By MATT SPARKS
For The Independent
Raceland erased a 14-point deficit in the final six minutes to beat Greenup County in overtime on Thursday night at Raceland-Worthington High School.
Sophomore Connor Messer paved the way for the Rams with 29 points and 11 rebounds, but two others stole the spotlight in the final moments to help lift Raceland to the 63rd District victory.
The Rams trailed 48-34 with 6:34 to go in regulation before storming back behind a pair of hot hands. Zack Kelly and Jacob Blair together hit six 3-pointers during the fourth quarter and overtime. Raceland scored a total of 41 points in the final 12 minutes of play.
Kelly nailed back-to-back bombs, with one turning into a four-point play, at the midway point of the fourth period. He later connected on a 3-pointer that tied the contest at 52-52 with two minutes left in regulation.
“We were trying to get it back all in one play,” said Raceland coach Bob Trimble. “Finally, we started sharing the ball and got hot at the end of the game.”
Greenup County beat Raceland’s press for a runout basket by Robbie Dillon to give the Musketeers a 60-57 advantage inside of 10 seconds.
Blair answered the call, burying a wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing with 4 seconds left.
Greenup County then missed a halfcourt heave, which brought about overtime.
Raceland (9-12) outscored the Musketeers, 13-4, in the extra period. Blair scored seven of his 16 total points in OT. Kelly also finished with 16 points.
“Coach told me to keep shooting,” Blair said. “My teammates did a great job breaking the zone and finding me for open looks.”
Greenup County went on a 14-3 run to take a 31-19 lead into halftime.
Brandon Johnson boosted the Musketeers to their biggest lead, at 43-28, with two minutes left in the third quarter. Johnson recorded a team-high 17 points.
Justin Bond and Robbie Dillon each had 13 points for Greenup County (2-16). Jair Jackson led the team with 12 boards.
Messer provided some punch in the early going with a one-handed dunk off a steal in the second quarter. His 29 points accounted for a career high.
“We didn’t start off too good,” Messer said. “At halftime, coach got on us. We played harder in the second half. We knew we had to to get the win.”
GREENUP CO. 13 18 12 17 4 — 64
RACELAND 5 14 13 28 13 — 73
Greenup County (64) — Ja. Jackson 6, Ro. Dillion 13, Brewer 1, Bond 13, Johnson 17, Jh. Jackson 4, Grooms 2, Cochran 5, Wireman 4, Re. Dillion 3 PT Made: 5 (Bond 3, Ro. Dillion, Wireman) FT: 12-23 TF: 20 Fouled Out: Bond, Johnson Technical Foul: Greenup Bench TO: 18
Raceland (73) — Messer 29, Pennington 2, Dixon 2, Kelly 16, Morris 4, Brown 2, Blair 16, Christian 2, Blankenship, Young 3 PT Made: 7(Kelly 4, Morris, Blair 4) FT: 23-33 TF: 19 Fouled Out: Pennington TO: 24