By Steve LeMaster
PINEVILLE - McCreary Central came up short on the road at Bell County on Friday. The host Bobcats held on to beat the Raiders 66-60 in a boys' high school basketball game.
With the loss, McCreary Central dropped to 4-3.
Bell County improved to 5-2 with the win.
Much-improved Bell County notched its fourth straight win. The Bobcats won for the fifth time in six outings.
Sawyer Brock paced Bell County with a game-high 24 points.
Finishing directly behind Brock in the Bell County scoring column, Ryan Lamdin netted 23 points.
Tyler Partin pushed in 10 points as three Bobcats reached double figures in the scoring column.
Determined Bell County drained free throws down the stretch to clinch the win.
Bell County, which carried a lead out of each quarter, outscored the Raiders 18-15 in the final period.
McCreary Central lost despite shooting 52.3 percent (23-of-44) from the field. The Raiders were 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) from 3-point range.
McCreary Central shot 70 percent (7-of-10) from the free throw line.
Hunter Jones paced McCreary Central with 23 points and seven rebounds.
Joining Jones in double figures for the Raiders, Derrick Paige pushed in 15 points and also grabbed seven rebounds.
Devin Strunk scored seven points while Nick Longmire and Brandon Troxell tossed in five points apiece for visiting McCreary Central.
John Cash and Caleb Cox rounded out the McCreary Central individual scoring, chipping in three points and two points, respectively.
McCreary Central is slated to host Bell County for a mid-season boys' high school basketball game on January 16.
The Raiders were entertaining Russell County in the opening round of the Arby's/KFC Holiday Classic at press time on Wednesday.