By DOUG EADS
Kade Grundy scored 22 of his game-high 31 points in the first half, and Somerset withstood a furious, fourth quarter rally by Pulaski County, as the Briar Jumpers posted an 80-69 victory over the Maroons on Thursday night to claim the Boy’s 47th District Basketball Tournament championship.
Thanks to Grundy and the Briar Jumpers hot start out of the gate, Somerset led this one wire to wire against the Maroons.
Grundy hit two three pointers, and Gavin Stevens added another trey, and just over a minute into the contest, Jeron Dunbar’s club led PC 9-0.
The Briar Jumpers methodically built up the lead, taking advantage of cold shooting by the Maroons in the opening half of play, as well as the fact Somerset hurt PC on the offensive boards, getting several 2nd chance point opportunities.
The Jumpers led the Maroons 40-25 at the half, and eventually built up the lead to as much as 19 points in the third quarter.
However, that’s when Pulaski County finally got on track and tried to get off the mat.
Held scoreless in the opening half, Colton Fraley helped lead the Maroons charge back, scoring his team-leading 19 points after the intermission.
And, thanks to Colton Fraley’s hot shooting in the second half, John Fraley’s club almost made it all the way back.
A steal and dunk by PC’s Zach Travis whittled the Somerset lead down to just three points at 68-65, with less than two minutes left to play in the contest.
PC at that juncture had all the momentum on its side, and Somerset was reeling somewhat.
No worries however for the Briar Jumpers. On the next trip downcourt, Grundy hit another three pointer in front of the Somerset bench to extend the lead to 71-65 over the Maroons, and PC would not threaten again.
The win by Somerset stopped a three-year slide against PC, as the Maroons had defeated the Briar Jumpers in the previous three 47th District Tournament title games, dating all the way back to 2017.
Grundy led everybody with 31 points, Kaiya Sheron added 15 points, while Stevens and Jase Bruner each added 11.
Pulaski County meanwhile was led by Fraley with those 19 second half points, Travis added 14 points, KJ Combs tallied 11 points, and Grant Oakes chipped in with 10 points.
The Briar Jumpers moved to 25-5 on the season with the win, while Pulaski County fell to 24-6 on the year.
Both teams will move on to the Boy’s 12th Regional Basketball Tournament at Pulaski County High School, which gets underway next Wednesday night, March 4th.
Check out The Doug Out Sports Blog tomorrow afternoon for the brackets, times, and dates of both the Girl’s and Boy’s 12th Regional Tournaments.