If last week was any indication the Pirates seem to be pulling together at just the right time. Powell took two wins in a three game stretch and in the loss looked like a contender for the title.
The Pirates came off a big win against Wolfe County on Jan. 31 to take on the Wolves in Campton just four days later. The game was a little more hard fought, but the Pirates hung tough on the road. The result was another Pirate victory over a young, but talented Wolfe County squad. Powell won, 73-66.
That set up a match up with the Letcher Central Cougars last Friday night in Stanton. Powell was looking for a performance that would let the 14th Region know that the Pirates not only were hosting the upcoming tournament, but had plans to win it as well.
Letcher’s size and physical style of play gave Powell some trouble early. The result was a game of catch-me-if-you-can between the Cougars and Pirates. The visitor jumped out to a 16-11 first quarter lead. As the second frame got underway the Pirates saw the deficit grow, but came firing back at the Cougars. When Bryce Merion nailed a floating jumper in the lane with 2:37 to go in the period, Powell pulls to winton one at 25-24.
But the Cougars went on a run. Powell tried to match it. But when the halftime horn sounded, Letcher held a 37-28 advantage.
Once again as the third quarter got underway the Pirates came roaring back. Back to back buckets by Chimaobi Ajuonuma-Creed and a fast break layup by DaShaun Williams made it 38-37. Letcher caught their second wind in the quarter and was able to push out to a 43-39 advantage as the final frame began.
The two teams looked like two prize fighters trying to out last their opponent in the final round of a heavyweight bout. Letcher would push their lead out only to see the Pirates fight their way back into the contest. Powell got close at 53-50 with :39 to play, but missed opportunities and missed free throws hurt the effort. Powell came up short, but played good enough not only to win but to send a message to the region. The Pirates fell in a close one, 56-52.
Powell was led by Merion with 19 points and Williams with 14. Creed chipped in nine points, while Colby Cook and Luke Pasley each scored five points.
The Pirates took to the hardwood again at home last Saturday. Their victim, ah, opponent, was the Eminence Warriors. The visitors were having a struggling season before meeting Powell. The Pirates took full advantage of that. Powell rolled to an easy and impressive 86-59 win. Eminence fell to 3-23 on the year.
Powell enters the last week of the regular season with an overall 10-13 record. The Pirates last home game was played this past Tuesday night as they hosted Montgomery County for Senior Night.
The Pirates will open up postseason play on Monday by playing Lee County in the first round of the 56th District Tournament. The tournament will be played at Owsley County. Powell opens the tournament at 6 p.m. on Monday. The winner plays the winner of Owsley-Estill on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the championship game.