It has been a tough season so far for the Powell County Pirates.
Injuries, sickness and a tough schedule do not quite go well together. But the Pirates just keep on working hard and hope it pays off later. With that said, the Pirates are still learning and experiencing some growing pains. That was evident in last week’s action as Powell dropped two games, one in a bizarre atmosphere.
Powell traveled to Buckhorn last Friday night in hopes that some holiday rest had helped them. But too many missed opportunities against a good team, led Powell to a 62-49 loss to the Wildcats.
It looked like a different team on Saturday night as Powell hosted Bourbon County. The Pirates took on a quicker and taller team in the Colonels. That was evident early on as the visitors took a quick lead, only to see Powell take back the lead when Chimaobi Ajuonuma-Creed nailed a shot in the lane to make it a 10-9 game with 2:53 to play in the first period. But Bourbon outscored their hosts 9-2 to close out the first and lead, 18-12
Bourbon’s defense had quick hands and picked up several steals, plus Powell’s shot selection seemed a little panicked early on. But the Pirates settled in as the second quarter saw a change in momentum. Key treys by Jace Ware and Luke Pasley gave the Pirates some much needed offense. By the time the halftime horn sounded, the Pirates held a 34-26 lead.
The game became more intense, both on the floor and with the fans, in the third quarter. The Colonel’s quick style and some big steals stifled Powell’s offense again. Bourbon opened the quarter with a 14-2 run to grab a 40-36 lead. Powell finally grouped, behind the inspired play of Creed and Pasley, the Pirates and Colonels traded baskets. Powell had a run of their own and the score stood at 49-49 entering the final frame.
Powell was once again riding the momentum swing in their favor as the fourth quarter progressed. The Pirates slowly built up a 55-50 lead with 5:18 to play. As both teams tried to make things happen, the game got a bit sloppy. The result was some hard fouls and calls that the crowd on either side did not agree with. At one point a Colonel coach was seen kicking the doors to the back hallway following a questionable call.
Then the most bizarre thing seen in a high school game in these parts in quite some time unfolded.
Bourbon’s Jace Wallace hit a driving fallaway jumper in the lane to make it 55-52, then was fouled after a Powell turnover. He missed the free throw, but play was stopped as school resource officers were trying to have a Bourbon fan leave the gym following an outburst. More Bourbon fans came across the floor and before long a male fan was arrested. A female fan was then also arrested after failing to follow officer directives and allegedly grabbing an officer. During that arrest she resisted, the fan, the officer and a female jail employee trying to assist the officer got tripped up and fell to the floor as they entered the lobby.
Several fans for Bourbon poured into the lobby area. Some Powell fans, mostly retired and off duty law enforcement officials, as well as jail staff, also went to assist the officers. More officers were called to the gym, as the game was suspended and the players sent back to their locker rooms. When it all settled down, the game had been stopped almost 20 minutes.
Powell continued their hold on the lead as the game tried to get back to normal. Powell held a 58-54 lead with 1:50 to play. But Bourbon added two quick baskets by CaMarr Myers and Nakyir Joyce tied the game. The two teams traded free throws and baskets, but the Colonels took a slim 62-61 lead.
Powell was forced to foul when some shots were coming up short. The Colonels hit three charity tosses down the stretch, as Powell added one. The Colonels came from behind to win a bizarre game, 65-62.
Powell was led by Creed with 15 points and DaShaun Williams poured in 13. Pasley came off the bench to toss in 11 points and Bryce Merion chipped into. Ware and Nate Skidmore each scored six points. Wallace led the Colonels with a game high 25 points. Joyce scored 15 and Myers added 12.
Powell fell to 3-11 and look to regroup this week. The Pirates were scheduled to play Menifee in Frenchburg this past Tuesday. Powell will then travel to Irvine for a boys/girls district doubleheader. The Pirates will then host Letcher Central in a matinee game at 2 p.m. on Saturday.