VANCEBURG For one night, Raceland’s boys basketball team turned a rectangle of ruin into hoops heaven.

The Rams left Lewis County Middle School on Tuesday with a 58-52 win behind junior Austin Cumpton’s 22 points and 11 rebounds and junior Kirk Pence’s 12 points. Raceland thus improved to 10-2 overall and 2-1 in the 63rd District.

“Any time you come in here to Lewis County,” Pence said, “it’s always a very hard place to play.”

Tuesday was no exception: There were 12 lead changes and eight ties. What was more, the Rams won their seventh game out of 24 against the Lions dating to the 2009-10 season.

Cumpton’s line: 9-of-13 from the field, 3-of-6 free throws, five steals, a deflection, an assist and a block.

Lewis County fell to 4-10 overall and 1-2 in the district.

After Trey Gerike hit a 3 which put the Lions ahead, 17-14, early in second quarter, all Raceland needed was Cumpton and Pence – they scored the Rams’ final 17 points.

First, Cumpton hit a free throw, then two field goals in 23 seconds, followed by Pence’s five points. The score: Rams ahead, 27-25.

O’Keefe, meanwhile, matched Cumpton in scoring and rebounding: 22 points and 11 boards. He added an assist, three steals and a deflection, and his bucket with 2:56 to go in the half put the Lions up, 25-24 – a lead that lasted just 11 seconds because Cumpton scored four points.

The result: Raceland (10-2, 2-1 in the district), 29-25. Pence’s bucket with 32 seconds to go and an O’Keefe bucket with two ticks left put the Rams ahead, 31-29.

Lewis County started the third quarter about the same way it opened the first: a 15-5 run became a 44-36 Lion lead after O’Keefe’s offensive rebound and stick-back with 1:34 remaining.

Perhaps the most important thing Raceland did in the second half was unfurl a half-court, semi-trap zone defense. It worked because Lewis County coughed up 12 of its 20 turnovers in the final 16 minutes.

“We got a lot of extra possessions out of that,” Raceland coach Bob Trimble said. “I think, once we went to that, they weren’t really ready for it, and it caused them some trouble.”  

Lewis County coach Joe Hampton concurred.

“We threw it everywhere, all over the gym,” Hampton said. “And that’s what was the most disappointing. … It wasn’t anything we haven’t seen; it’s just how we responded to it.”

Andrew Floyd was about to drive to the basket with about 90 seconds left in the game. Instead, he found Kyle Broughton on the left wing, and the resulting 3-pointer gave the Rams the lead for good at 53-50.

“We’re off to a great start, but we’re not satisfied with where we’re at,” Pence said. “We want to keep getting better and keep pushing every day and every game.”

RACELAND    FG    FT    REB    TO

Floyd    2-9    3-6    2    7

Pence    5-16    1-2    3    12

Broughton    2-5    0-1    1    6

Newman    0-0    0-0    0    0

Stephens    0-0    0-0    0    0

Cumpton    9-13    3-6    11    22

Reed    0-1    0-0    0    0

Team            0

TOTALS    22-50    10-18    30    58

FG Pct.: 44.0. FT Pct: 55.6. 3-point FG: 4-15 (Floyd 0-3, Pence 1-7, Broughton 2-4, Cumpton 1-1). PF: 11. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 12.

LEWIS CO.    FG    FT    REB    TO

Thomas    4-10    0-1    7    8

Liles    1-4    0-0    0    3

McCann    5-14    0-1    6    10

Gerike    2-6    1-2    2    5

Spencer    1-2    0-0    6    2

Yates    1-4    0-2    1    2

O'Keefe    9-14    3-3    11    22

Team            0

TOTALS    23-54    3-5    34    52

FG Pct.: 42.6. FT Pct: 60.0. 3-point FG: 3-11 (Liles 1-4, Gerike 1-2, Yates 0-2, O'Keefe 1-3). PF: 16. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 20.

RACELAND    12    19    9    18    –    58

LEWIS CO.    14    15    15     8    –    52    

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