By LINDSEY WOOD
The Engineer basketball team had two big games this week, one against region competitor Letcher County Central and the other against district rival Powell County. The boys defeated Letcher in overtime 61-59 and beat Powell 64-55, improving their record to 11-6.
Letcher was not anticipated to give the Engineers such a difficult match; they were experiencing a disappointing season and had a 4-13 record going into the game. However, when the teams were tied at 10-10 at the of the first quarter, it was clear that Letcher would not be dismissed so easily.
The Engineers did not play their best that night, but they did what they had to do to stay in the game. Senior guard Caleb Bonny led the team with 21 total points, followed by Joe Benton with 17 and Lane Doty with 14. As for rebounds, Bonny, Benton, L. Doty, and J.T. O’Hair each had six and Andrew Doty had one.
The momentum went back-and-forth throughout the night, but the Engineers ultimately bested Letcher, outscoring them 12-10 in a single overtime.
This win gave the Engineers some momentum as they headed into an always-interesting match with their district rival, Powell County. Going into the game, Powell had the same win/loss record as the Engineers but had played a much easier schedule.
Estill scored early and often, getting ahead from the start, and the Pirates’ offense failed to respond. Key offensive players for the Engineers were Bonny, with 30 points; A. Doty, with 16; Benton, with 9; and O’Hair, with 7. At one point during the game, Estill stretched their lead to 16 points— very uncommon for a game with Powell.
Defensively, the Doty twins and O’Hair shined: the Doty’s used their athleticism and size to their advantage, and O’Hair managed to completely shut down one of Powell’s best scorers.
These two wins help to solidify Estill as a force to be reckoned with as the post-season approaches. They showed they could grind out a win even when they weren’t playing their best game, and they proved they could handle the pressure of a big match-up.
The Engineers take on Fleming County at home this Thursday at 7:30. The team will finish off the week with a Saturday home match against Pulaski County, starting at 5:30.