Edmonson Grabs 41-38 Comeback Win
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
Edmonson County played catch-up all night against the Trinity Raiders from Whitesville until about 1:45 left in the contest. Trailing 33-34, Wildcat senior Zander Bass stole a Trinity pass, took it to the rim and missed, but got his own rebound and scored on the put-back to give the Wildcats their first lead of the ballgame.
Bass was fouled on the play and missed his free throw, however, the Wildcats rebounded the miss and Braxton Highbaugh was fouled on his shot attempt. Highbaugh, who scored a team-high 16 points (8rebs) and was a perfect 7-7 from the line, stepped up and knocked down both foul shots to give the Cats a 37-34 lead with 1:33 to play.
After a couple of made free throws on the next play by Trinity with the Cats leading 37-36, Edmonson County threw the ball away and the Raiders regained the lead at 38-37 on layup with just over a minute to go. Highbaugh's three-point attempt was no good but as a Trinity player grabbed the rebound, Highbaugh ripped the ball right out of his hands and a Raider player kicked the ball as Highbaugh attempted to dribble out of traffic, which resulted in Wildcats' ball with 52 seconds to go.
Highbaugh drove the lane, pulled up for a jumper, but dumped it down last second to a wide-open Braden Wall under the basket for an easy bucket. The Cats retook the lead with 45 seconds to go, 39-38. Trinity could not convert on the other end and the ball was rebounded by Wall for Edmonson County. He was fouled on the play and hit 1 of 2 free throws with 16 seconds to go.
With Edmonson leading 40-38, Trinity missed a three-point attempt and Wildcat Will Alexander was fouled on the rebound. He also hit 1 of 2 free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining for an Edmonson 41-38 lead. Trinity had to launch a desperation shot from half court that fell short and Zander Bass rebounded the shot for a Wildcat victory.
The Wildcats responded big in the third quarter after trailing 24-16 at the half. Coach Brad Johnson said the halftime discussion was serious and challenged his team to step up in the second half.
"I trust the assistants in guiding me and giving me advice and I said 'do I need to go off on them at halftime?' and they said 'yeah, go ahead,' so I blew a few veins out in my forehead, I peeled the paint, and managed to miss everybody with the water bottle I threw, so all was good there," he said with a smile. "But I challenged them and said 'they're kinda pushing us around,' and I thought they responded to that. Braxton Highbaugh, nobody's going to push him around. He responded and made plays there. You know, we didn't play great. We didn't shoot great, but give (Trinity) credit. Their physicality--a really good team, a really good team. They're a veteran team and we may see them again."
In addition to Highbaugh's 16, Wall had 10 points and 6 rebounds, Tyler Anderson had 6 points, Bass had 4, Alexander had 3, and Boden Bates added 2.
Edmonson County was 44% from the field on 25 of 37 shooting, 2 of 13 from three-point, and 11 of 18 from the free throw line for 61%.
The Wildcats are now 13-9 on the season and 4-1 in district play. Trinity has lost their last 5 games and are 2-3 in the district.