By DOUG EADS
The Campbellsville-Somerset Tigers welcomed in the Campbellsville-Harrodsburg Pioneers on Thursday night in their final home game of the season, and Al Gover’s club hit a season-high 19 three-pointers against their arch-rival, and even that wouldn’t be enough.
The Pioneers erased an eight-point second half deficit to rally to knock off the Tigers 91-86, dropping CU-Somerset to 7-20 on the season with one game left to play.
Sophomore Jalen Howard hit eight of those three’s for the Tigers and led all scorers with a game-high 26 points. However, Gover’s club — even with that kind of effort — couldn’t get over the proverbial hump once again, losing another close contest.
Despite those made 19 three-point baskets, the Tigers were on the wrong side of one stat — the Pioneers outscored Gover’s club in the paint by a whopping, 50-16 margin for the contest — a large reason why CU-Somerset was denied a much-needed win.
“A game like this one, players make plays and we made some plays tonight, but we just didn’t make enough,” lamented coach Gover immediately following the contest.
“Defensively, I didn’t think we were as good as we had been over our last three games,” Gover added. “We gave up 47 points in the first half tonight, and we just didn’t guard like we needed to guard.”
In an early sign that was maybe a warning signal for coach Gover, the visiting Pioneers made 10 of their first 11 field goal attempts in the contest, racing out to a lead over the Tigers.
However, thanks to that prolific three-point shooting — 19-38 from behind the arc for the contest — the Tigers were able to stay in this one.
Howard drained one of his eight treys just before the horn sounded ending the first half, giving CU-Somerset a 48-47 lead over CU-Harrodsburg at the intermission.
In the second frame, the Tigers went up by eight points with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game at 62-54.
That lead would not last for long however.
Behind the play of guards Jamal Weaver and Antoine Darby, the Pioneers would rally.
In fact, Harrodsburg led Somerset 71-64 with just over nine minutes left in the contest — and at that juncture — Gover and crew would rally and fight back.
Kenyan McKee would score eight consecutive points in a stretch that would see the Tigers reclaim the lead at 80-79 over Harrodsburg with 4:42 left on the clock, but it would be the visiting Pioneers making a few plays down the stretch to hold back a pesky Tigers club, that only dressed seven players for the contest.
“We preach to our guys to play good defense and stay out of foul trouble,” pointed out Gover.
“We can’t be sloppy on defense, and we did a pretty good job of doing that tonight,” continued the Tigers head coach. “I was pleased with our effort and I think our kids are growing up a bit.”
The Tigers placed five players in double figures in the contest, led by Howard with his game-high 26 points.
Kenyan McKee and Meith Reclow each tallied 14 points, while Nick Longmire and Deion Finnison each added 10 points.
The Tigers — 7-20 on the season — will end the season on Monday night at Crown College.