Last Tuesday, Johnson Central Golden Eagles traveled across the creek to Paintsville for round two of the rivalry this season.
In what looked to be a run away victory for the Golden Eagles at first, turned into a 64-57 brawl.
Early on the, Tigers were having trouble finding a way to score as they only managed to drop five points in the game’s first quarter.
While the Golden Eagles on the other hand, were clicking on all cylinders and put up 23 points behind John King’s eight first quarter points.
With the Johnson Central defense creating all sorts of chaos, Paintsville desperately needed to stop the bleeding and get some easy buckets and stop the scoring spree of the Golden Eagles.
The second quarter started that process as the Tigers managed to hold Johnson Central to only eight points in the quarter.
After completing the task of slowing the Golden Eagles scoring, the Tigers needed to start chipping away at the Johnson Central lead.
After scoring 11 points in the second quarter, it seemed that the Tigers were going to do just that.
Paintsville’s, Colby Fugate, was the willing force that got things going for the Tigers in the second dropping six points.
Going into the half with the score at 31-16 and the Golden Eagles holding onto a 15-point lead, there was still work to do if the Tigers wanted to make this route a close game again with a chance at victory at the end.
The third quarter posed several questions before it opened.
Would the Tigers come out ready pounce on an opportunity to make the game close again?
Would the Golden Eagles continue to play at cruising altitude on their way to an easy win?
Would this game’s tide turn and lead into a game where the win could go either way?
The Tigers needed to win the next two quarters or at least win the third by double digits if they wanted to cut the lead to single digits or take their first lead of the contest.
With that said, Paintsville came out ready and ended the quarter outscoring the Golden Eagles 20-15 behind Connor Fugate’s 11 points.
Isaiah May and his seven points led Johnson Central in the third quarter.
Going into the games final quarter with the Johnson Central lead now at 10 (46-36), the Tigers had made the comeback a reality and just needed to have a strong fourth quarter to tie the series at 1-1 on the season.
However, the duo of May and Cory VanHoose took over the fourth quarter as they combined for 17 of the Golden Eagles’ 18 fourth quarter points.
This allowed King to lead the defensive front.
The Golden Eagle defense did just enough and although they allowed Paintsville to outscore them in the fourth quarter 21-18, that wasn’t enough to close the 10 point lead.
Johnson Central now has the series lead at 2-0 on the season and is currently riding a seven game win streak.
Johnson Central — Isaiah May 24, Cory VanHoose 17, John King 12, Ryleh McKenzie 8, Grant Rice 3.
Paintsville — Colby Fugate 21, Connor Fugate 16, Braxton Tharp 13, Jaxson Watts 5, Baron Ratliff 2.