The Powell County Pirates had pretty productive week on the hardwoods as they won two out of three games. And if the song is correct, two out of three “aint bad.” Powell picked up wins at Menifee and Lee, but fell in a close contest to 14th Region perennial powerhouse Perry Central.
The Commodores came to Stanton last Tuesday night, the fourth game for the Pirates in a five day span. The game was a close, hard fought game from tips off to final horn. Perry grabbed a slim 17-14 led early, but Powell kept hanging around with hard play in the paint. Even when the Commodores took a 26-17 lead in the second period, Powell clawed their way back in behind the inspired play of Carlos Hernandez, Payton Barnett and the rebounding of Chimaobi Ajuonuma. When the halftime horn sounded Perry held a slim 32-31 lead.
The Pirates seemed to match every shot the Commodores had as the third quarter got underway. But the visitors pushed their lead out to 53-46, as the play got a little rougher. The fourth quarter was shaping up to be a classic finisher.
Powell came out in full frontal assault mode in the final frame. Hernenadez hit a fast break layup, followed by a good stop Ajuonuma hit layup to make to 53-50. Following another defensive stop Barnett connected on a three pointer to tie the game and then Ajuonuma’s speed was evident on another fast break layup as Powell capped off a 9-0 run to take their first lead, 55-53 with 4:21 to play.
The crowd’s excitement was short-lived however. The Commodores called a timeout after Powell’s run, regrouped and went on an 8-0 run of their own to recapture the lead and the momentum. The Pirates continued to battle, but maybe the hard schedule over the previous four days took its toll. Regardless the Pirates fought right up to the final horn, but Perry Central won, 68-60.
Powell was led by Barnett with 21 points, as Hernandez tossed in 16. DaShaunWilliams added nine and Ajuonuma scored eight points. Hernandez and Ajuonuma each led with eight rebounds. Powell was 7-of-12 from the free throw line and 23-of-56 (41.1 percent) from the field.
Powell traveled last Friday to Menifee County, where any time you play the Wildcats in Frenchburg it will be a challenge.
Payton Barnett had another good night from the field. Barnett was 11-of-16 from the field, including a 2-for-6 three point performance. He also had seven rebounds to lead his team.
The hard fought game saw Powell play hard and stay focused as they won on the road, 81-73.
Barnett poured in 30 points to go along with Carlos Hernandez and his 16 points. DaShaun Williams chipped in 11 points in an excellent effort. Off the bench Chimaobi Ajuonuma scored nine and Nathan Skidmore scored eight. Drew Ginter added four and Bryce Merion had three points.
Last Saturday Powell went to Lee County for another district game. Once again it was all Powell in this one. The Pirates won the game easily, 78-34.
Following the week’s action Powell’s record stood at 12-8 overall, while they are 3-1 in district play. The Pirates have a tough week ahead as they set sail to take on the 14th Region’s top team in the Knott County Central Patriots. The game was set for this past Tuesday.
They will return home this Friday for the rematch with Estill County. The Engineers (14-6, 4-0) hold the top seed for now but Powell looks to take it from them. Estill topped Powell in a hard fought, physical game last week in Irvine, 64-55. The game is part of a boys/girls varsity doubleheader.
The Pirates last two home games will be next week. The Pirates will host Wolfe County on Feb. 6 and Jackson City on Feb. 9. The Pirates will finish the season on the road at Williamstown (Feb. 10), Montgomery County (Feb. 13) and Morgan County (Feb. 15).