Maroons, Travis hold off Lincoln County

CALEB LOWNDES I CJ

Pulaski County High School sophomore Zach Travis hangs on the rim after slamming home one of his three dunks in the game in the Maroons' 56-50 win over Lincoln County High School on Tuesday. Travis scored nine of his 13 points in the final quarter.

Pulaski County High School sophomore Zach Travis put on a 'Show' in the Maroons 56-50 win over defending 12th Region champs Lincoln County High School on Tuesday night.

Not only did he score the last two baskets of the game and scored 9 of 13 points in the final quarter, but the high-flying Travis slammed home three dunks on the night.

Travis' first dunk - and first basket - came off a breakaway steal, while his second dunk - and second basket - came off an acrobatic alley-oop feed from Caleb Sloan. Travis' alley-oop throwdown was set up by a Sloan pass from the left corner as Travis made his way around the right side of the rim.

With 25 seconds left in the game, Lincoln County's Tremane Alcorn scored off a layup to put the Patriots within a point at 52-50. On the pursuing inbounds, Pulaski County avoided the Patriots foul attempts to find Travis open for a layup. Lincoln County coughed up the ball on their last possession with less than 10 seconds left on the clock.

With two seconds left in the game, Travis put an exclamation mark on the Maroons' win with his third two-handed slam of the game.

"Zach Travis had a good game and he had a good floor game," Pulaski County boys basketball coach John Fraley stated. "We have been on him about rebounding and doing some other things, and he has really starting doing that for us. What a great way for him to end the game."

After the Maroons ran out to an 11-point lead early in the third quarter, the Patriots worked their way back into the game thanks to 15 second-half points by big man Riley Boner.

Travis opened the fourth quarter with a 4-foot floater off the left baseline.

Travis hit a three-pointer in the left corner with 2:49 left in the game to give the Maroons a four-point lead. However, Lincoln County scored four unanswered points to tie the game at 48-48 with 1:45 left in the contest.

Grant Oakes scored on a baseline 8-footer to give the Maroons the lead at 50-48. After a Lincoln County turnover, Pulaski had the lead and the ball with 70 seconds left in the game. At the 40-second mark, Colton Fraley was fouled and the senior calmly sank both free throws to put the Maroons up by 4 points. After the Patriots pulled within two points, Travis took over from that point to close the game out.

Throughout the game the Maroons had a couple of large leads, but Lincoln County cane back each time. Pulaski County had their largest lead of the first half at 23-15 with 3:03 left in the second quarter, but the Patriots outscored Pulaski County 8 to 2 in the final two minutes of the half to pull within two points at the break.

The Maroons came out smoking in the third quarter when Colton Fraley hit two treys and K.J. Combs hit a three-bomb to put the Maroons up 34-24. Lincoln's Riley Boner scored inside and Baylor Mattingly hit his third three of the game to close out the third quarter with the Maroons holding a slight 39-36 lead.

"Lincoln County is the defending regional champions for a reason," Fraley stated. "Coach Jackson does such a god job with his teams. Once we started trapping the ball and screening, and we let them have a couple of easy ones there because we didn't rotate. But ultimately we rotated enough in the end. "

After returning from an early-season injury, Pulaski County senior Grant Oakes has played solid for the Maroons. Oakes scored a game-high 17 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. K.J. Combs scored 12 points and Colton Fraley scored 11 points.

Pulaski County (13-3) will host Southwestern on Friday, Jan. 17, at PCHS gym.

STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at sports@somerset-kentucky.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.

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