 64
Andrew Taylor 19, Kenny Hopper 16, Trevor Browning 13, Conner Hopkins 12, Sam Taylor 7, Zach Maguet 6, AJ Moore 3
Corbin’s semifinal game was Monday evening against a quick and aggressive Rockcastle Rockets team that made a late-game rally to make things interesting, but time was not on their side.
Although Corbin led by as much as 15 points at one time, they were only able to win by two, 74-73.
Coach Pietrowski said that he was very excited about his team playing their way into a Falls Invitational championship, but he also said that they need to work on “tightening up and playing better for longer stretches” in order to keep from “squandering leads and letting teams back in” to ball games.
Corbin 75, Rockcastle Co 73
Corbin – 12 21 21 21 – 75
Rock – 11 18 13 31 – 73
A Taylor 31, Hopper 19, Zach Maguet 9, S Taylor 7, Hopkins 6, Browning 3
Williamsburg’s run in the CFIT began Sunday with a game against the Elizabethton, TN Cyclones.
Thanks to a buzzer beater shot to end the half, Elizabethton was able to tie the score up at 22-22 heading into the third quarter of play.
Senior Jackets Skyler Griffith and Corey Shelton combined for all 20 of the team’s third quarter points to give Williamsburg the 42-38 lead, however, and they were able to fend off the Cyclones in the fourth quarter to win 58-54.
After the game, Head Coach Patrick Robinson said that he considered this his team’s toughest test to date.
W’burg 58, E’ton 54
WB – 12 10 20 16 – 58
ET – 10 12 16 16 – 54
Skyler Griffith 24, Corey Shelton 23, Andrew Griffith 10, Fred Massey 1
On Monday, the Jackets were back in action against the South Laurel Cardinals. This would be the first time these two teams had faced one another since Williamsburg upset South in the first round of the 50th District tournament nearly a year ago.
The Yellow Jackets shot the ball very well on the night, and battled hard while defending and fighting for rebounds. The end result was a 47-40 victory, qualifying them for a matchup with Corbin Tuesday night in the 2014 Cumberland Falls Invitational championship.
“This is a huge win,” said Coach Robinson after the game. “But we still have a lot of work to do if we want to beat Corbin. To compete with them on their home court will be tough, but our kids are determined.”
W’burg 47, S Laurel 40
WB – 14 9 15 9 – 47
SL – 5 13 13 9 – 40
Shelton 19, A Griffith 13, S Griffith 12, Chase Lowrie 2, Ethan Wilson 1