For The Independent
Elliott County was dialed in from long distance to advance to the finals of the Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital Holiday Classic Friday afternoon.
The Lions connected on 11 3-pointers to defeat Greenup County 59-53 at the Greenhouse.
Elliott County spread the wealth from beyond the arc. Logan Nickell, Chase Porter and Hunter Holbrook each hit three long balls. Reece Griffith added two.
The hot shooting was key, according to Lions coach Greg Adkins, to negate the Musketeers’ height advantage inside.
“With the length that Greenup County has out there, we were trying to be aggressive off the dribble and attack,” Adkins said. “I thought we did a good job of that today and we set ourselves up for some good looks from outside.”
Nickell finished with a game-high 17 points and was named Player of the Game.
The senior guard is a guaranteed double-figure scorer on any given night, but Adkins said you shouldn’t overlook his passing abilities.
“What doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet is the way Logan has been penetrating,” Adkins said of his star guard. “Porter got two threes on kickouts from Logan. He did what we asked him to do by getting into the paint and making good decisions.”
Musketeers coach Harold Tackett knows that Elliott County can be a dangerous team from outside.
Said Tackett: “They put five kids out there that can flat out shoot the ball and, with our size, it gives us a terrible matchup situation. Elliott County is solid and when they shoot like they did tonight, they can play with anybody in the region.
Greenup County was hit with some early foul trouble when senior Robbie Dillion headed to the bench with two fouls just four minutes into the game.
Still, the Musketeers maintained a four-point lead after Jair Jackson putback midway through the second quarter.
The Lions nailed three from long range on their next three possessions to regain the lead and it never relinquished it the rest of the way.
Greenup County (3-7) cut the lead to two on two separate occasions in the fourth, but could not get any closer.
Jackson led Greenup County with 15 points. Dillion and Jherrell Jackson were also in double figures with 13 and 10, respectively.
Holbrook chipped in 16 points and Porter added nine for the Lions.
Elliott County (9-3) will meet Woodford County in the championship game today at 5 p.m. Greenup County will play East Carter at 3 for third place.
ELLIOTT CO 10 16 16 17 — 59
GREENUP CO 9 14 14 16 — 53
Elliott County (59) - Nickell 17, L. Griffith 5, R. Griffith 8, Holbrook 16, Howell2, Sloas, I. Griffith 2, Porter 9. 3-PT FG: 11(Nickell 3, R. Griffith 2, Porter 3, Holbrook 3) FT: 10-13. PF: 13. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 9.
Greenup County (53) -Jh. Jackson 10, Dillion 13, Ja. Jackson 15, Wireman 3, Johnson 4, Black, Hughes 4, Grooms 4, Lester. 3-PT FG: 4(Jh. Jackson 2, Dillion, Wireman) FT: 9-16. PF: 12. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 14.
Woodford Co. 68
East Carter 53
Woodford County placed four players in double figures as it sprinted past East Carter in the second semifinal.
Eli Boggess hit his first five buckets on his way to 23 points and Player of the Game honors.
Samuel Souers hit four from beyond the arc to finish with 17 and Grayson Graf put 11 in the scoring column.
Michael Shelton rounded out the scoring with 10 off the bench.
It was just the opposite for the Raiders (6-5) on the offensive end. The Yellow Jackets’ swarming defense made it difficult for East Carter to find points and led to transition baskets for Woodford County.
“They are really good on the defensive end,” East Carter coach Brandon Baker said. “They really pressure you and push you out of your offense. They will try and impose their will against yours. That’s what happened and we labored to get shots.”
Woodford County (7-4) shot out to an early lead with the help or Boggess’ 13 first-quarter points. After a 20-7 run to end the first half, the Yellow Jackets held a 41-25 halftime edge.
Donald Damron led the Raiders in scoring with 13. Bradley Marsh contributed 11.
Baker says how beneficial it is for his team to play in quality tournaments and not have to stray too far from Grayson.
WOODFORD 19 22 17 10 — 68
EAST CARTER 12 13 12 16 — 53
Woodford County (68) - Shelton 10, Souers 17, Boggess 23, McCrady 2, Pohlman 1, Couch, Ramirez 2, Graf 11, Laine 2, Robinette, Sanders, Horn, Huffman, Sly. 3-PT FG: 5(Graf, Souers 4) FT: 16-21. PF: 17. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 13.
East Carter (53) - Brammer 3, Greene 9, B. Marsh 11, Davis 7, Tackett 1, Damron 13, Sparks 3, S. Marsh 2, Brooks 2, Knipp 2, Hall, Jackson, Perkins, Bailey. 3-PT FG: 5(Greene 2, B. Marsh, Davis, Damron) FT: 15-22. PF: 17. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 10.
Keith Mason’s putback at the buzzer lifted the Patriots to a win over the Eagles in the consolation round.
Zack Rice-Gordon led Model with 19 points. Alex Chen had 15 and Ephraim Otieno tallied 10.
Andrew Carroll had 17 points for the Eagles. Alex Roy and Antwan Washington scored 10 apiece.
Hancock Co. 45
It was another nailbiter in the other consolation game. Travis Skelton buried a shot at the end of the game to give Frankfort (3-9) the victory over Hancock County.
Fairview (1-6) plays Hancock County (4-2) in the opening game today at noon. Model (8-2) meets Frankfort at 1:30.