By DOUG EADS
After falling to Beechwood on night two of the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic on Friday night, Jeron Dunbar and the Somerset Briar Jumpers picked up arguably their biggest win of the season on Saturday night in their final game of the event.
Somerset got a game-high 27 points from Kade Grundy, Chase Walker tallied 22 points, Dakota Acey chipped in with 14, and Kaiya Sheron added 11 points, as the Briar Jumpers evened their record to 7-7 on the season with an impressive, 81-79 win over Madison Central.
The win over the Indians has to be arguably, Somerset’s biggest win of the season.
Madison Central came into this season ranked in the top 10 preseason in the state of Kentucky, and is a solid contender for the 11th Region title this year along with the likes of Scott County, and Lexington Christian Academy.
The Indians — led by Kentucky’s all-time leading shot blocker Isaiah Cozart — hit a three at the buzzer, but was still on the short end of an 81-79 margin.
Cozart was impressive, scoring 22 points on 11-15 shooting from the field, while adding 11 rebounds and coming up with five of his club’s six blocked shots.
But even that impressive line on the stat sheet would not be enough on Saturday night at The Briar Patch, against an improving Somerset ball club.
Somerset raced out on top of the Indians early on, and led at every stop along the way.
The Briar Jumpers led after one quarter of play 22-18, and extended that margin out to 43-38 by the intermission.
Somerset then added to that margin, leading Madison Central 64-56 through three quarters of play, before posting the 81-79 victory.
“This was a huge win for our program,” pointed out a very jubilant Dunbar after the contest.
“I am so proud of my guys for battling,” continued the Somerset head coach. “We have played a tough schedule so far, and we did that for a reason. I believe that will pay off in the end. We needed to win this game, break down some walls, and understand we are capable of beating anyone.”
Meanwhile over in Larue County on the final night of the Magnolia Bank Holiday Classic, the Southwestern Warriors took on the host Hawks, and fell to 6-8 on the year, losing by a final score of 80-40.
For the game, the Warriors attempted only seven free throws, while Larue County tripled that, with 21 free throw attempts.
Larue County jumped out in front of the Warriors by a 17-7 score through the first quarter of play, and led Southwestern very comfortably at 39-15 by the intermission.
The tandem of Cole Dysinger and Brayden Sims once again led Southwestern in the loss, in a game that got out of hand in the opening half of play for the Warriors.
Sims led the Warriors with 12 points, and Dysinger added 11 points, joining him in double figures.
Both Sims and Dysinger were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Southwestern will return to action next Saturday, January 5th at 1:30 p.m. Chris Baker’s club will travel to Lincoln County High School to take on Kyle Rode and Lexington Christian Academy in The Patriot Classic.
Somerset meanwhile will return to the hardwood next Wednesday night, January 2nd, on the road at Rockcastle County in a 47th District contest.
Until then, Happy New Year everybody.