Records three double digit wins to take title.
The Barbourville Tiger boys’ basketball team opened the 2014 season with a first place finish in the Forcht Bank Tiger
Basketball Classic over the weekend. The Tigers along with host Forcht Bank hosted the round robin tournament that included Barbourville, Oneida Baptist Institute, Middlesboro and McCreary Central.
Barbourville opened up action against Oneida Baptist (1-4) on Thursday night by posting an 84-65 victory. The Tigers took an early first quarter lead behind strong play by Brantley Perry who put up six unanswered points that included a free throw and a three pointer for an early 6-3 lead. The Mountaineers stormed back to a 9-6 advantage with consecutive three pointers. Both teams traded baskets through the remainder of the first quarter to a 15-15 tie.
Head Coach Dinky Phipps said, “We came out nervous and made a few mistakes that got our team into foul trouble early.”
The Tigers traded baskets with OBI much of second quarter but pulled away late in the first half with two baskets from Markelle Turner and scoring from Sophomore Bradley Warren for a 37-29 halftime advantage.
Barbourville’s relentless pressure proved too much for the Mountaineers in the second half. The Tigers pulled away to a 19 point victory for the first win of the tournament and season.
Coach Phipps said he was proud of his kids. “I thought our bench did a tremendous job. James Witt and Bradley Warren helped shut them down after the half. Any time you play the first game you do not know what to expect. I am just glad to get a “W[in]”.
Leading scorers included Brently Perry with 28, James Witt tossed in 15, Markelle Turner added 10 and Bradley Warren scored nine. Leading the team in rebounds was James Witt with nine boards while Collin Grubb pulled down seven followed by Wade Liford’s six boards.
The Tigers took the court again on Friday night in day two action against the Middlesboro Yellowjackets. Middlesboro jumped out to an early 6-2 lead behind scores from Major Edwards and Micah Robbins. Barbourville pulled even mid-way through the first quarter at 10-10 and took the lead for the first time behind two points from Markelle Turner. The Tigers opened up and eight point lead by the end of the first quarter and extended it to 19 points by half time. Barbourville continued their dominate play throughout the second half and cruised to a 37 point victory 87-50. Five Tigers ended the game with double digit scoring performances including a game high mark by Markelle Turner who posted 18 points, Brandon Gray shot for 13 and Collin Grubb added 12 while Tate Carter and Brently Perry each scored 11. Brandon Gray and Wade Liford led the way on the boards with 8 and 7 rebounds, respectively.
Barbourville capped off an impressive tournament run on Saturday with a 27 point victory over the McCreary Central Raiders. The Raiders (2-2) fell behind in the first quarter as the Tigers hot shooters poured in five three pointers. Tate Carter and Brently Perry each added two three pointers and Bradley Warren hit a long three at the buzzer to give the Tigers a 27-14 lead at the end of one. Perry continued scoring the second quarter by tossing in four more field goals to extend the lead to 16 points at half time. The Tigers easily finished off the Raiders in the second half with a 88-61 victory to capture the title.