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Raiders split weekend games

The Raiders got past a slow start Friday night to knock off Middlesboro, but couldn’t overcome a strong third quarter run from East Jessamine Saturday, as McCreary went 1-1 over the past weekend.

Against Middlesboro neither team looked strong in the first quarter. The Raiders hit only 3 of 17 shot attempts in the quarter, while the Yellow Jackets didn’t fare much better.

When the first 8 minutes were complete, Middlesboro held a slim, 14-13 lead.

McCreary woke up in the second quarter and outscored the Jackets 29-16 in the period to take a 42-30 lead into the break.

Unfortunately, the shooting didn’t improve much as the majority of the scoring came from the free throw line. In a night where whistles stopped the action quite a bit, the two teams combined for 48 free throw attempts in the first half alone.

In all, 54 fouls were called in the game, including two technical’s, one against a McCreary player and another on the Middlesboro bench. The Yellow Jackets hit 23 of 38 attempts for 60 percent in the game, while McCreary hit 30 of 46 attempts for a 65 percent night.

The Raiders played aggressively, working on their full-court press, possibly accounting for some of the foul calls in the game. The press worked, confounding the Middlesboro offense and McCreary forced several turnovers throughout the game on their way to a 92-63 win.

The magic faded a little on the following afternoon as the Raiders hosted East Jessamine. The aggressiveness was still in play, but it cost McCreary in the end.

The Raiders led 30-26 at the half, despite having three starters already in foul trouble.

The Jaguars took advantage of poor third quarter shooting from the Raiders to outscore McCreary 20-10 in the period and take a 46-40 lead into the final frame.

The Raiders chipped away, finally regaining the lead on a Ryan Jones basket with 1:30 left in the game. The Jackets responded with their own score to take a 59-58 lead with 1:15 left.

Devon Hamilton drew a foul and hit both free throws with 1:05 on the clock to take a 60-59 lead.

With 33.1 seconds left the Jaguars missed a three-point shot and the Raiders grabbed the rebound, calling a time out to set strategy. The plan failed as Jessamine forced a turnover on the inbound play and drew an intentional foul call to boot, giving them two free throws and the ball back.

The Jags’ Devin Cook hit both free throws for a 61-60 lead, and Yallen Woods was fouled on the ensuing play as McCreary tried to preserve time on the clock. Woods hit only one of two attempts for a 2-point Jaguar lead, setting up a final desperation push by the Raiders.

Hunter Jones, who led all scorers with 22 points, got the potential game-tying shot off in time, but his effort missed, giving East Jessamine the 62-60 win.

Scoring: 

V. Middlesboro:

D. Hamilton -32, H. Jones -12, N. Longmire -12,

D. Strunk -9, C. Dixon -5, C. Phillips -5, R. Jones- 4, B. Troxell -4,

J. Cash -3, H. Bryant -2,

C. Kidd -2, T. Phillips -1.

V. E. Jessamine:

H. Jones -22, D. Hamilton -19, B. Troxell -8,

C. Phillips -6, R. Jones -4, C. Kidd -1.

The Raiders travel to Rockcastle County Tuesday, Wayne County Friday and take on Clinton County at Pulaski County High School Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. in the Don Marshall Classic.

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