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WC can't hold on against Caverna

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By John Overby

Unlike in games past, the Washington County Commanders (2-12, 0-6) got off to a fast start against the Caverna Colonels (8-10) last Thursday night, jumping out to a 10-4 lead in the opening minutes of the game.

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However, like so many times before, the Commanders were unable to finish the game with a victory, falling to the Colonels by a score of 76-66.

But the main point of emphasis for Head Coach Russell Burkhead is that the team is improving and giving an all-out effort each night.

“I thought we did a really good job of taking care of the basketball and playing defense for the first three quarters,” Burkhead said. “Mistakes are going to happen, when you’ve got so many young kids out there like we do, but I think those first three quarters showed how much better we’ve gotten at doing the things that win ball games.”

After the fast start by the Commanders, the Colonels were able to methodically chip away at the lead throughout the first quarter, cutting their deficit to 16-14 by the end of the period.

But WC’s resilience was put on display in the second quarter as they worked their lead back to six, going ahead 32-26 by halftime.

Senior Thomas Pettus led the Commanders in the first half, scoring 12 of his 20 total points.

The third quarter saw the Colonels take back the lead for a brief moment, but two free throws by Pettus toward the end of the period gave the Commanders a 47-46 lead.

Just over two minutes into the fourth, the game was knotted up at 53.

It would also mark the beginning of the end for WC, as Caverna would go on to score the next 13 points.

For Burkhead, the run could have been avoided completely had WC been able to take care of the ball like it had in the first three quarters.

“Caverna turned up pressure, and we didn’t handle it well,” Burkhead said. “That run was pretty much the ball game.”

While Pettus led the team in scoring, Burkhead was especially pleased with the performance of senior Sean Lewis, who called it “maybe the best game of his career.”

“I was really, really proud of the way he played, and that’s what I told him in the locker room after the game,” Burkhead said.

WC was scheduled to play Hart County last Saturday night, but the game has been postponed indefinitely due to inclement weather.

Their next game will be Monday, Feb. 3 as they travel to play the Campbellsville Eagles.