Last night at Somerset High School, the Pulaski County Maroons avenged their blowout loss against the Somerset Briar Jumpers from earlier this season.
Two weeks ago, the Briar Jumpers made a statement with a 20-point victory over the Maroons at Pulaski. However, the Maroons took game two, 71-56, at Somerset.
"We definitely played with a lot more intensity tonight, especially on the defensive end, and we took care of the ball a lot better," Pulaski County High School boys basketball coach John Fraley stated. "Overall, I thought our energy and effort was where it should have been last time we played Somerset."
"We got the early lead in both games, but tonight we held onto it," Fraley stated. "We talked about last time and we can't just play when we want to, but we have to play the entire 32 minutes."
The Briar Jumpers did have a disadvantage as they were missing one of their starters, sophomore forward Gavin Stevens, and key bench forward Dakota Acey. Both Acey and Stevens played a major role in their victory over Pulaski from a few weeks ago.
The Maroons came out of the gate on fire and put their selves in a very good position early in the game. They were aggressive on defense and forced numerous turnovers to build a lead in the first quarter.
Junior guard KJ Combs, and senior guard Colton Fraley were Pulaski's main contributors on offense throughout the first period. Fraley hit three mid-range jumpers for 6 points, and Combs had a pair of layups, a free throw and a three-point shot for 8 points.
The Jumpers struggled at holding onto the ball and they only came up with 10 points in the first. Juniors Kade Grundy and Kaiya Sheron each had 4 points, and junior guard Jackson Cooper hit their opening shot.
After a very solid first period on both sides of the ball, the Maroons led 20-10 heading into the second quarter.
Somerset had several successful drives at the basket early in the second, but Pulaski continued to answer and hold onto their lead. Towards the middle of the period, the Maroons pushed their lead up to 14 points.
Although Pulaski seemed to have all the momentum, the Briar Jumpers made a bit of a comeback late in the second quarter. Junior guard Dylan Burton put in a driving layup and sunk a contested mid-range shot, and junior guard Colton Correll and senior forward Jase Bruner each hit a three-point shot to cut the Maroon lead to just 4 points.
Fraley closed the second with a mid-range jumper, and Pulaski lead 35-29 heading into the halftime break.
After the break, Somerset really struggled on the offensive end throughout the third quarter. Burton scored 7 points for the Jumpers in the period, but he was the only Somerset player to hit a shot.
With the Jumpers struggling to score, the Maroons were able to build a comfortable lead heading into the fourth period. Fraley closed the third with a three-point shot, and 3 points from free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt. Fraley's 6 points late in the period put Pulaski up 50-36 heading into the fourth.
Burton and Bruner put in some work for the Jumpers early in the fourth quarter. Burton scored on a driving layup and added an extra point after being fouled on the shot, and hit a pair of mid-range shots, and Bruner put in his second three ball of the game and hit an inside shot as well.
Despite some successful offensive play early in the fourth, the Maroons seemed to answer every shot Somerset put in. The Jumpers got into some foul trouble late, and Pulaski was able to continue to grow their lead.
With time running out, Somerset just did not have the time, and the Maroons closed the game out well. After numerous free throws late in the game, Pulaski left with a 71-56 victory.
The top performer on the night for the Maroons was senior guard Colton Fraley, who led his team in scoring with 19 points and scored consistently to help Pulaski maintain their lead throughout the game.
Somerset's Dylan Burton carried their offense with 21 points, but the Jumpers struggled with offensive consistency throughout the night.
The outcome of the game gave both teams a 20-5 record on the season. Pulaski will be back in action tomorrow night where they will face off with the Southwestern Warriors at Southwestern at 7:30 p.m. Somerset's next game is Saturday night, and they will face the Green County Dragons at home at 6 p.m.
PC 20 15 15 21 - 71
SHS 10 19 7 20 - 56
PULASKI COUNTY - Fraley 19, Combs 17, Travis 12, Oakes 8, Sloan 6, Williams 5, Heath 4.
SOMERSET - Burton 21, Cooper 9, Bruner 8, Grundy 6, Sheron 6, Harmon 3, Correll 3.