By DOUG EADS
For one half at least, everything was going right for an undefeated Southwestern basketball team on Saturday afternoon at The PC Gym.
Taking on Middlesboro on day two of the annual M & W Classic, the Warriors — behind the 22 first half points from senior guard Cole Dysinger — led the Yellowjackets by a 34-23 margin.
That’s right, Dysinger almost single handily outscored Middlesboro all by himself in the opening half of play, but boy would things change ever so quickly after the intermission.
With just over a minute gone by in the second half, Dysinger suffered an injury to his ankle, and Middlesboro would take full advantage of the Warriors being without their leading scorer.
Southwestern missed its floor leader, and the Yellowjackets responded with a very nice rally, and as a result, it was Southwestern suffering its first loss of the season with a 53-51 setback.
After leaving the game with 6:55 left in the third period with the ankle injury, Dysinger did come back — albeit momentarily — and dished out an assist to Cameron Pierce for a basket.
Moments later however, he would leave for good, and that’s when the Yellowjackets mounted their comeback.
With 4:19 remaining in the game, Middlesboro’s T.J. Patterson made a pair of free throws giving the Yellowjackets their first lead of the game at 48-47.
Southwestern would then hit four consecutive free throws — two each from Brayden Sims and Hunter Coffey — reclaiming the lead for the final time of the game at 51-48.
However, Middlesboro would end the contest with five straight points, for the 53-51 victory.
Jabari Kyle would score on a layup to trim the Warrior lead down to 51-50, while on the next trip down the floor, Trey Brock would score and get fouled, and after that three-point play, Middlesboro would take a 53-51 lead with only :08 remaining in the game.
After a Southwestern timeout with :05 remaining, the Warriors got a three-point attempt from Andrew Smith from the top of the key, but it was no good, and the Yellowjackets had completed the comeback win, while sending the Warriors down to their first defeat of the season.
Dysinger led the Warriors with those 22 first half points, while teammate Brayden Sims joined him in double figures with 10 points.
The Warriors will conclude play in the tourney on Sunday afternoon at The Wigwam, hosting Danville at 3:30 p.m.