By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
In the first Southwestern-Pulaski County meeting of the season on January 17th, it took double overtime to decide a winner.
Last night’s Valentine’s Day match-up at PC Gym was decided in the game’s early minutes, as the Warriors ran out to a 14-0 lead over the Maroons and never looked back. Steve Wright and the Warriors would go on to win the crosstown match-up by a final tally of 88-62.
Wright, who is in his third season as the head coach of the Warriors, is really happy with the way his team is playing heading into the final week of the regular season.
“We played pretty well, we shot the ball pretty well, and we defended pretty well,” began Wright. “I think we’ve gotten better all-year, but here recently, I feel like we’re getting more confidence and seem to be more fluid. Things take time – it’s a process. We’ve been slowly developing to get to this point.”
“It’s just one game,” continued the SWHS coach. “We did a lot of good things, but we will find the things that we did poorly on film and work on them Sunday and Monday. Overall, it was a good performance for us. I’m really proud of our guys.”
Two minutes into the ballgame, Southwestern’ hot start forced Maroon head coach Al Gover into a timeout after the Warriors began the contest with 10 unanswered points. The Warriors would go on to take a 14-0 lead.
Pulaski County’s first points of the evening came with 3:22 left in the opening frame, when freshman Peyton Gover hit a lay-up and a free-throw to make the score, 14-3, in favor of the Warriors.
After one quarter in the books, Southwestern held a 27-9 lead over the home standing Maroons. The Warriors’ Adam Isaacs outscored Pulaski County himself in the first period, as he finished with 10 points in the first eight minutes of play.
For the Maroons, it was their second straight double-double digit loss. Pulaski County fell to Danville at home on Monday evening.
Gover said his team didn’t show up ready to play, which allowed visiting Southwestern to run out to a big lead over the Maroons.
“We weren’t ready to play obviously – that’s the first time in five years that we haven’t been ready to play a crosstown rival,” told Gover. “We just didn’t come ready to play tonight for whatever reason. We had two really good days of practice leading up to this, but we were stagnant when the game started. We dug ourselves into a hole that we couldn’t get out of.”
“If we’re going to win ballgames, we are going to have to guard people, and we didn’t do that at all tonight,” stated Gover. “We played really, really poor defense tonight, and that will get you beat. We didn’t guard anybody tonight.”
The second quarter would belong to the Warriors, as they outscored Pulaski County by a margin of 27-21. Isaacs, once again, had another big frame, as he tallied 11 points in the second period.
At the intermission, Southwestern held a 21-point, 51-30 lead over the Maroons.
In the third stanza, the Warriors outlasted Pulaski County by a margin of 27-15. Heading into the fourth quarter, Southwestern led the Maroons by a score of 81-45.
Pulaski County did outscore the Warriors in the fourth period, but it wasn’t enough as Southwestern cruised to a 26-point win over the Maroons.
Isaacs led all scorers with a game-high 23 points. The Warrior junior tallied 21 of 23 points in the opening half of action. Hunter Cromer (14 points), Dylan Gaskin (13 points), and Danny Butt (10 points) all joined Isaacs in double figures.
For Pulaski County, Blake Burton led the charge with a club-high 14 points. Peyton Gover tallied 12 points on the night, while Sean Ross chimed in with 10.
The Maroons, who fell to 14-11 on the season with the loss, will return to action today, hosting Lewis County in the Cancer Awareness Classic PC Gym. That game will begin at 8 p.m.
Southwestern, now 20-4, will play their second crosstown game in a row, as they will host the Somerset Briar Jumpers on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Wigwam.
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22
SW – 27 27 27 7 – 88
PC – 9 21 15 18 – 62
SOUTHWESTERN (20-4): Isaacs 23, Cromer 14, Gaskin 13, Butt 10, Dykes 7, Edwards 7, Miller 5, Fitzgerald 5, Richardson 4.
PULASKI COUNTY (14-10): Burton 14, Gover 12, Ross 10, Hall 9, Robinson 5, Ridner 4, Stevens 3, Smith, 3, Phelps 2, Clark 2, Hurt 1.