PINEVILLE —It was a good, ol’ fashioned barn-burner at the Lions’ Den on Friday night. After Pineville erased a 10-point deficit over the final four minutes of play, Bell County got a basket at the buzzer from freshman forward Zach Partin as the Bobcats pulled out a 51-49 win.
Junior guard Tyler Potter led Bell with 22 points while Ben Collett added nine off the bench and Jake Patterson added eight.
The Mountain Lions were led by senior center John Simpson’s 15 points — all in the second half — while Byron David Asher added eleven and Seth Jeffrey nine.
Potter scored nine of his points in the first quarter and the Bobcats also got a pair of free throws from Patterson and basket from Cody Ferguson.
Pineville matched them basket-for-basket as Jeffrey hit two 3-pointers and Jacob Skinner one while Asher and Cody Collett added baskets and it was 13-all after one quarter.
Both teams clamped down on defense in the second period as the teams managed just one made field goal each. Skinner hit another 3 for Pineville and Collett sank a jumper for Bell. Jared Philpot went 4-for-4 from the free throw line for the Lions while Potter managed to hit five free throws for the Bobcats and it was tied at 20 at the half.
Six points from Potter and five from Collett helped Bell to take a 35-33 lead after three quarters. The Bobcats also got two points each from Chase Woolum and Partin in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Simpson and Asher scored five points each for the Lions and Jeffrey connected on his third trey of the game to keep Pineville within two.
Bell opened things up a bit over the first half of the final quarter. Potter, Collet and Partin had baskets and Patterson hit a 3-pointer as the Bobcat lead grew to ten points.
Simpson put the Lions on his back and scored ten straight points, including a pair of three-point plays, as Pineville rallied to tie the game at 49.
Bell held for the final possession and Patterson drew the defense and found Partin cutting to the weak side of the basket for the layup just ahead of the buzzer.
The loss snaps a six-game winning streak for the Lions. Both teams will play in the first round of their district tournament on Tuesday. Bell County (13-13) take on Middlesboro in the 52nd District semifinals at Harlan while Pineville (18-10) goes up against Knox Central in the 51st District semifinals at Barbourville.
— — —
Bell County…13….7…15…16 — 51
Pineville…….13….7…13…16 — 49
BELL COUNTY (51): Tyler Potter 22, Ben Collett 9, Jake Patterson 8, Zach Partin 6, Chase Woolum 4, Cody Ferguson 2.
PINEVILLE (49): John Simpson 15, Byron David Asher 11, Seth Jeffrey 9, Jacob Skinner 6, Jared Philpot 4, Cody Collett 2, Connor Ford 2.