By DOUG EADS
The Somerset Briar Jumpers came into the opening night of the annual Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic Basketball Tournament mired in a three-game losing slide.
On Thursday night at The Briar Patch taking on Cumberland County, Jeron Dunbar’s club got well, and got well in a hurry.
Chase Walker led a very balanced Somerset scoring attack with a game-high 16 points, and nine Jumpers in all put their name in the scoring column, as Dunbar and company notched an emphatic, 81-47 win over an outmanned Panthers club.
“This was a great bounce back game for us, because we needed a win,” stated a very happy coach Dunbar, after his team evened its season record to 6-6 on the season.
“We came out tonight and dominated from start to finish,” continued the Somerset head coach. “We took care of the ball and had a great defensive effort.”
Indeed, Somerset did just that.
The Briar Jumpers forced the Panthers into 22 turnovers for the contest, while only turning it over two times themselves, on a night when Dunbar’s club dished out 15 assists.
Somerset enjoyed a 19-3 run during the game, helping the Jumpers go up by as many as 36 points in the contest.
And, the Briar Jumpers got it done at the offensive end of the floor as well, hitting on 28-66 field goal attempts, for a very respectable 42.4 percent from the field, which was a huge factor in the purple and gold placing six players in double figures.
Besides Walker’s 16 points, Dylan Burton tallied 14 points in the win, Jase Bruner added 12 points, Kade Grundy and Kaiya Sheron each scored 11 points, and Dakota Acey had 10 points.
“Jase Bruner gave us a big game on the board with 16 rebounds — I’m just proud of my guys,” Dunbar pointed out.
“We have a huge game with a very good Beechwood team tomorrow,” added the SHS head coach. “Hopefully, we can regain our focus and put together another good showing.”
Beechwood won its first game of the tourney, with a hard-fought, 67-62 opening round win over Wayne County.