CHS, CGHS split varity wins again

Cold weather couldn’t chill the action on the court at Claiborne High School, Feb. 2. Cumberland Gap made the trip into Bulldogs territory for the second of two regular season meetings between two longtime rivals. A series that the Panthers had owned lately became interesting once again as CHS began taking some wins. The games began with junior varsity action.

The JV Lady Bulldogs led at the half 19-8 and had to withstand a run from the Lady Panthers to get the win, 29-23. Leading CHS in scoring was Kelsey Munsey with eight. Kayli Hinckley led the Lady Panthers with seven. The JV boys teams played next and the Bulldogs grabbed an early lead and lead at the half, 33-22. The Gap made a run during the third and fans were viewing a three point game at 38-35. They got the lead in the fourth and held it until CHS tied it and the game went into overtime. Kade Beeler drove the ball down the court with only seconds left and hit an acrobatic shot that gave CHS the 59-57 victory. Jacob Williams led CHS with 20 and Nate Fuson led the Gap with 13 points.

Next on the floor was the varsity girls teams. Tabitha Roy was key in getting the Lady Panthers going but Cheyenne Tolliver and some good defense by Kaylee Cox helped CHS tie the game at 14. The two teams scored once more before the half but were knotted up at 16. These two teams went back and forth during the third with the Lady Panthers leading, 29-26. CHS did not back down and stayed within striking distance but Haley Wilson and Hayli England kept putting up points. CHS made one last run but the Lady Panthers went home with a 38-30 victory.

Leading the Lady Panthers in scoring was Wilson with 12. Roy finished with 10 and England dropped in seven. Hannah Heath scored four points. Leading the Lady Bulldogs was Emma Beason and Cox with eight points each. Tolliver and Jaden Thompson finished with five each and Abby Ferguson had four points.

CHS celebrated its basketball, cheer, dance, wrestling and golf seniors between games.

Next on the floor were the Bulldogs and Panthers boys teams. Jake Bullins started the scoring for the Panthers and Hunter Rosenbalm matched it and quickly dropped in five. The scoring slowed and CHS had the lead by two, 9-7, after one period. The Panthers enjoyed the lead as Bullins did work down low but CHS stormed back. The Panthers returned the favor and pulled out to a four-point lead. Kade Beeler helped CHS to pull within one point with 2:05 remaining before the half. The score was tied at the half at 22 and the ball was left stuck in the ceiling courtesy of a Bullins last second shot.

The SAT benchmark students were presented medals at the half for their excellence and they also took a moment to get the game ball down to continue second half play.

CHS took the lead and the Panthers were struggling with turnovers. Jacob Williams came in and made an impact late during the third and allowed CHS to stay out front. At the end of three the Bulldogs led, 36-31. Jayson Upton led the Panthers comeback and they had the lead once again but the Bulldogs responded and regained the lead. It was back and forth basketball fun for the next two minutes as the score alternated. Bullins made a basket and gave the Panthers a four point lead but CHS quickly had the score down to one. Nick Neverstitch hit a huge basket with 51.2 seconds left and the score was 47-50 Panthers. Beason went down the court and hit a three to tie with 35 seconds left. The Bulldogs stole the ball with a wonderfully timed full court press and Beason hit the go ahead basket. The Panthers had a chance to tie from the charity stripe but missed both. CHS was fouled and Hatfield hit both, effectively securing the win.

Claiborne was led by Beason with 13. Hatfield and Rosenbalm had nine each. Ty Stone finished with seven. Jacob Williams had six. Kade Beeler recorded five and Evan Ickes finished with three points. Lucas Manning had two. The Panthers were led by Bullins with 17. Evan Jackson had 14. Nich Neverstitch finished with six and Kaleb Franklin had five. Jayson Upton was held to four but was fighting illness. Miles Cole had three and Jake Templin completed the total with one point.

Both teams only have a few games left before the district tournament begins at Chuckey-Doak.