EWING, Va. — Anytime you go out of state in any sport the calls aren’t likely to go your way. That was the case for the Pineville on Monday at Thomas Walker, but the Mountain Lions did a very good job keeping their composure and took control in the second half to pull out a 73-62 win.
Sophomore guard Cody Collett led Pineville with 20 points while Jacob Skinner added 15 and John Simpson 11 in the game. The Pioneers got 16 points from senior guard Tyler Scott, Justin Catron added 14 and Justin Greer 11.
Simpson scored seven of the Lions’ first nine points, including a basket at the 4:40 mark of the first period for a 9-7 lead. Catron answered with a 3-pointer to ignite and 11-0 Thomas Walker run. Greer added a layup, Cody Bryant a free throw, Catron drove in for two and Bryan converted a three-point play for a 18-9 lead with 1:55 to go in the quarter.
Collett, Simpson and Byron David Asher hit two free throws each as the Lions cut the deficit to 20-15 by the end of the first.
A 3 from Collett followed by a putback from Skinner tied the score early in the second and the teams went back and forth until two free throws by Skinner and one by Asher put the Lions up 27-24 at the 5:17 mark. Two baskets from Jared Philpot pushed the Pineville lead to 33-25. Scott scored seven points down the stretch and by halftime the Pineville lead was down to 39-34.
Bryant, Catron and Greer all knocked down 3s early in the third quarter, with Greer’s putting the Pioneers up 43-42. Skinner answered with a 3 of his own, but Catron hit another with 5:20 to play in the third quarter for a 46-45 Thomas Walker lead.
Collett drove in for two on the next possession and Pineville never trailed again. Philpot sank a 3-pointer midway through the quarter to make it 50-46. Connor Ford later hit a free throw and Seth Jeffrey knocked down a 3 to push the lead back to eight. Hunter Cope scored four points late in the quarter and it was 56-50 going into the fourth.
Three-pointers from Skinner and Collett extended the Lion lead to 10, 62-52, with 6:30 to play. Scott hit a 3 for the Pioneers, but Pineville got two free throws from Collett, a layup from Asher and then back-to-back 3s from Skinner and Collett to put the game out of reach at 72-55 with 3:30 remaining.
The Lions held on to win by 11.
Pineville (5-4) returns to action in the Legacy Nissan Shootout at North Laurel. They open the tournament on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. against Estill County.
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Pineville…………..15…24…17…17 — 73
Thomas Walker..20…14…16…12 — 62
PINEVILLE (73): Cody Collett 20, Jacob Skinner 15, John Simpson 11, Byron David Asher 8, Jared Philpot 7, Dalton Ledbetter 6, Seth Jeffrey 5, Connor Ford 1, Isaac Longworth 0.
THOMAS WALKER (62): Tyler Scott 16, Justin Catron 14, Justin Greer 11, Cody Bryant 9, Hunter Cope 8, Thomas Warf 3, Zach Bailey 1.