Pike County nearly pulls off upset of Barbour County

Published 11:00 pm Friday, January 10, 2014

The Pike County Bulldogs came up two points and seven seconds short of knocking off perennial basketball power Barbour County in Clayton, losing 44-42.

The Dawgs hung tight with the Jaguars all night, but, in the end, Barbour County’s size, free throw shooting and championship pedigree were enough to knock off a pesky Pike County squad.

Pike County could not get much going offensively in the first half. The first quarter saw the Bulldogs only score five points on two field goals. The second quarter was not much better. The Bulldogs trailed 25-16 going in to the half after Barbour County closed the first half on a 13-5 run.

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In the second half, things picked up for the Bulldogs. Pike County began making baskets on the offensive end, which allowed the Bulldogs to set up their defensive press.

The Jaguars could do little against the swarming Pike County defense. Ryshaun Hall caught fire in the third, scoring 10 points on four shots. The Bulldogs outscored the Jaguars 14-9 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 30-34 heading in to the final period.

The Bulldogs and Jaguars traded buckets back and forth in the fourth quarter until Pike County coach Doug Holland called a timeout with three minutes left in the game and his Bulldogs trailing 35-42.

Following the timeout, Hall hit a field goal to bring the Bulldogs within five. On the Jaguar’s ensuing possession Hall stole the ball and dished an assist to Deshon Cowling who hit a layup to bring the Dawgs within three.

With 33.7 seconds left in the game, Jerrell Lawson found himself alone with the ball on the baseline. He pulled up and sank a clutch three-point shot to tie the game as the Pike County contingency erupted in the stands.

The Bulldogs’ elation was not to last. Barbour County’s Stephon Walton sank two free throws after being fouled driving to the basket with 8.4 seconds left.

Pike County advanced the ball past halfcourt and called time out with 5.7 seconds left. Holland drew up a designed play, but the Bulldogs were unable to get a shot off.

Barbour County’s fans flooded the courts as the Jaguars held off the Pike County upset bid.

Despite the loss, coach Holland said he was proud of the way his team battled back from adversity. “I’m proud of the way the boys battled back,” Holland said. “To cut the lead to the point we had a chance to win it at the end is something I’m proud of. We had way too many turnovers, and we shot poorly from the free throw line. We finished 3-14. I thought we matched up well, but they just made one more play than we did.”

Hall led the way for the Bulldogs with 13. Cowling added 12. The loss drops the Bulldogs’ area record to 1-1.

In girls’ action, the Pike County Lady Dawgs were overmatched by Barbour County in a 48-6 loss.

Both Pike County teams will be in action on Saturday against Goshen.

First tip is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in Goshen,