The visiting Miami Eagles held off a late comeback effort from Kingsville as the Tigers fell by the final score of 56-48 in Kingsville’s Homecoming game on Friday, Jan. 20.
The visiting Eagles worked to a 27-20 halftime lead which allowed the visitors to absorb a 29-28 scoring advantage posted by the Tigers in the final two periods.
An 11-point run by Miami after a game-opening basket from Tiger guard Isaac Hawthorne gave the Eagles breathing room as Kingsville played from behind the remainder of the game.
“We had too many turnovers,” said Kingsville boys basketball head coach Bill Adams. “We didn’t contest them on threes. We talked about that. We’ve just got to be able to not get off to that kind of start because it takes a ton of energy to fight back, and actually get into the lead.”
The Tigers righted the ship in the second quarter as both teams scored 10 points before the intermission.
Kingsville freshman center John Fleeman contributed six of his 10 first-half points in the second period as freshman Christian Stevenson, and senior Brock Truby also joined Hawthorne in the scoring column.
The Homecoming loss occurred just three days after the Tigers recorded a 67-56 road win over Orrick. The win against the Bearcats bumped the Tigers to 9-8 on the season at that point.
“We talked after Tuesday…we had a really good win Tuesday, and we talked that we could not take steps back in our next game,” said coach Adams. “I felt like we did take, as a team…we just took steps back in a game that they feel, and I feel we should have won. I’m not blaming anybody. But Miami feels the same way, that they should have won. They’ve got a lot of experience. They start five seniors.”
As the Tigers attempted to come back in the game, sophomore Brady Stout put seven points on the scoreboard in the third quarter with Chase Stout connecting on a three-pointer, and Hawthorne adding two points in the period.
Sophomore Brayden Barnett had his most effective output in the fourth quarter as he posted all nine of his game points in that period.
Barnett connected on Kingsville’s final basket of the game to cut the Tigers’ deficit to three points with the score at 51-48.
The Eagles would connect on five-of-six free throws down the stretch to set the final point spread at 56-48.
The quick start for the Eagles stood out to coach Adams.
“Early…four wide-open threes,” recalled the head coach of Miami’s build to an early 12-point lead. “Twelve points, bam, bam, bam, bam. It was 16-4 at one point. It takes a lot of energy to dig out of that.”
The head coach also highlighted the team-wide Tiger contributions as Kingsville laid it on the line late in a comeback attempt.
“Everyone contributed,” said coach Adams. “There is no one person who stood out. They all contributed. They generally do a good job of sharing a ball, and supporting each other. I’m proud of them that they’re able to do that through thick and thin…to just keep tying to play the way that we want to play.”
For Kingsville, Fleeman scored a team-high 14 points. Barnett totaled 9 points. Brady Stout scored 7 points. Hawthorne finished with 6 points. Stevenson and Chase Stout each had 5 points. Truby totaled 2 points.
At the end of last week, the Kingsville boys basketball team held an overall record of 9-9.
This Thursday, Jan. 26, the Kingsville boys basketball team plays a road game at Northwest (Hughesville). The Kingsville girls basketball team also plays at Northwest on Thursday with a start time of 5:30 p.m. The boys game follows the girls game.