By Don White, CV&T Sports Writer
The Engineers gave a good effort on the road in just their second district game of the year and gave a good sign of things to come as they played preseason district favorite Owsley County tough on their home Court losing 61-55 despite being outshot 22-7 from the foul line.
“ Sophomore Clay Case was a bright spot for us with 14 points, and we continue to do a good job defensively. I have scouted every district game and I know this district is wide open. If our offense will come around and we continue to play defense we will be right there in the end,” Coach Lawrence Tiller said.
Estill jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the first quarter but gave up 5 straight points to end the half and deflated any momentum they had. They trailed 20-14 going into halftime, but their offensive struggles continued as they managed only 9 points in the second half and lost 45-25.
“Defensively we are really good right now. We are playing well holding pretty good teams like Woodford to 45 points is a positive, but we have put more points on the board and hit shots. Abernathy has been a bright spot of late, but we have to knock down some outside shots to open things up.
Estill traveled to Buckhorn to battle top 5 14th region foe the Buckhorn Wildcats who were fresh off a 3 point loss to potential 14th region number 1 team Perry County Central in the WYMT classic. The Engineers started quickly down 14-11 at the end of the first quarter, but a 25-13 run in the second quarter killed the Engineers. The Engineers came back and lost the second half by a score of 35-33. They ended up losing 74-57.
“Kenton Roberts played really well scoring 14 points and grabbing 7 rebounds and having 5 assists but I was most impressed by his defense on 6’6” Matt Day (one of the best sophomores in the state). Our big men are also playing well right now Matthew Abernathy had 9 points and 11 rebounds and Devan Doty continues to improve every game – he had 9 points and 6 or 7 rebounds with 4 blocks. Cade Berryman is showing signs of coming around with his third straight double figure scoring game.”
Estill traveled to Bourbon County on MLK Jr. Day. The Engineers went down by as many as 13 points in the first half, but 3 pointers by Colby Baber and 9 first half points by Kenton Roberts helped pull the Engineers to within 6 at half. In the Second Half the Engineers outscored the Colonels 40-26 behind 16 second half points by Cade Berryman and 13 second half points by Devan Doty. The Engineers gained a much needed win on the road 67-59.
“Our offense really clicked tonight and Cade, Devan and Kenton were really good on the offensive end. Matthew Abernathy went down early with an ankle injury, but Devan and Travis Allen took up the slack and Devan end up with a monster game with 17 points 9 rebounds and 9 blocks. Cade Berryman continued coming out on offense scoring 18 points, and Kenton Roberts showed another all around game scoring 11 points grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists.”
“We are showing signs of playing better, but we really need to show more consistency. We have made a pact as a team to show more mental toughness, and to transfer more of what we work on in practice into game situations. I am seeing more of that, but if we are to meet our goal of being tournament ready, then we must be consistent in transferring practice skills and situations into game situations”.