Williams enjoying frosh season at CU-Somerset

Campbellsville-Somerset University’s Josiah Williams scored a game-high 25 points last week against Georgia Northwestern Technical College, giving the local Tigers basketball team its first victory in program history over a collegiate opponent.
Photo by Steve Cornelius

By DOUG EADS

January 22nd, 2019 is a date that will forever be etched into the record books.

The significance of that date?

Well, for Campbellsville-Somerset University, that date will forever live on, because it was the first game the local Tigers basketball squad notched a victory over a collegiate opponent.



The score on that Tuesday night was 94-77 in favor of CU-Somerset, winning over Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

And, leading the way in that historic first win was freshman guard Josiah Williams.Williams — a 6-foot-two guard from Louisville Waggener — played like a man on a mission that night in Rossville, Georgia, leading the Tigers with a game-high 25 points, hitting five three-pointers along the way.

Not a bad way indeed to get your name in the record books on win number one over a college team in school history.

“It’s an honor honestly, but it was because of my teammates,” stated Williams.

“They created opportunities for me all night in that game, and hopefully I was able to create some opportunities for them as well,” added Williams. “I feel like that was really the first game that we went out and just had fun and played, and we didn’t let the stress of the game bother us in any way.”

Indeed, the Tigers played arguably one of their best games of the season, giving head coach Al Gover and company their second win of the year, but the first win over a college basketball program.

“We knew going into this season that it wasn’t necessarily going to be about wins and losses,” pointed out coach Gover.

“Being a first-year program playing with almost all freshman, we knew there would be growing pains this season,” added the Tigers head coach. “We knew this year it was mainly going to be about our kids trying to get better in each game, and coming out and trying to get better each day at practice. And, the important thing is for these kids to learn just how important preparation, focus, and intensity is in each of these games, and figuring out just what it takes to win at this level.”



As for Williams — he’s just one of many freshmen on CU-Somerset’s squad this season, but Gover says the Waggener product is a special player indeed.

“Josiah is a great kid, and he’s a tremendous player as well,” stated Gover.

“He’s very coachable, and he went out last week in that win and had a great night shooting the basketball,” added the Tigers head coach. “We’re certainly glad to have him as a part of this program.”

As for Williams, he says this first season for him at Campbellsville-Somerset has been one fun ride regardless of the wins or losses.

“It’s just a blessing to be able to get to this level and be able to play college basketball, because a lot of people just don’t make it to here,” said Williams.”

“We’re a first year team, and we’re all freshman except for one sophomore — Daniel Coldiron — so the losses we knew we’re going to come, but it’s all good,” Williams remarked. “We’re going to continue to work hard, get better, and the wins will come down the road.”

The Campbellsville-Somerset Tigers will return home next Tuesday night, February 5th at Somerset Christian School at 7 p.m., hosting Cleveland State.

Admission to the game is free, so come out and support your local college hoops team and see some good basketball.





Mercer County ends Pulaski County’s win streak

By DOUG EADS

HARRODSBURG — On Tuesday night, Mercer County was the final destination for a Pulaski County basketball team that was playing its sixth game in a row on the road.

In the previous five games — all Pulaski County wins — the Maroons had been playing some of their best basketball of the season.

On Tuesday night however, the Titans snapped that five-game win streak enjoyed by PC, with a 73-71 victory over the Maroons.



Once again coach John Fraley got a balanced scoring attack from his squad, but it would not be enough. For the second time in as many years, the Titans would edge the Maroons by two points, winning last year’s contest between the two teams by an 86-84 margin.

Jake Combs led the Maroons with 22 points, while KJ Combs added 13 points, Caleb Sloan had 12 points, and Colton Fraley also hit for double figures with 10 points.

Pulaski County — now 14-8 on the season — will return home on Friday night to face arch-rival Somerset in a big-time matchup inside the 47th District.

Somerset won the first meeting between the two teams in overtime, 88-81, and a number one seed will be up for grabs on Friday night when these two rivals square off.

The Briar Jumpers bring a perfect, 5-0 mark into the game in league play, while PC, with that loss to Somerset, stands at 4-1 in district play.

The game will follow the girl’s contest between the two schools, which will get underway from The PC Gym beginning at 6 p.m.



Lady Maroons pick up win at Taylor County

By DOUG EADS

CAMPBELLSVILLE — The Pulaski County Lady Maroons won their second game in a row last night, going to Taylor County and coming away with a hard-fought 63-56 win over the Lady Cardinals.

Chris Adkins’ club raced out to a 31-18 lead at halftime, and survived a second half rally from Taylor County to improve to 13-10 on the season.

Shelby Cothron had a monster game for PC in the win, scoring a game-high 24 points for the Lady Maroons, giving Adkins and company their second consecutive win.



