By DOUG EADS
The Pulaski County Maroons got back to their winning ways on Wednesday night on the opening night of the M & W Shootout Tournament.
Hosting Huntington Prep St. Joseph, the Maroons led wire to wire, and were led in scoring with 22 points from junior guard Colton Fraley, as Pulaski County rolled to an 88-60 win.
John Fraley’s club got contributions in the win from just about everybody in the lineup on a night where the Maroons looked very impressive.
Grant Oaks and Jake Combs each tallied 12 points in the win, while Caleb Sloan came off the Maroon bench to hit for double figures with 10 points.
After losing in their last time out to Madison Central, Wednesday night’s performance from Fraley and company was a nice bounce-back game indeed.
“I thought coming out tonight early, we were the aggressor and we weren’t playing back on our heels like we did against Madison Central,” Fraley pointed out.
“I thought that made a huge difference,” added the PC coach. “I told our kids before the game that they (Huntington Prep) were going to rely on the shock factor and were going to smack them in the mouth, and that it was important to get out fast, and do that to them, and we were able to do that.”
Colton Fraley got out to a huge start from the opening tap and was the catalyst, in helping the Maroons get out to the quick start the coach Fraley talked to his club before the game.
Fraley hit three treys and scored 11 points in the first four minutes of the contest, helping the Maroons race out to a 17-3 lead over Huntington Prep very early.
The visitors from West Virginia would make a rally in the second quarter, and would close the gap down to 34-32 late in the opening half, but Pulaski County would respond by going on a 10-2 spurt late in the second quarter, easing the lead back out to 42-34 by the intermission.
From that point on, Huntington Prep was never able to close the deficit by more than double figures in the second half.
In fact, it was the Maroons — improving to 4-2 on the year — that were able to keep extending the lead, going up by as many as 30 points in the second half.
The Southwestern Warriors were not as fortunate on Wednesday night at The Wigwam on the opening night of the tournament, falling to the Madison Southern Eagles by a final score of 70-57.
Chris Baker’s club raced out to a 28-23 lead over the Eagles at halftime, but a third quarter that saw Madison Southern double up the Warriors 24-12 did in Southwestern.
Brayden Sims paced the Warriors with 14 points, Hunter Coffey added 12 points, and Tanner McKee added 10, but it would not be enough as Southwestern fell to 3-5 on the season.
Southwestern will try to bounce back tonight in round two of the tournament, taking on Spring Hill, Tennessee at The Wigwam at 6:30 p.m.
Pulaski County meanwhile will be in action tonight in what should be a great, early-season showdown.
The Maroons — 4-2 on the season — will take on an undefeated Clay County team at The PC Gym at 8 p.m.
The Tigers — 8-0 on the year — knocked off Huntington Prep St. Joseph yesterday by a score of 85-81 in overtime.
For full details, check out The Doug Out tomorrow.