The Paintsville Tigers welcomed a nationally known prep school to Bill Mike Runyon Court Tuesday night as Huntington Prep came to town. Huntington has many well known alumni, most notably, Andrew Wiggins, who currently plays for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. The Irish could have used Wiggins’ talent Tuesday, as Paintsville dominated for a 90-73 home win.
Paintsville got on the board early as Braxton Tharp connected on a three pointer with 7:12 to play in the opening quarter. After an Irish score, the Tigers’ rattled off a 10-0 run led by Nick Keeton and Colby Fugate. Seth Williams banked in a three pointer with 3:20 to play in the opening as well as hitting another less than a minute later, giving Paintsville a 20-7 lead with under three minutes to play in the first. Paintsville held a surprising 10-point lead at 24-14 after one period.
The Tigers looked to extend their lead to start the second. Williams was fouled on a drive underneath and made good on his two free throws to put Paintsville up 26-14.
Irish big man Williams Tonje cut the lead back to 10 with his basket down low with 7:21 to play before the break. Paintsville kept hitting its shots and kept going at the much larger Huntington Prep squad. Especially, Nick Keeton and Fugate. Fugate headed to the locker room with 12 first half points. Keeton, who did not shy away from the much taller Irish, scored 10 first half points to give Paintsville a 42-34 lead at the intermission.
Huntington opened scoring in the third quarter as Alex Detrmoy hit a jumper with 7:21 to play. On the next trip, the Tigers’ Fugate was fouled and connected on both free throw attempts to push the lead to 44-39 which in turn, sparked a 7-0 Paintsville run led by Keeton who scored four of the seven. The run was stopped when Maki Johnson hit from beyond the arc with 4:17 to play in the third. The lead was cut to 51-42 with the Irish still having some daylight and the time to mount a comeback.
How would Paintsville react?
They answered with a 10-0 run this time, pushing the lead out to 61-47 with a minute and a half to play in the third before Johnson countered the run with a three pointer.
Fugate would connect on another three pointer with 31.4 left in the third to push the Tiger lead to 67-49, and Keeton would make one of two free throws as time expired in the third to give Paintsville a 68-51 advantage heading into the final period.
The Irish tried to get back in the game with the long ball in the fourth, but the damage had already been done.
The Tigers put the game out of reach in the final period, with the gym erupting when Fugate threw down a dunk with 6:42 to play in the game, extending the lead to 72-56. The Tigers went on for the 90-73 signature win over a nationally known opponent.
The Tigers were led in scoring by Seth Williams with 24 points and three rebounds. He was four of seven from beyond the arc. Keeton and Fugate were identical in the stat column recording double-doubles with 23 points and 11 boards.
Huntington Prep was led by Anthony Collins with 22 points. Alex Detrmoy chipped in 19 points and Maki Johnson added 11 points.
Paintsville was scheduled to host cross-town rival Johnson Central last night. For complete coverage see Wednesday’s edition of the Paintsville Herald.