GOODY, Ky. – The ( 11-15) Belfry Pirates and the (14-7) Man Hillbillies played in a battle for the ages on Thursday night, the back and forth action continued the whole game but the Pirates walked away with a win on their home court by a final score of 69-65 on senior night.
The Hillbilles jumped out to an early lead in the game and had the advantage over Belfry 14-5 with 2:00 left to play in the first period. Belfry’s Garrett Fannin was sent to the free throw line twice and brought up the Pirates score to 14-9. The Pirates fought back hard and ended the first period with a score of 16-14 with Man in the lead.
Man entered the second period moving the ball well, but Belfry was right on their heels. Belfry took over the lead with 4:40 left to play before halftime with a score of 23-22. Man grabbed back the lead with a steal and scored a couple quick ones that forced Belfry into a timeout. Man jumped even further ahead with 1:05 left to play before halftime after Kenny Joe Adkins hit a big 3-pointer which Avery browning answered on Belfry’s side of the court with a long jumper.
The score stood at 31-25 just before halftime. Man scored once more on a fast break to grab a nine point lead over the Pirates with the halftime score being 34-25.
Belfry scored first to start the second half and the Pirates went to work. Belfry tied up the score at 34 and then Koleston Blankenship took the lead back by one point for the Pirates on the free throw line. The scoring went back and forth with both teams answering every shot. With just under three minutes to play in the third period Fannin got the hot hand for the Pirates and created some breathing room by hitting three 3-pointers on three possessions. Belfry took the lead 51-49, the Pirates ended the third period ahead 55-51.
The teams played back and forth again as the Final period became serious, neither team would give in. At the 5:50 mark of the final period Blankenship hit a big 3-pointer but the Hillbillies answered and tied the score at 58. Man jumped ahead but Belfry answered and tied up the ball game at 60 with 3:30 left to play in the game.
The scoring continued until Belfry grabbed the lead with 2:30 left to play with a score of 64-62. Belfry kept the ball until Fannin was fouled and sent to the free throw line, he went 2 for 2 from the charity stripe. At the 1:00 mark Belfry had a four point lead until Cameron Simpson hit a 3-pointer to put the Hillbillies within one. The Hillbillies were forced to foul but Belfry was solid from the free throw line. The Pirates jumped ahead by four points to end the game 69-65.
Fannin led the Pirates in scoring with 27 points, 18 of which was scored in the third period. Blankenship ended the night for the Pirates with a double-double after scoring 18 points and pulling in 10 rebounds. Man was led in scoring by Kenny Joe Adkins who made 19 points. Jake Adkins led the Hillbillies in rebounding with 10 rebounds.
Belfry was scheduled to play Prestonsburg at home Friday night as the final game of the regular season before facing Pike Central on Monday night in the first round of the 60th District Tournament. Tip off for the Belfry and Pike Central game is scheduled for 8:15 Monday night.
Scores by quarters:
Belfry: 14 11 30 14 – 69
Man: 16 18 17 14 – 65
Belfry: Woolum -5, Fannin -27, Blankenship -18, Bentley -7, Jessie -6, James -4, Browning -2.
Man: Keefer-15, K. Adkins -19, Brown -2, Jake Adkins -7, Simpson -13, Josh Adkins -9.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)