The Powell County Pirates never seem to take it easy just before the holidays. This year is no exception. Last week the Pirates took on Richmond Model, Leslie County and Rowan County. Despite a few bright spots, the Pirates are also are seeing areas that need work on to be competitive as the district and regional play gets closer. But there is plenty of time and lots of gems to go.
Last Tuesday Powell hosted the Richmond Model Patriots in what would be a game runs. Unfortunately, it was a late run of missed shots that led to a Pirate loss.
Early in the game both teams seemed timid and rushed their shots, but the Pirates eased into their game and took control. Powell held a 14-6 lead early and following a balanced attack moved out to a 23-14 lead with 4:17 to play in the first half. The Pirates seemed to be in control.
But the Patriots started a slow comeback and Powell started missing some opportunities. Missed layups, free throws and open looks at good shots by the home team helped the visitors to move slowly back into the contest. Powell went scoreless for nearly three full minutes as the Patriots calmed down and started scoring with a a more deliberate offense. By the time the half time horn sounded Model had taken the lead, 27-25.
Model kept up the momentum in the third quarter and pushed their lead put to 39-31 late in the third quarter. Powell picked up their intensity as well. Both sides got a little too intense leading to a flagrant foul and the ejection of Model’s Adam Lewis-Durham for shoving Payton Barnett. Barnett had been fouled by Will Feese and as the two were being separated, Lewis-Durham vape from nowhere to shove Barnett from behind. At the time Lewis-Durham was single-handedly leading Model on their run with an awesome performance from outside then three point arc. It took both sides a little time to regain their poise. Powell trailed Model, 42-39.
The final frame saw Model open up by letting the air out of the ball. In fact they did so well, they did not take a shot for 1:48 into the quarter and missed when they did. But Powell hit on their first attempt to make it a 42-41 game.
The rest of the game was about ball control and missed opportunities. Model controlled the ball and hit key free throws down the stretch. Powell had several opportunities including three good looks at three point shots in the waning seconds, but came up short. Model took home the low-scoring 47-44 win.
Powell was led by Chimaobi Ajuonuma with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Barnett tossed in 10 points. Powell was 6-of-16 from the charity stripe. Model was led by Lewis-Durham with 16 points and Feese with 13. Model improved to 6-0.
Last Friday Powell traveled to Leslie County to play the Eagles. Despite a breakout game for Payton Barnett, Powell took a tough road loss. The Eagles won, 76-66.
Barnett scored a career high 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds on the game. Drew Ginter also had a good night, scoring 15 points and picking up nine boards. But Powell’s three point shots were quite frigid. The Pirates were 3-of-19 from behind the arc, but did show improvement at the free throw line, going 11-of-18. But the Eagles used a more balanced attack to seal their win. The Eagles had seven players in the scoring column. Nick Hoskins led Leslie with 28 points, followed by Tyler Dixon with 14 and Darron Whitaker chipped in 13. Leslie improved to 3-3.
The Pirates ended last week’s action hosting Rowan County last Saturday. Powell regrouped from their earlier losses, learning as they went, to grab a 67-52 victory. Powell’s attack was well rounded. Seven Pirates hit the shots, with four of them in double figures. Powell looked better from the perimeter and the three point area, while going 19-of-27 at free throw attempts.
Carlos Hernández led the way with 21 points. Barnett, Ginter and Bryce Merion each poured in 11 points. The win improved Powell to 3-3 on the season.
The Pirates were scheduled to host Owsley County this past Tuesday in a 56th District matchup. The Pirates will host Lee County in another district showdown on Friday night in Stanton. Powell will then play in the Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County Dec. 28-30. Their first game will be Dec. 28 against Woodford County.