JACKSON – February 9, 2024 – Brendon D. Miller
Breathitt and Knott met in Jackson on Friday Night in a battle of two of the major players in the 14th Region race this season. As I am the pollster for the Louisville Courier-Journal now for the 14th Region, I had Knott ranked second in the region for the week and Breathitt at three after being first all season until their loss to Hazard last week.
The two did not dissappoint with a back and forth slugfest with standouts Austin Sperry and Jayden Huff trading baskets for much of the game. Sperry finished with 27 and Huff 26 to lead each team.
After two distinctive quarters in the first half with Breathitt on the run in the first, and Knott dominating the second, Breathitt controlled the second half outscoring the Patriots 37-23 to erase the ten point halftime deficit and get the win. These two will likely see each other again in the 14th Region Tournament depending upon how the draw stakes out.
Sperry kicked off the game slashing and driving to the basket with eight in the quater to pace Breathitt. Braxton Terry had an and one and Canaan Gross knocked down the first of his velvety jumpers on the night from the elbow. Knott was held to six points in the quarter with two buckets from Huff and one for Drake Slone. End of the first Breathitt was on top 13-6.
Knott turned up the defensive intensity in the second repeately getting deflections and turning over the Bobcats multiple times. Huff flat lit it up in the quarter with eleven, while Hunter Haddix had four and Slone and Connor Napier each hit a three as the Patriots put up a 24-7 run in the quarter. Gross had two baskets and Sperry an and one, as the Bobcats could only muster seven in the quarter. Knott headed to the break with the lead 30-20.
Breathitt came out of the locker room in the third and turned up the defensive pressure on their side and put together a 19-10 quarter. Sperry drove and scored one first possession and put up eight in the quarter. Gross really swung the momentum in the game with his hustle and rebounding which included a three offensive rebound possession that energized the Bobcats and their fans. Huff added four to this line and Haddix had a field goal and two free throws for four for the Patriots. Jaxon Hamilton hit his first three of the game at the quarter buzzer to bring the Bobcats to within one, at 40-39 as the teams headed to the fourth.
Breathitt finally took the lead back in the fourth as Sperry added eight to finish with his game-high 27. Hamilton hit his second three and had seven to total ten for the game. Huff finished his night with seven for his team-high 26, as he was four of four at the line and Haddix added a three for his 12 and Chance Amburgey knocked down a three.
BREATHITT: Austin Sperry – 27; Jaxon Hamilton – 10; Canaan Gross – 10; Braxton Terry – 7; Isaac Bellamy – 3.
KNOTT: Jayden Huff – 26; Hunter Haddix – 12; Drake Slone – 5; Braxton Reade – 4; Connor Napier – 3; Chance Amburgey – 3.
Breathitt will host Letcher Central on Monday Night at the Coliseum. The game with be streamed LIVE on BSN.
Knott will head to Powell County on Saturday Night.