Bombers Eyeing 2014
Tim Taylor, KPI Staff
Bombers Eyeing 2014
In a season where the Bombers started the season playing some of the top teams in the region, they are now looking forward to the 2014 New Year, with some better results. The Bombers stand at 1-4 on the season and have no games scheduled until the first of the year.
The Bombers started the week with their district opener against Graves County at the Green Palace on December 16th. As has been the case for most of the year, the Bombers got down early and it continued throughout. The Bombers fell behind 8-0 to start the game, but a Lee Chandler bucket and a three point play by Clay Newton cut the deficit to 8-5. The Eagles closed the quarter outscoring the Bombers by seven to take the 19-9 lead after the opening eight minutes. The Bombers were once again outscored 18-13 in the second quarter and trailed by 15 at the break. The highlight of the second half was a rare four point play by TJ Wray as he canned a three point shot and was fouled in the process. He stepped to the line and sank his free throw to complete the four point opportunity. However the lead would start to grow for the Eagles as they led 58-39 heading into the final frame. The game really got out of hand in the fourth quarter for the Bombers as they fell to 0-3 on the season and 0-1 in the district with the 81-49 loss.
In their three losses, the Bombers have given up over 80 points in all three contests. The Bombers turned that around on Tuesday night as they went on the road to face Livingston County. The Bombers found a way to come out and take the lead on the Cardinals and led 13-11 after one period. The Bombers once again outscored the host by a two points in the second quarter for the 23-19 advantage at the break. The game remained tight as the Bomber’s defense held the Cardinals to a mere 29 points in the first three quarters and held the five point lead heading into the final eight minutes. The Bomber’s offensive woes continued as they managed only 47 points in the contest, but the defense made a statement holding the Cardinals to 37 points in the contest. The Bombers picked up their first victory of the season with the double figure 47-37 win. Coach Matt Botner said, “It was a huge win for us,” as he added, “The guys really stepped up and we came together as a team and they were really patient on offense.”
The Bombers had little time to celebrate as they turned their attention to the neighbors in McCracken County. The game original scheduled for December 6th was moved back to Dec 19th due to the snow storm a couple of weeks back. The Mustangs flexed their muscles early and showed why they should be considered a favorite in the region. The host McCracken County opened an early 11-2 lead before the Bombers could blink their eyes. After breaking the Mustangs press, the Bombers could not finish on the offensive end. Their defensive transition was slow in recovering as the Mustangs built a 21-11 lead after the opening quarter. The host outscored the Bombers 14-2 to open the second quarter and coasted to the 43-21 lead at the intermission. Ballard Memorial Coach Matt Botner played several different combinations to find a group that played well together and McCracken County played many of their subs for the remainder of the game. McCracken outscored the Bombers by four in the second half on their way to the 69-43 victory. The Mustangs are 4-1 on the young season, while the Bombers stand at 1-4 heading into Christmas Break.
For the three game span, Dre Bledsoe led the team with 25 points, while Keagan Cooper added 24 points, including a team high 16 against McCracken County, and Clay Newton had 21, including a team high 12 against Graves County. Trevor Langston scored 17, Cody Newton had 15, and Lee Chandler was in double figures with 15, including a team high 13 against Livingston. Zack Parson scored two points in each of the three games for his six, Zack McAfee and TJ Wray also had six, and Toler Terrell had four. Logan Suiter had three points for the Bombers, as Steven McGowan added a free throw. The Bombers must do a better job of keeping the game close in the early going. Botner said, “Our guys just have to settle down early in the game and that is something we have got to really get better at.” He added on things they will be working on before their next game in January, “Guarding the basketball and being patient on the offensive end and finishing the possession.”