By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
For Al Gover and company — the Pulaski County Maroons certainly didn’t want to ‘Remember the Titans’ as the team that snapped PC’s longest winning streak of the season.
The Louisville Collegiate Titans rolled into The PC Gym on Saturday night in the midst of a four-game winning steak themselves, while Gover and company had won their last six games in a row.
And, despite the fact PC didn’t bring its ‘A’ game to the contest — nor its ‘B’ game for that matter — Gover’s club still had enough to in the tank to win game number seven in a row.
Taylor Gover poured in a game-high 31 points, while Tyler Goins added 15 points and Kody Johnson tallied 13, helping the Maroons erase a seven-point first half deficit on their way to a 74-64 win in a very lackluster effort — especially to start things off.
“We were challenged tonight and we saw that we were challenged, and we knew that if we didn’t step it up pretty quick we were going to get hammered on our home court,” stated Gover, after his club improved to 12-3 on the year with the win.
“We were lethargic, we were flat, and we didn’t get after it intensity-wise on the defensive end,” continued the PC coach. “I guess you’re going to have a few of those games throughout the season — I guess it’s always good when you can win those games and get through them like we did tonight.”
Indeed, PC got through the contest without playing its best basketball.
Louisville Collegiate — winners of its last four games, and fresh off of winning the Pikeville Invitational Tournament — came out and took things right to the Maroons.
Will McAnulty’s three-point basket with just over five minutes remaining in the first half of play gave the Titans what would be their biggest lead of the night over Pulaski County at 24-17.
However at that juncture, PC would respond.
The Maroons went on a 10-0 spurt, that culminated on a steal and layup from Goins, which put his club back out in front of the Titans, 27-26.
Meanwhile, on a night when Taylor Gover didn’t make a single three-point basket, the senior point guard simply put his team on his back at the start of the second half.
With PC leading the Titans 33-30 at the intermission, Gover scored 10 of his game-high 31 points in the third period, helping the Maroons out to a 52-43 advantage headed into the final stanza.
“Our kids stepped up and made enough plays tonight when they had to,” pointed out coach Gover.
“That was a huge key for us, because we could have been in some trouble had our guys not stepped up when we needed them to,” stated the PC coach. “But, to their credit, they made the plays when they had to make them.”
Over the fourth quarter, the Titans cut the Pulaski County lead down to four points on two different occasions, but each time the Maroons would respond.
Bryce Overstreet — who came off the Louisville Collegiate bench to score 20 points — trimmed the lead down to four points for the final time, as his bucket cut the PC lead to 59-55.
However, back to back hoops by Blake Burton extended the advantage out to eight points — 63-55 — and the Maroons would not be threatened again.
Thanks to four wins just over a week ago in the first annual Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Tournament, and with wins last week on the road at Corbin and Rockcastle County, the game with the Titans was Pulaski County’s seventh game in the past nine days — something that didn’t go unnoticed by the Maroons head coach.
“I kept telling our kids headed into this game that they had better be ready, because we knew that Louisville Collegiate could play,” pointed out Gover.
“This was kind of a trap game, because we have had some emotional games over the past week, then you come out tonight and play a team you’re not that familiar with,” said Gover. “I told our guys after the game that they were flat, I was flat — we all we’re flat, but we found a way to win the game. This past two weeks has been a very tough stretch for us, but with games coming up this next week with Lincoln County and Southwestern, it certainly doesn’t get any easier for us. We’ve just got to take it one day at a time and try to get better each day.”
The Maroons will host Lincoln County tonight at The PC Gym, with tip off set up for 7:30 p.m.
LC — 14 16 13 21 — 64
PC — 14 19 19 22 — 74
LOUISVILLE COLLEGIATE — Overstreet 20, Steggeman 15, McAnulty 10, Keyer 8, Kommer 7, Walter 4.
PULASKI CO. — Gover 31, Goins 15, Johnson 13, Burton 9, Laign 3, Ross 2, Hall 1.