The Caldwell County and Lyon County boys’ basketball teams squared off for the second time this season, with the Tigers winning 52-44 in Eddyville on Thursday night. Caldwell won 64-50 in Princeton on the opening night of the season. The Tigers improve to 9-10 on the year, while the Lyons slip to 3-13.
With 5:30 to play in the first quarter, junior point guard Gabe Board knocked down a three-pointer to give the Lyons a 7-3 lead. Caldwell junior guard Derrin Boyd went coast-to-coast for a layup to cut the lead to 9-7 with 3:05 left, before sophomore guard Bryson Penn converted a three-point play to push the lead to 5 with just under two minutes left in the period. With five seconds left, the Tigers drew a charge on 8th grade power forward Jackson Shoulders, giving Boyd the opportunity to draw and foul and put in both free throws, trimming the lead to 14-12.
Less than a minute into the second quarter, sophomore guard JaMarius Blaine nailed a three to put the Tigers up 1, and would add another just over a minute later for an 18-16 lead. With 1:30 left until halftime, an acrobatic layup by senior forward Max Wadlington gave the Lyons the lead at 22-20, before Caldwell sophomore guard Cayden Fraliex stepped to the line and hit two free throws to tie the game at 22. Neither team could score over the final minute and they went to the locker room knotted at 22.
Wadlington led the Lyons with 12 at the break, followed by Board with 5. For the Tigers, Boyd scored 7 and Blaine had 6.
Penn got a steal and went coast-to-coast for a layup to break the tie early in the third quarter, but Caldwell would go on a 8-0 run capped by a Boyd pull-up jumper to lead 30-24 with 4:30 left in the period. A rebound and putback by junior center Gabe DeFew got the Lyons back to within 1, before another run by the Tigers, this time 7-0, stretched the lead to 8 with 1:47 to play in the quarter. With :26 left the Lyons drew an offensive foul on Boyd, but they missed a shot at the buzzer and trailed 37-30 going into the fourth.
Penn got the final frame started just as he did the third, stripping Fraliex and taking it the other way for a layup. Another Penn run-out and score cut the lead to 41-36, but with 3:36 to play a Boyd rebound and score gave the Tigers a 9-point lead. With 2:26 and again with 1:27 remaining, Blaine missed the front end of one-and-ones, leaving the door open for the Lyons. Board drained a three from straight away to make the score 47-44 with just over a minute to play, but the Lyons couldn’t get any closer and a lay-in by Fraliex with :20 left finished off the 52-44 win.
Boyd led the Tiger attack with 20 points, including 13 in the second half. Fraliex also had a big second half with 10, 8 in the fourth quarter, and finished with 14. Blaine scored 8, sophomore forward Cole Smiley had 5, junior center Seth Scott had 4, and freshman guard Tripp Branch chipped in a point.
Wadlington and Board both scored 14 to lead the Lyons, with the Tigers holding Wadlington to 2 second-half points. Penn had 10, Shoulders added 4, and DeFew had a basket.
Up next for the Tigers is a 7th District battle when they host the Hopkins County Central Storm (11-7) on Tuesday, winners of five straight. Caldwell is 1-1 in district play, and the Storm are 3-1. Lyon hosts Dawson Springs (4-12) on Friday night, looking to avenge a 71-53 road loss on December 9.