By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Somerset — After back-to-back losses to Rowan County and Pulaski County, Somerset capped off play in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic in fine-fashion, downing George Rogers Clark in a double overtime thriller on Monday night at the Wigwam.
With the hard-fought victory over the Cardinals of George Rogers Clark, the Somerset Briar Jumpers grabbed 13th place in the hoops tournament. The game was the Jumpers’ fourth overtime game of the season and second overtime game in a four-day span.
Jeff Cothron, the head of the Jumpers, loves his team and the way they fight tooth-and-nail each time they take the floor.
“I get frustrated and get mad at them from time-to-time, but there is no bunch that I would rather go to war with than the ones on this team,” said Cothron. “They flat battle you until the end – they’ve been up in games and down in games. We’ve had a lot of things go on in these first 13 games, so they understand to keep an even-keel and keep playing.”
It looked as if GRC was going to roll to a victory early in the third quarter, as they began the frame with a 9-0 run to take a double-digit, 43-31 advantage over the Jumpers.
Things changed however, as the Briar Jumpers went on a 15-0 run to jump out front by a 46-43 tally. The run included baskets from Ryan Dishman, Chandler Purcell, Tyler Dishman, and Kenny Spear.
After being down by as much as 12 points in the frame, the Jumpers held a one-point, 50-49 lead over the Cardinals at the conclusion of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter, just like the beginning of the contest, would swing back and forth between the two clubs.
With 1:03 left to play in regulation, Somerset grabbed a 68-64 lead after a pair of free-throws from Purcell. GRC would then get lay-ups at the :38 and :26 marks to knot the contest up at 68 apiece.
Freshman Landon Powell sunk two free-throws to put Somerset back out front by a two-point margin with :22 remaining. Sharrock would get another lay-up to tie the game up at 70-70, sending it into overtime.
After Braxton Greene got a pair of scores to begin the extra session, Somerset tied the game back up at 74 with made free-throws from Powell and Trae Harmon. The Cardinals would then widen the gap back out to four points after baskets from Greene and Damion King.
Kenny Spear knocked down a three-pointer with :17 left in overtime to get the Jumpers to within a lone point at 78-77. Following a pair of made charity tosses from King with :13 remaining, Ryan Dishman came down the floor and knocked down a trey at the buzzer to send the contest into double overtime at 80-80.
Thanks to some clutch shooting at the free-throw line, the Jumpers would hold on to win the game in double overtime by a 7-point margin. With the win, Somerset finished with a 2-2 mark in the second annual Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic.
Ryan Dishman, who was named the player of the game, poured in a game-high 31 points. Purcell finished with 20 points, while Tyler Dishman tallied 11 points and Powell scored 10 points.
The Cardinals were led in scoring by King, who finished with 30 points on the night. Greene added 19 points to the total, while Sam Barrett chimed in with 14 points.
Cothron was glad to see his team shoot well from the charity stripe, but he noted that his team must crash the boards much better.
“We shot really well from the free-throw line tonight, so that was huge for us,” Cothron said. “We have got to rebound the ball better – that’s two games in a row that we’ve got hurt on the boards. That’s really the only thing that keep GRC in it tonight. We made some big shots tonight.”
Somerset, who moved to 7-6 with the victory, will return to action on Friday evening, when they will travel across town to face the Pulaski County Maroons at 7:30 p.m. at PC Gym.
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22
GRC – 16 18 13 21 10 7 – 87
SHS – 14 17 19 20 10 14 – 94
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK (5-7): King 30, Greene 19, Barnett 14, Caudill 6, Jones 6, Sharrock 6, Israel 2, Blanton 2.
SOMERSET (7-6): Ryan Dishman 31, Purcell 20, Spear 14, Tyler Dishman 11, Powell 10, Harmon 3, Lindsey 3, Coomer 2.