Raiders tie for first in wild Lynn Camp Tournament
By: Greg Bird
The McCreary Central Raiders won two games over the weekend in the Bowman Classic at Lynn Camp High School, earning them a tie for first in a tournament that featured a buzzer-beating shot in one game and a wild finish in another.
The Raiders knocked off Oneida Baptist Institute in convincing fashion Thursday night, taking down the Mountaineers for the second time this season with a 60-37 win.
On Friday McCreary got a buzzer-beating shot from Ryan Jones to take down the Lynn Camp Wildcats, 64-63, putting the Raiders on track to sweep the tourney.
Saturday morning McCreary faced off against the Pineville Mountain Lions. If the Raiders could pull off a victory, they would win the tournament title outright, while a loss could result in a tie for the title.
McCreary was hampered by the absence of Senior Kyle Tucker, who missed the first half due to his taking the ACT that morning. Tucker would arrive and suit up to start the second half of action, but the Raiders were trailing by 17-points at that time.
McCreary suffered from lackluster shooting and weak rebounding. Pineville dominated under the glass, scoring 13 second chance points, and also took advantage of 14 McCreary turnovers for 11 points.
Even with the return of Tucker to the floor, Pineville remained in control of the game and looked to close out with a win.
But, late in the contest, an unprovoked attack on a McCreary player led to a full-on fight breaking out on the floor and marred the remainder of the game.
With 4:47 left in the fourth quarter McCreary’s Cole Kidd was violently shoved by a Pineville player after the Lions were called for an offensive foul. The shove was unexpected as there seemed to be no bad interactions between players of either team up to that point.
Following the shove, Kidd took a step toward his assailant, who then drew back and threw two consecutive punches toward Kidd’s face. Kidd and the player briefly grappled with each other as players from both sides piled on to defend their teammates.
Officials tried to restore order, but the fight continued for several seconds before being broken up. Both coaches managed to keep the remaining players on the bench as several parents and Lynn Camp officials tried to separate the combatants.
A visibly bloodied Kidd was led from the floor suffering from at least one cut above his eye, but was otherwise unhurt.
Kidd and Devin Strunk were ejected for McCreary, as well as Hoskins and a second Pineville player for their role in the fight. Coach Robert Jones argued against Kidd’s ejection, noting he was defending himself, but officials ruled he retaliated and the ejection stood.
Coaches and officials met for several minutes to discuss the event and to decide on how to proceed. If either team did not complete the contest they could face sanctions from the KHSAA, so a compromise was reached.
In order to prevent any further incidents from occurring, the coaches agreed to continue the game, but no actual play was to go on.
McCreary inbounded the ball and held it near mid-court while Pineville settled back in a zone defense as the final four minutes ticked away.
The Raiders followed the tournament with a 79-48 win over Model Tuesday night, improving their record to 5-4 on the season.
McCreary’s next action will be two holiday tournaments in the coming weeks. First, the Annual Arby’s/KFC Holiday Classic starts Saturday at McCreary Central and will continue through Tuesday. After Christmas the Raiders will play in the Jim Hurst Holiday Classic at Trimble County.
Their next home game will be January 2 against Cumberland County.