Jones leads rally as Boyle wins

February 22, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

It was shaping up as the kind of senior night Blake Jones wouldn't want to remember, but it turned into a night he will never forget.

Jones scored 31 points and led a ferocious second-half comeback Friday night from an 18-point deficit that brought Boyle County a win in its final home game.

He finished his senior night in style, scoring the winning basket with 10 seconds left to give the Rebels a 67-65 victory over West Jessamine.

"This is pretty special," Jones said. "Our main goal was just to get a win, but to be able to get a little success on the side wasn't too bad, either."


Jones was happy to share his success with seniors Zach Cooley, Patrick Horn, Derek Vonckx and Ian Young.

"We've played together since sixth grade," he said. "It's been a great ride, and obviously this is a good way to go out. I'm glad for all five of us to go out this way."

"They'll never forget this," Boyle coach Andy Moberly said.

It looked as if Boyle (10-12) would be going out in an entirely different direction in the second quarter, when the Rebels went without a field goal.

But they raced back into the game at the start of the second half, rallied once more down the stretch and won on Jones' driving layup.

"Coach said I took the shot about five seconds too soon, because we left them some time to come back and score," Jones said with a smile. "But I saw a lane and I just went."

After a timeout with 7.9 seconds left, West Jessamine (10-16) drove the length of the floor but Michael Spann missed a driving layup and Cody Meadows' try at a tip-in missed the mark.

"That ball wasn't allowed to go in for them," Moberly said. "We had worked too hard."

It was perhaps the most impressive victory in a recent uptick that has seen Boyle win five of its last six games.

"It's good to win a close game like this. It makes us mentally tougher," Moberly said.

That toughness was tested after a second quarter in which the Rebels missed everything they threw at the basket for the first six minutes - 11 field-goal attempts and four free throws.

They finished the second period 0-for-14 from the field, and five of those shots were blocked. But they hit five free throws in the final 1:35 to cut West Jessamine's 32-14 lead to 32-19.

"If we'd been down 20, most people would've thought we were out of it," Jones said. "But being down 13, everybody knew we had a chance. And of course we did."

Fast start in second half was the key

Jones said the Rebels knew they had to start the second half with a bang.

"We knew if we had any chance to get back in the game, we had to go early," Jones said.

A steal on West Jessamine's first possession led to two free throws by Daniel Potts, and Jones followed with a 3-pointer on Boyle's next trip, and suddenly the margin was down to single digits.

"We got that steal, and I thought that was a spark right there," Moberly said.

Boyle outscored West Jessamine 18-5 over the first four minutes of the third quarter, tying the game on a three-point play by Vonckx, who had half of his 16 points in the period.

The Rebels went 8-for-11 in the third quarter, when the biggest difference in their play was their decision to attack West Jessamine's 2-3 zone defense.

"We decided to attack the basket," Jones said. "Early on they were running a 2-3 defense, and we had stayed outside of it. But in the second half Potts took it hard to the basket, and so did Derek."

Jones scored 22 points in the second half, including eight of Boyle's last 10. He was 5-for-8 from 3-point range after halftime and finished 6-for-13 from 3-point range and 11-for-20 overall.

"It wasn't just me in particular that turned on in the second half; it was everybody," he said.

West Jessamine led 61-57 with 3:57 left, but the Rebels battled back once more, taking a 65-62 lead when Brian Staed rebounded his own miss and kicked the ball out to Jones for a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left.

Boyle finished 20-for-51 (39.2 percent) from the field after a 5-for-27 first half, while West Jessamine was 22-for-48 (45.8 percent).

In a game that featured 52 fouls, including three technicals, Boyle hit 20 of 33 free throws and West Jessamine was 17-for-22.

Vonckx scored 16 points and Potts, who hit 13 of 17 free throws, had 15 for Boyle. Spann led West Jessamine with 25 points.

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