by Andrew Hatton
CVT Sports Writer
The Estill County boy’s basketball team captured back-to-back victories last week, defeating Wolfe County on the road before thrashing Lee County at home on Friday night. Edging out the Wolves by the narrow margin of 77-75, Estill put in a strong performance in every aspect of the game. Four different Engineers reached double-digits in scoring, including two players scoring over 20 points. Caleb Bonny led Estill with 21 points, followed by Andrew Doty who netted 20 of his own. Joe Benton and Hunter Osborne each finished with 11 points. Lane Doty, Trey Richardson and Kevin Richardson combined for 14 points to finish out the scoring for Estill. But although they won, Estill didn’t come out of Wolfe County unscathed. The Engineers’ leading scorer, Bonny, took a shot to the head and Estill feared the worst. The initial diagnosis was thought to be a concussion or skull fracture, but the Estill guard suffered only a nasal fracture. No fracture is good, but it could have been much worse so we’re very thankful that this young man is going to come out of this just fine. Bonny is predicted to return to action this week, but basketball is secondary when it comes to the safety of a member of the Engineer family. With Bonny out for the next game, Estill was set to take on district opponents Lee County. The Engineers had easily defeated the Bobcats in their game just a week prior, 81-37. But with their leading scorer out, they entered the game with questions to be answered. Well no Bonny, no problem. Coach Bentley’s squad answered any questions early, proving early on to be the dominant team at both ends of the court. Andrew Doty was the best example of that dominance, scoring 11 of Estill’s 19 points in the first quarter. Lee could do little to slow down the big man. Joe Benton turned things on in the second quarter, knocking down four shots from beyond the arc in the period. While Andrew did his damage in the first, his brother Lane would show his strength in the following periods, reaching double-digits in scoring. Eighth grader, Dyllon Long, would relish his opportunity to get extended minutes in the varsity game and put his potential on display. Long knocked down two shots from beyond the arc, before going to work inside, finishing with 10 points. Overall, four Engineers would finish with double digit scoring totals. Benton led with 16, followed by Andrew and Lane Doty with 13 and 12 points, respectfully. Long added his 10 and the rest of the Estill squad combined for 26. Estill wasn’t just strong at the offensive end, but dominant on defense as well. Luke Barnett and the Doty Brothers, which will no doubt be the name of their folk band once their basketball careers end, showed off their rim protecting abilities. The trio blocked numerous shots and altered many more. Nothing came easy for the Bobcats around the rim. Coach Bentley’s squad revealed their ability to score without Caleb Bonny on the court, something they hadn’t shown much of this season. Granted, Lee County was not the strongest of competition, but this game should go a long way in building their confidence. With Bonny set to return this week, Estill will hopefully be able to put it all together and take some of the load off of his shoulders. With the post-season quickly approaching, it would be great to see the team become more well rounded and difficult to defend with multiple scoring threats. This could go a long way in keeping players fresh as well. The biggest test will come this Friday as Estill faces off against their district rivals, Powell County. The Engineers will go into this game looking for some payback after the Pirates edged them out late, 69-65, back on Jan. 13. This time around the game is in Estill and the Engineers will want to defend their home court. Estill learned in the last game that the Pirates could be beat, and they could do just that here. But Estill knows only one game truly matters between these two teams, and that’s the one that comes in the district tournament. Sure, the Engineers would love a win on Friday night, but they would love to bring the 56th District Championship trophy home even more.