Eastside ‘A’ rallies from 11 down to clip Zoneton 40-38

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2010 Boys’ Bullitt County Middle School Basketball Championships

By Mike Farner

 ZONETON - Playing from behind was not a problem for the Eastside Eagles on Saturday in the championship game of the ‘A’ division of the Boys’ Bullitt County Middle School Basketball Championship game on Saturday.


In fact, the Eagles led only twice in the game and both came in the final 60 seconds. The last two points of the game came when Austin Colvin stepped to the line and converted two foul shots at :07.7 to give his team the final 40-38 margin against the Zoneton Timberwolves, the number one seeds for the post-season tournament as well as the host team.

The Timberwolves had one final chance and they ran the play that was drawn up, but Eastside’s 6-foot-3 Garrett Dennison blocked Dylan Sheehan’s baseline drive to secure the win.

The championship game was played on Saturday after originally being set for Thursday. Snow on Monday forced the start of the tournament back a day with the semi-finals played on Wednesday. Then, bad weather canceled school on Thursday and Friday. Neither team was able to practice since playing on Wednesday.

The Boys’ Bullitt County Middle School Basketball Tournament is sponsored by Schmid Funeral Home and they presented the trophies after the final game. The event is also sponsored by The Pioneer News, the Awards Center and WFPR radio.

This was the second straight middle school title for Eastside under head coach Jerry Troutman. The 1992 Kentucky Coach of the Year when he was the girls’ coach at Bullitt East has found a new home leading the Eagles.

Troutman was a little happier after the game than he was at halftime when his team trailed 23-14.

“We just talked about there was a lot of game left,” the veteran coach said. “I told them to let the game come to you and play hard and stick together and things will bounce our way.

“We just had to regroup there a little,” Troutman added. “They were beating us to loose balls and sticking some shots they don’t normally make and we were missing some shots. All of that combined on us in the first half. We needed halftime to regain our composure.”

Eastside had split the two regular season games with Zoneton. The Timberwolves ended up with two losses in the county while both Eastside and Mount Washington had three losses. That gave Zoneton the number one seed while Eastside needed to beat Mount Washington in the semi-finals to set up the rubber match.

It appeared that Zoneton was in the driver’s seat to claim its first boys’ title when the Timberwolves scored the last six points of the first half to go up 23-14. When Dalton Casey scored the first hoop of the second half, Zoneton had its biggest lead of the game.

Eastside answered with five straight points including a three-pointer by Pierce Kelly. Later, a three-point play at the end of the third quarter by Dennison got the Eagles within 31-28.

Early in the final frame, Zoneton pushed the lead back to five points before Eastside finally pulled even at 35-35 on Colvin’s short jumper with 2:25 remaining n the game. Ricky Dunnavan gave the Timberwolves the lead again with two free throws before Eastside got the ball inside to Dennison for a hoop to tie the game as the clock ticked under 60 seconds.

Eastside got the ball back and at :54.6, Colvin stepped to the line for two shots. He missed the first, but then after a Zoneton time-out, hit the second try to give the Eagles a 38-37 lead.

Just ten seconds later, Sheehan was fouled and had two chances. He made the first, but when the second rolled off, Zoneton grabbed the rebound and had two chances to score before Colvin got the rebound and raced to the other end only to miss a lay-up. Zonetime rebounded the miss and called a time-out at :26.5.

Zoneton never got into an offensive set before Eastside stole a pass out beyond the arc. The Eagles set up their offense and got the ball to Colvin where he was fouled at :07.7. The eighth-grader stepped to the line and calmly made both shots to secure the win.

It was a bigger loss for Zoneton. This was the third straight year that head coach Casey Bannon had gotten her team to the championship game only to come up short.

“We came out and played kind of lackadaisical in the second half,” Bannon said. “It also hurt that Mitchell Allen got hurt (late in the first half) and that didn’t help our situation. That injury hurt us on the boards.”

The coach also pointed to an eight of 14 day at the free throw line as a problem.

“I have told them since day one of practice that free throws are big and tonight we missed six free throws,” Bannon pointed out. “I preach free throws all year. If we make half of those that we missed, then we win by one.”

Eastside, which finished the season with a 17-6 mark, was led by Dennison with 14 points. The Eagles also got seven points each from Zack Allen and Colvin.

Zoneton posted a 16-4 record with three of the losses coming within the county. On Saturday, Sheehan finished with 13 points while the Timberwolves got eight points each from Ricky Dunnavan and Chance Egnor.


2010 Bullitt County Boys’ ‘A’ Middle School Basketball Championship

At Zoneton Middle School

EASTSIDE 40 (6-8-14-12) Zack Allen 7, Austin Colvin 7, Pierce Kelly 3, Tate Hatfield 5, Garrett Dennison 14, Austin Norris 2, Chris Buckner 2, Tyler Bacon, Hunter Simmons, Cameron Culver.

ZONETON 38 (10-13-8-7) Chance Egnor 8, Dalton Casey 4, Mitchell Allen 2, Dylan Sheehan 13, Ricky Dunnavan 8, Jacob Kelly 2, Daulton Walls 1, Dominque Ellis, Evan Ewell, Ryan Henson, Camden Davenport, Garrett Wilson, Zach Button, Dylan Hunt, Brett Pease, Jordan Pate, Shelby Rose, Logan James.