Briar Jumpers escape Williamsburg in overtime, 60-59
By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent Commonwealth Journal
Thanks to an ‘and one’ opportunity conversion from Ryan Dishman and a strong defensive hold in the closing seconds, the Somerset Briar Jumpers were able to escape day one of the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic with 60-59, overtime victory over Williamsburg on Friday night at the Briar Patch.
After trailing for much of the night, the visiting Yellowj-ackets took their first lead of the evening with 4:02 left in the fourth period. The game would need overtime to settle a winner, and fortunately for Somerset, it was them grabbing the one-point victory to move to 6-4 on the year and continue play in the winner’s bracket.
Jeff Cothron was glad to see his team come away with the victory after losing a double-digit lead over the Yellowjackets.
“It obviously wasn’t our best performance – we had played a lot better than that over the past few weeks,” began Cothron. “When you come off of a three-day break and minimal practice time, we were kind of lethargic on the defensive side of the ball. This bunch has exhibited a lot of heart – that’s our third overtime game. They’ve never quit one time, and we hung in there and were fortunate enough to get the victory.”
The Somerset defense was all over the place in the opening frame, forcing Williamsburg into 7 turnovers. After the Jumpers took a 17-5 lead, the Yellowjackets ended the quarter with a 6-0 run to cut the score to 17-11 after one quarter in the books.
Williamsburg would continue their run into the second quarter, cutting the lead to lone point at 19-18. The Jumpers would widen the lead after an 8-0 run with baskets from Kenny Spear, Chandler Purcell, Austin Coomer, and Landon Powell.
At the intermission, Somerset held a 10-point, 31-21 advantage over Willi-amsburg.
The Yellowjackets’ Andrew Griffith ruled the roost in the third frame, scoring 14 of team’s 17 points in the frame. Griffith outscored the Jumpers, as well. Despite being outscored by a 17-12 margin, Somerset went into the fourth period with a 43-38 lead
With 4:02 left to play in the fourth quarter, a basket from Corey Shelton put the Yellowjackets out front for the first time of the night at 46-44. The Jumpers would quickly answer back, as Powell got a lay-up to knot the game up at 46 apiece.
Shelton came up big for Williamsburg again, nailing a trey to put his team ahead 49-46 with 3:13 left in the fourth stanza. A free-throw and a three-pointer from Ryan Dishman put Somerset back out front by a one-point margin at 50-49.
With 59 seconds left to play, Shelton went 1 of 2 from the charity stripe, tying the game up at 50-50. Ryan Dishman’s shot with a second left in the game would barely miss, forcing the game into overtime.
The Yellowjackets would lead the entire overtime period until 7.8 seconds left in extra session, when Ryan Dishman scored on a lay-up and then hit the free-throw to put the Jumpers ahead 60-59. Williamsburg would turn the ball over on their possession, clinching the victory for Cothron and the Jumpers.
Ryan Dishman led the way for Somerset with a contest-high 26 points. Tyler Dishman chimed in with 9 points, while Chandler Purcell tallied 7 points.
Griffith, of Williamsburg, tallied a team-high 23 points and 6 rebounds. Shelton scored 21 points, while Dalton Sizemore finished with 13 points.
Somerset met up with former Jumper coach Shawn Thacker and his Rowan County bunch last night at the Briar Patch. Look for details of that game in Tuesday’s sports section.