By Don White, CV&T Sports Writer
Final scores can be very deceptive.
Take Estill’s season opener against Perry County Central for example.
Despite being on the losing end of a 70-41 decision, Coach Larry Tiller’s young squad gave a valiant effort against a team that made it to the finals of the region last season.
Next up for the Engineers is the Berea Invitational where they’ll play three games in three days.
Monticello’s Trojans will provide the competition on Thursday in a 6 p.m. match-up, followed by Model on Friday at 7:30 p.m., and capped off with a shootout at high noon on Saturday against host Berea.
It will be a stern test for a squad that lost eight players to graduation and returns only one part-time starter.
Monticello is currently 1-1, having lost 60-57 at Model to open the season, then coming home to defeat Jackson County 66-50.
Model also owns a 67-43 victory over the Henry County Wildcats.
The Pirates of Berea looked impressive in scoring wins over Lynn Camp and Frankfort to open the season. In their last outing, they fell to a strong Owen County team 58-42.
The season opener gave Estill lots of reasons for confidence heading into the games at Berea.
Several players put their shooting accuracy on display, and another “very bright spot” according to Coach Tiller, was the play of newcomer Travis Allen.
Allen came off the bench to connect on all four of his shots, and pull down six rebounds.
Estill trailed 31-20 at the half and reduced that margin to eight early in the third period on a three-point goal by Kenton Roberts.
With just over six minutes to play in the third quarter, Roberts picked up his fourth foul.
With the junior star on the bench, Perry Central went on a 23-8 third quarter run that would prove impossible to overcome.
Roberts had logged only 14 minutes on the court before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. Despite the limited playing time, Roberts was credited with a team-high 7 rebounds and was perfect from the field in scoring 8 points.
The Engineers were led in scoring by Riley Birchfield.
The junior forward connected on five of his eight three-point attempts in collecting 15 points. He also hauled in 6 rebounds.
Travis Allen added 8 points; Matthew Abernathy and Cade Berryman 4 each, and Dakota Evans 2.
Berryman picked up 6 assists and Tyler Williams 5.
The Commodores were led in scoring by Jordan Amis with 18 and Chris Noble with 15.