Burgin gets big road win
The Burgin Bulldogs boys basketball team (3-19) got an exciting, 58-56, win over the Frankfort Panthers (9-14) Tuesday, Feb. 1. The Bulldogs tandem of junior Jacob Qualls and sophomore Jacobe Taylor combined for 30 points to come away with the road win.
Burgin won the tip and was quick to get on the scoreboard with Taylor hitting a catch and shoot 3-pointer with Qualls collecting the assist, 3-0. The Panthers split a pair of free throws and Qualls went coast to coast, beating the defense back to get a layup. 5-1.
Frankfort was able to score a layup with good ball movement, but the Bulldogs answered back with senior John Boursaw hitting a stepback triple, 8-3. Senior Greyson Mitchell made a great defensive play to stop Frankfort at the rim and Qualls made them pay on the other end hitting Burgin’s third three of the game to force the Panthers to call a timeout, 11-4.
Frankfort found success coming out of the timeout and scoring a layup followed by back to back 3-pointers to take the lead, 11-12. Qualls went to the rim drawing the foul in the paint. He made one of two to tie the game, 12-12. Frankfort’s senior point guard Charles Ellis had two layups and a free throw in the last minute of the first quarter to give the Panthers the lead, 12-17.
Sophomore Seth Hatfield made a good pass to Mitchell in the paint to score at the rim, but the Panthers answered back with a floater, 14-19. Taylor was left wide open and Qualls found him for the uncontested triple to close the gap to two, 17-19. Frankfort missed two free throws, but got a second chance opportunity and scored with a layup resulting in a Burgin timeout, 17-21. It was Hatfield’s turn behind the arc sinking another 3-pointer for the Bulldogs with an assist from Mitchell, 20-21.
A smooth jumper in the paint from Qualls put Burgin back on top with four minutes left in the second quarter, 22-21. Frankfort temporarily tied the game with a free throw that changed with Mitchell hitting a baseline jumper, 24-22. Burgin Freshman Jeremiah Van De Cruize split two defenders and finished at the rim for his first points of the game and extended the Bulldog lead, 26-22.
Burgin went into halftime with Qualls getting a last second shot to go, putting the Bulldogs up by six, 28-22. Burgin’s success behind the arc combined with Qualls threatening the paint off the dribble helped build their lead. On the defensive side Mitchell and Van De Cruize did a good job contesting shots and coming away with boards, limiting second chance opportunities for the Panthers.
To begin the second half both teams struggled to make shots in the first two minutes until the Panthers got a steal and transition layup, but Qualls followed it up with a pull up 3-pointer, 31-24. Van De Cruize came down with a big defensive rebound and was rewarded on the other end with a short pass from Qualls in the paint for a layup, 33-24.
Mitchell made back-to-back defensive stops blocking a shot and contesting another, helping Burgin stay out in front of the Panthers halfway through the third quarter. Frankfort’s Ellis got free for a corner 3-pointer, but Burgin stayed hot with good ball movement leading to Mitchell finishing at the rim, 35-29. The last minute of the third quarter included a layup from Ellis and Taylor knocking down another 3-pointer off the dribble, 38-31.
The Bulldogs started the fourth quarter with Mitchell corralling an offensive rebound for the basket, 40-31. Burgin kept control of the game with Taylor making a timely inbound pass to Van De Cruize, 42-31.
Boursaw added in a fast break layup giving the Bulldogs a 13 point lead, 44-31. The Panthers earned two points from the charity stripe, but Boursaw answered back with another big catch and shoot 3-pointer. Burgin kept the hot shooting with Taylor hitting a corner three which was the Bulldogs ninth of the game, 51-33.
Frankfort changed their game plan with five minutes left and down 18. They went to a full court press on and picked up their pace on. Qualls slipped by the trap defense of the Panthers and made a great pass to Van De Cruize in the paint for the easy layup, 53-35. Frankfort started to climb back into the game with a quick six points.
The Panthers had success with trapping at the halfcourt. Burgin went into a stall ball on offense trying to kill the clock with the lead and Frankfort feasted on the extra passes with two steals and four points, 53-45. With two minutes left Mitchell had a much needed block in the paint and Taylor was ahead of the pack to get an easy layup, 55-45.
The Panthers hit a three from the top of the key and started fouling the Bulldogs every time they had the ball, 55-48. Qualls came up big with a steal which resulted in him going to the line, but couldn’t come away with any points. With less than a minute left Frankfort closed the gap to five with two free throws, 55-50. Van De Cruize went to the line and missed his free throw and the Panthers capitalized with a quick three to make things interesting with 37 seconds left, 55-53.
Qualls was fouled shortly after the inbounds pass again and this time made both free throws. The Panthers hit a desperation fade away three as shots were falling for Frankfort with 20 seconds left, 57-56. Burgin turned the ball over on their next possession, but Ellis missed a contested shot in the paint that would have won them the game with five seconds left.
Van De Cruize came away with the rebound and was fouled; he went to the line and split a pair of free throws to put the Bulldogs up two, 58-56. With two seconds on the clock Ellis was able to get to halfcourt for a buzzer heave, but he was fouled and sent to the line for two shots and a chance for overtime. He missed both sealing the victory for the Burgin Bulldogs, 56-58.
Burgin struggled late with free throws in a game where every point counted, but their rebounding and toughness held off the Panthers late. Hot shooting from all around propelled the team to a season high 58 points including making 69.3% of their shots outside the arc.
The Bulldogs play Nicholas County Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Their rescheduled district game with Mercer due to weather which is now set for Saturday, Feb. 12, at 4:30 p.m.
Scoring- Qualls 16, Taylor 14, Van De Cruize 9, Mitchell 8, Boursaw 8, Hatfield 3, Total 58.
Rebounds – Mitchell 7, Van De Cruize 6, Taylor 3, Boursaw 3, Qualls 2, Hatfield 1, Total 22.