Macon County Takes TCC Boys Second
By David Sharp
Macon County (19-5, 7-1 in the Tri-County Conference) reeled off a 14-3 second half run, breaking open a hotly contested regular season wrap up for both teams and took a 57-52 win over Brashear.
The Tigers (16-8, 6-2) dropped to third in the final boys’ conference standings behind unbeaten champion LaPlata and the Raiders.
The lead changed hands early and often through most of the contest. The Tigers took advantage of steals and Raider turnovers on the Macon County Senior Night.
Macon County opened a 13-9 lead with 2:48 remaining in the first quarter. Kiley Watson pulled the Tigers back within a bucket 14 seconds later.
Macon County sophomore standout Josh Bailey threw the ball down with one hand for a 15-11 Raider lead with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter.
Kale Watson stole the ball three times in the last two minutes of the first period. Trae Treasure and Ryan Ferdig converted two of the steals to points. Ryan Ferdig’s three point play put Brashear on top of a 16-15 lead with 1:19 showing on the first quarter clock.
Macon County scored in the closing seconds of the first quarter and took a 17-16 lead to the break. Kale Watson and Josh Bailey traded three pointers early in the second quarter.
The second period was a back and forth entertaining affair. The Tigers led 23-20 on a pair of Trae Treasure free throws at the 2:40 mark.
Josh Bailey evened the score at 23 with a three ball with 2:01 to play until intermission. Raider center Andy Thompson powered home a field goal with two seconds to play, putting Macon County up 26-23 at the half.
Macon County controlled the lane most of the contest. The Raiders had a good inside to outside game going. Brashear could not get past a physical Raider inside presence. The Tigers capitalized on 20 Macon County turnovers and shot the ball well.
Brashear led 29-28 with 4:03 to play in the third quarter. The Tigers had a string of six possessions without scoring. Andy Thompson and Josh Bailey put Macon County up 32-29 with 2:56 to play in period three.
Kiley Watson converted a put back ending the Tiger scoring drought with 2:42 showing on the third quarter clock. The Raiders led 34-31. Kale Watson scored on another offensive rebound 42 seconds later. Ryan Ferdig canned a clutch ten footer for a 35-34 Tiger edge with 90 seconds to play until the last break.
Kiley Watson extended the Tiger lead to 36-34 with a free throw at the 1:12 mark. Josh Lusher tied the game with a pair of Macon County free throws with 62 seconds remaining in the period.
Ethan Thompson sank the first of two momentum changing Macon County three pointers with 40 seconds on the clock. Andy Thompson’s free throw gave Macon County a 40-36 lead at the break.
Ethan Thompson set the Raider faithful to another level with a three pointer just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter. Andy Thompson’s put back basket gave Macon County their largest lead of the game at 45-36 with 6:55 to play in regulation.
Kale Watson stepped up and buried a clutch Brashear three with 6:42 showing on the clock for a 45-39 deficit. Andy Thompson capped the game changing 14-3 Raider run with a field goal at the 5:09 mark and a 49-39 home team lead.
“Our goal was to attack the basket and use our size in the lane,” said Raider coach Daniel Liebhart. “Our free throw shooting is usually better than tonight. It hurt us losing (point guard Joel Atha) to a real bad rolled ankle. He is our free throw shooter. We put the ball in his hands late in the game.”
“We were worn down. That 11 point run got our fans in the game and got us fired up again,” said Coach Liebhart. “We did just enough down the stretch to win.”
Jacob Shipman started the Tiger stretch run with a home run ball with just under four minutes to play in the game. Macon County extended their lead to nine points and kept the margin until Kale Watson tossed in a Tiger home run ball for a 54-49 Macon County lead with 56 seconds showing on the clock.
Macon County missed ten fourth quarter free throws, and was 8-20 from the charity stripe on the night. Brashear harmed their chance to rally for second in the conference by going 3-7 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Brashear was better overall with a 10-18 performance at the free throw line.
The teams traded free throws. Jacob Shipman made the first of two free throws with 39 seconds to play for a 55-50 Raider edge. Trae Treasure rebounded the second missed free throw.
Macon County guard James Rowe darted around the baseline and stole the basketball. Andy Thompson put the Raiders back up 56-50 with a free throw at the 18 second mark. Ryan Ferdig pulled the Tigers back to a 56-52 deficit seven seconds later.
Macon County sank another free throw and hung on for the 57-52 win. Brashear had six fewer turnovers with 14 on the night. The Tigers had 31 rebounds, 11 offensive boards and 11 steals.
Kale Watson led the Tigers with 13 points and three steals. Trae Treasure was in double figures with 12 points. Kiley Watson and Ryan Ferdig scored seven points each. Jacob Shipman scored six points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Matt Thomas scored five points with three steals. Justin Hazen added two Tiger points.
Josh Bailey scored a game high 20 Macon County points. Andy Thompson was in double figures with 16 Raider points. “We didn’t execute offensively and get points on the inside,” said Brashear coach Sara Williams.
“We didn’t take care of the basketball. They went on their run and we couldn’t get our composure back,” said Williams. “This is a tough place to play. We had two good ball clubs here tonight.”