BROOKSVILLE – Brycen Collins picked the most opportunistic time to score his first three points of the game.
Collins' 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left lifted Bourbon County over Lewis County 57-54, in the first round of the JBR/Straight Edge Construction Holiday Tournament Wednesday at Bracken County.
“We drew up an open set, let Elijah (Chenault) create, put the ball in his hands and he made the correct play. He drove as far as he could in the lane, kicked out and Brycen was ready to shoot the ball,” Colonels coach Lamont Campbell said.
The Colonels led for the majority, even up to 11 points late in the third quarter before the Lions made their surge, finally tying the game up with 29 seconds to go at 54-all on a Seth Wright 3-pointer. After a Colonels timeout with 12 seconds to play, Chenault drove the lane and found Collins in the corner for an open triple and he drained it.
The Lions called timeout, got the ball to Wright from three-quarter court, Wright took one dribble and heaved the ball toward the hoop, hitting the backboard, front of the rim and bouncing out on a desperation heave that was oh so close to sending the game to overtime.
“We wanted Seth to get a little bit closer, he didn’t catch it exactly where we wanted to, they pushed up a bit. It was the same play we ran here on this exact court a few years ago when Brett Ruckel hit one at the buzzer against Bracken,” Lions coach Joe Hampton said. “Seth got a decent look, but it was just a little too deep for a high chance of it going in.”
The story of the game throughout was the Colonels being able to control the glass, outrebounding the Lions 37-29 in the contest.
“That’s a great indication of one team outplaying the other,” Hampton said. “That’s something about wanting to and going after it. I feel like we got outplayed today and that stat backs that up.”
After the two went back-and-forth in the first quarter, it was Zack Workman with a 3-pointer before the buzzer to give Bourbon a 17-15 lead headed into the second.
Workman hit two free throws to open up the second and the Lions would go on a 7-0 run from there to take a 22-19 lead midway through the second quarter. Tay Offut scored three straight to get the Lions up 29-26 in the final minute before half, but the Colonels closed with the final five points, the last three a Chenault running 3-pointer from 30-feet at the buzzer to give Bourbon a 31-29 lead at the break. The Lions wouldn't see the lead again.
“We gave up scores at the end of the first, the half and the game and that’s on our mental approach. We left shooters too many times today and had too many mental breakdowns,” Hampton said.
Bourbon went on a 9-0 run in the third to build a double-digit lead at 43-33 with 3:47 to go in the frame, leading by as much as 11 before taking a 51-44 lead into the fourth.
The Lions held the Colonels to three points for 7:58 of the fourth quarter.
“We got turnovers, pressed them a bit and were able to keep chipping away. I felt like we had multiple opportunities to cut the lead down even more, but we struggled to make shots and that’s kind of the way the game went for us. Our press got us back in it and gave us a chance and we finally hit some big shots there at the end," Hampton said.
But it was Collins three points at the 1.8 mark in the frame to push the Colonels over the edge, boosting them to 4-6 on the season.
“Our record isn’t indicative of who we are. We’re 4-6, but the four games that we’ve won, we beat Mason at the Fieldhouse in overtime, Belfry in overtime, this one on a near buzzer beater. The games we’ve lost it’s been attributed to us not playing hard and that’s been kind of the Bourbon County thing in the past and we’re trying to change that. It’s not an overnight fix and hopefully we end 2017 off on a positive note the next two days and move forward,” Campbell said.
Workman led the Colonels with 20 points while Titus Ransom added 17 and Chenault 11. Workman and Ransom had 23 of the Colonels 26 second half points. Bourbon moves on to face Sayre, who knocked off Harrison County 63-61, in the closing seconds of the first day of the game. That one takes place Thursday at 6 p.m.
The Lions were led by Seth Wright’s 13 points. Sam O’Keefe chipped in 11 to go with six boards while Cameron Ruckel added 10. Tay Offut came off the bench and provided nine points and six rebounds for the Lions, who dropped to 8-5 on the season in the loss. Lewis County will take on Harrison County Thursday at 2 p.m. in the losers bracket.
“We’d like to be in the winners bracket, not the losers bracket, but as far as getting better, we get to lace them up tomorrow and hopefully we bring a better mental effort. Our mental effort was as bad as it’s been all year,” Hampton said.