The Claiborne boys basketball team took the floor at Hancock County January 10 against an Indian team that was set on springing the upset. The two coaches and friends Evan McCoy and Brian O’Dell had faced off once this season, with O’Dell and team getting the win. This time, McCoy had the edge at home.
The Bulldogs led with hot shooting from behind the arc from Jacob Runions and Andrew Coots. They helped Claiborne get out to a fast start to lead the game at 19-9 by the end of one period. No one knows what happened during the second period as both teams struggled to score the basketball. Hancock outscored Claiborne 4-1 but were still behind 20-13 at the half.
Make no mistake, these two teams went after it playing physical basketball but each time their opponent hit the floor the opposite team was there to help pick them up. The sportsmanship between the two teams continued for the second half as well.
Hancock outscored Claiborne 16-14 during the third period as Claiborne’s potent scorer Houston Hatfield was defended well. To save the victory Claiborne needed to step up and Runions was the young man that made the difference. He hit five pressure free throws during the final period to help secure a 48-41 victory.
After the game McCoy shook hands with O’Dell, smiled and said, “I’ll get you next year.”
Scoring the most for the Bulldogs was Runions, who missed a double-double by one rebound as he had nine boards and 13 points. Hunter Rosenbalm was again the Bulldog that was relentless going to the rim and scored 12 points. Hatfield scored seven, Ty Stone was held to six, Elijah Beason finished with five. Coots and Matthew Walker finished the total with three and two points respectively.
For the Indians, Seth Heck had 12 points during the fourth period and finished with 17 to lead all scorers.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude