The Pineville Mountain Lions got their team camp off to rousing start on Monday. The Lions outscored district rival Barbourville 10-0 over the first five minutes and never looked back as they went to beat the Tigers 66-45.
“It’s summer basketball and you play kids for them to get the opportunity to improve. We want to look and see what kind of team we’ve got,” Pineville coach J.D. Strange said. “The biggest thing is that we came out, played hard and hustled. We played a lot of kids and when you get that combination of working hard and having a little fun with it, it’s good for everybody all the way around.”
A pair of rising seniors led the way for the Lions as guard Cody Collett had the hot hand early and scored 13 of his 17 points in the first 20-minute half then forward Scotty Hoskins found the range in the second half and hit four 3-pointers to score 14 of his 18 points to lead all scorers.
Rounding out the scoring for the Lions were Isaac Longworth with 10 points, John Sproles with eight, Will Adams with seven, while Jalen Byrd, Tucker Woolum and Joseph Simpson added two points each.
“I think we’ve got some pretty good shooters and when they’re all going well we can pose a problem for somebody. Hopefully our strengths will be shooting and the ability to handle the basketball,” Strange added. “At the other end, we’re really going to have to work hard defensively. With our size, we’re going to have to do a great job of blocking out and rebounding.
“I thought our kids played good defense today. We got lost a couple of times in man, but our effort was there and we’ve just to get everybody conscious of blocking out.”
The Lions probably had some extra motivation going against the Tigers. Pineville’s last season ended with a 79-54 loss to Barbourville in the 51st District Tournament.
Monday, the Pineville defense held the Tigers to just four points over the first ten minutes. Longworth got the scoring started with a basket and Adams hit a free throw. Collett then got going with a pair of free throws followed by a pair of 3-pointers. Adams and Byrd added transition baskets and a 3 from Longworth pushed the lead to 20-4 by the 10:00 mark.
By halftime the score was 35-18.
Hoskins hit two 3-pointers to open the scoring in the second half and added a pair of free throws to put the Lions up 43-20. Sproles knocked down a 3 of his own to extend the lead to 26. Another trey from Hoskins and a basket from Longworth gave Pineville their biggest lead at 51-24 and they went on to the 21-point win.
The Mountain Lions have games against Cumberland Gap and Middlesboro as the camp continues today.