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.