Pulaski County will return to action on Friday night, hosting Somerset in a girl/boy doubleheader beginning with the girl’s contest at 6 p.m.



Warriors knock off Lincoln County at the buzzer

Southwestern’s Brayden Sims heads to the hoop in a recent game against Cordia. On Tuesday night, Sims follow of a missed free throw at the buzzer gave the Warriors a big-time, 56-55 win on the road at Lincoln County.
Photo by David Rogers

By DOUG EADS

STANFORD — Talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

That’s exactly what the Southwestern Warriors and Brayden Sims was able to do on the road Tuesday night at Lincoln County.

Thanks to a Sims follow of a missed free throw with only :0.7 left in the game, the Warriors escaped with a much-needed and hard-fought, 56-55 victory over the Patriots.



Cole Dysinger scored 11 of his team-high 26 points in the fourth quarter coming down the stretch, and it was his missed free throw that paved the way for Sims’ heroics.

With Lincoln County leading the Warriors 55-52 with less than a second left in the game, Dysinger was fouled on a three-point shot attempt, giving him the opportunity to tie the game up and send it to overtime from the free throw line.

Dysinger made the first two free throws cutting the deficit to 55-54, but his third free throw missed, and Sims’ tap just before the buzzer sounded ending the game gave the Warriors the 56-55 win in an absolute thriller.

Sims recorded another double-double in the game, pulling down 12 rebounds and adding three blocked shots.

Tanner McKee and Dysinger each recorded three assists in the win, and Cameron Pierce chipped in with 4 rebounds.

Southwestern — 11-12 on the season — will return home on Thursday night, hosting the Casey County Rebels.

That game is set to get underway beginning at 7:30 p.m.



Somerset drops second game in a row at North Laurel

By DOUG EADS

LONDON — For the second night in a row the Somerset Briar Jumpers went down to the wire in a game on the road, and unfortunately for Jeron Dunbar and crew, for the second night in a row the purple and gold went down with a loss.

Playing at North Laurel on Tuesday night, Somerset rallied from a seven-point deficit headed into the fourth quarter to force overtime, but the homestanding Jaguars would outscore the Jumpers 14-5 in the extra session, sending Somerset down to a 75-66 loss.

“I am proud of my guys tonight,” stated coach Dunbar after the contest.



“We could have quit early, but we battled,” added the Somerset coach. “The free throw line has really been our Achilles Heel the last couple of games. We are in a bit of a shooting slump, but that will work its way out.”

For the game, Somerset got outscored from the charity stripe by North Laurel 22-9. The Briar Jumpers connected on just 9 for 16 from the free throw line, and getting outscored there by 13 points turned out to be the difference in the game.

Kade Grundy led Somerset with 19 points, while Dylan Burton hit for double figures with 16 points, and Kaiya Sheron added 12 points.

Grundy meanwhile — a sophomore guard — notched a career milestone in the loss, scoring the 1,000 point of his already storied career in the game.

“We have a couple of more weeks to fine tune everything,” stated Dunbar. “I think the best is yet to come with this group.”

The Jumpers — 12-10 on the season — will try to snap their two-game slide on Friday night in a monumental clash in town, but it will not be an easy task.

The Jumpers will travel to Pulaski County with a number one seed in the 47th District up for grabs when they take on the Maroons in a girl/boy doubleheader.

The boy’s game will follow the girl’s contest, tentatively scheduled to tip off around 7:30 p.m.



Somerset won the first meeting between the two 47th District foes in overtime, 88-81.



CU-Somerset drops home game to Combine Academy

By DOUG EADS

Coming off their first win in program history over a collegiate team last Tuesday with a win over Georgia Northwestern Technical College, the Campbellsville-Somerset University Tigers were not as fortunate on Saturday afternoon on their home floor at Somerset Christian School against Combine Academy out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The visitors from the Tar Heel state raced out to a 59-40 lead over Al Gover’s club at halftime, and despite a valiant comeback attempt in the second half by the Tigers, CU-Somerset fell to 2-14 on the season with a 106-92 loss.

Despite falling behind by as many as 23 points in the first half of play, the Tigers got as close as four points late in the game, trailing Combine Academy by only an 84-80 margin.



However, a couple of missed free throws, a pair of back to back turnovers, compounded by a couple of three-point baskets from the visitors thwarted the comeback bid.

“I am extremely proud of our effort in the second half,” stated coach Gover, immediately following the contest.

“We just need to figure out what we need to do at the start of the game and come out stronger,” continued the CU-Somerset head coach. “We just can’t dig ourselves a hole like that. We fought in the second half, and we had it (deficit) down to 84-80, and we had a couple of turnovers there, and Combine Academy got a couple of baskets and took advantage of our mistakes, and pushed it back out to eight or 10 points. That’s what good teams do.”

