EVERETT – Everett’s boys’ basketball team didn’t start out the way first-year coach Trenton Barnes hoped.
The Warriors came 1-9 into Monday night’s game against Claysburg-Kimmel, a team that had beaten the Warriors by 10 points earlier this year.
Everett had played well in a tough overtime loss to Bellwood on Saturday, however, and that dynamic continued into the game on Monday as the Warriors rallied to outperform the Bulldogs by 45-38.
“It builds on the way we played on Saturday,” said Barns. “We played a really good game, but we came up short. We took the momentum with us, carried it into today and took care of business. “
The Warriors advanced into the fourth quarter 34-31 deficit, but the Buckets of Kasey Weaver and Clinton Russell gave the Warriors their first lead since the first quarter.
The Bulldogs bounced back, however, when Zeke Barr got a basket to regain the lead before Wyatt Buell’s field goal pushed the lead back to three at 38-35 with just over five minutes in the game. Those were the last points of the game for the guests.
Russell, who had a game high of 19 points, received an offensive rebound and putback before Kason Hinish hit a jumper with 3:45 remaining to bring Everett to the top 39-38.
The Warriors ran ample time on their next possession times, which limited the amount of time Claysburg could have the ball. Ethan Murphy added a basket on the track and Logan Shaw came off the bench, hitting all four free throws in the final 30 seconds.
“We had the ball at the end of the game,” added Barnes. “I couldn’t say that at the beginning of the year, but we kept our cool and played the game to the end.”
Free throw shooting was a real Bugaboo for the Warriors as they only hit about 50 percent, but on Monday it was eight out of ten.
Russell made his presence known early on in the game, scoring the Warriors’ first six points as the hosts took a 6-2 lead.
However, the Bulldogs stormed back with a 12-4 run to hold a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Buell, who had a team of 15 points, had five points in the race while Elias Ritchey had four and Josh Emeigh came off the bench for three points.
Shaw got a basket for the Warriors to start the second quarter, but Buell answered it with a three. Everett responded with a three from Calvin Iseminger and two free throws to tie the game at 17:17.
While Everett didn’t take the lead until the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs couldn’t increase the lead by more than four from the middle of the second quarter.
“Claysburg tried to pack in the zone and take Russell out of the game, but our guards rose and fired some key shots,” said Barnes.
“I like the way we didn’t stop. We had the lead and we lost it. They had a decent lead and we stuck with it. We fought, we fought back and in the end we won the game. “
Iseminger added 10 points for the Warriors while Ritchey scored 12 for the Bulldogs.
Everett will play Northern Bedford on Friday while Claysburg, 5-6, will play Fannett Metal on Wednesday.
EVERETT 45, CLAYSBURG-KIMMEL 38
Claysburg-Kimmel 14 9 11 4 – 38
Everett 10 11 10 14-45