Combine Academy’s Cameron Traylor led the charge early, scoring 15 of his team-high 18 points in the first half of play, helping the visitors race out to that 19-point advantage by the intermission.

Trailing by that 59-40 score at the half, the Tigers roared back in the second frame. Keelan Kennedy scored 20 of his team-high 24 points after the intermission, helping the Tigers attempt a massive comeback bid.

A three-point basket from former Somerset High School and Wayne County standout Daniel Coldiron trimmed the CU-Somerset down to six points at 84-78 with 6:19 remaining in the contest, and Kennedy followed that up by converting on both ends of a one and one.

Just like that, it was a ballgame again at 84-80, with the Tigers right back in this contest.

That however is when Combine Academy — taking advantage of a pair of costly Tiger turnovers that Gover eluded to — went on a 16-2 run over the next five minutes, making the score 100-86 with only 1:18 left to play in the contest.



Despite that valiant comeback effort, the Tigers would fall on the short end of the scoreboard, dropping this game by that 106-92 margin.

“We are a little hobbled up right now by being down a couple of starters, but we had some kids step up today,” pointed out Gover.

“I was really proud of Leo McCray who came in and did a great job tonight and played his tail off,” added the Tigers coach. “That’s what we’ve got to have off the bench. We have got to have energy, and we’ve got to have effort when we substitute. Man, he did a great job for us tonight.”

As far as the overall record goes for now, being in year one as a college basketball program, Gover says the main goal for this season is just not wins and losses — not by a long shot.

“Our goal for this year as a first year program is not necessarily about wins and losses,” stated the CU-Somerset head coach.

“It’s simply about getting better,” Gover continued. “If we can get better every day at practice, and in each and every game we play, we’re going to be fine. I thought we made strides today, because that’s a very good team we just played. They have got some kids that are going big time, and I thought we did pretty well.”

Five players for CU-Somerset hit for double figures in the contest.

Kennedy paced the Tigers with 24 points, while Josiah Williams — who led the Tigers in last Tuesday’s win with 25 points — added 18 points for CU-Somerset. A.J. Thomas scored 14 points, McCray came off the bench and added 13 points, and Meith Reclow chipped in with 11 points.



CU-Somerset will return to action this Friday evening, going on the road to take on Combine Academy to finish the home and home series between the two schools.



Pulaski County puts on an offensive clinic with win at Rockcastle County

By DOUG EADS

MT. VERNON — After Friday night’s 81-54 win at 47th District foe Rockcastle County, Pulaski County head coach John Fraley refused to say it was his club’s best offensive showing of the season up to date.

However, it was pretty darn close.

Simply put, the Maroons rolled into Rockcastle County on Friday night and dump-trucked the Rockets, putting on an offensive clinic from start to finish.



Colton Fraley led a balanced-scoring attack for PC with 18 points, Grant Oaks added 17 points, and Jacob and KJ Combs each contributed 10 points, in a game that saw the Maroons barely break a sweat.

So, how would you rate that offensive performance coach Fraley? Was it the best one of the season?

“I’m not saying that, but it was definitely one of the best performances that we’ve had in a while,” stated a very happy Pulaski County head coach after his club’s fifth straight victory.

“We’ve been practicing and working hard at getting something like this, and tonight we got it,” continued Fraley. “We are beginning to trend upward and that’s good to see, and you want to be clicking at this time of year. Ultimately, we’re starting to get some things from some other kids that earlier in the year, we were going through some growing pains with them.”

After this game was tied up early at 7-7, Pulaski County put this one away and put the foot on the throttle with a 17-0 run, taking a 24-7 lead early in the second quarter over the Rockets.

And, it was Colton Fraley with four, three-point baskets that led the way for Pulaski County.

And, when Fraley wasn’t doing damage from the outside by hitting bomb after bomb from downtown, Grant Oaks was killing the Rockets on the inside, coming away with a double-double in the contest by simply owning the paint.

By halftime, the Maroons had this one on cruise control, with a 44-20 lead over The Rock, and Pulaski County extended that margin out to 68-37 through three quarters of play.



Game over.

In all, nine players for PC scored in the win — a win that gave the Maroons their fifth straight victory and improved the Maroons to 14-7 on the season.

More importantly, the victory over Rockcastle County also improved PC to 4-1 in district play, setting up a monster, and I mean monster, game next Friday night against arch-rival Somerset at The PC Gym.

The Briar Jumpers — 12-8 on the year and 5-0 in district play — knocked off the Maroons earlier this month on January 7th at The Briar Patch by a final score of 88-81 in overtime.

So, a number one seed will be up for grabs next Friday night when these two old rivals meet yet again in another mammoth contest, this time on PC’s home floor.

Until then, Pulaski County has one game before that showdown against Somerset, as the Maroons will close out their six-game road streak on Tuesday night, taking on the Scotties of Mercer County in Harrodsburg.

That game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.