By: Jim Steele
For both McKenzie's boys and girls basketball teams, it was a tough night, offensively, against visiting Gibson County Friday.
The Lady Rebels pulled within four of their guests early in the third quarter before hitting a dry spell. GC went on a 21-2 run to win 58-40.
In boys' action, the Rebels watched a 15-point, third-quarter lead evaporate. The Pioneers rallied for a 39-37 victory.
In the opener, McKenzie struggled to find the mark, falling behind 6-0 in the first, but was able to play even with the Lady Pioneers. Trailing 10-8 at the end of one, Gibson County forged a nine-point, 21-12 lead on K.J. White's bucket with 4:13 left in the half. White wound up with 14 for GC.
McKenzie responded with a 10-4 run, accented by Shelby Butler's triple with 1:22 to play and MHS cut the lead to three, 25-22. Gibson County scored the final four points on free throws to lead 29-22 at the break.
Macey Ognibene opened the third with a triple to cut Gibson County's lead to four, 29-25. From there, however, the Lady Pioneers began t put distance between themselves and the Lady Rebels. They went on a 14-2 run to lead 43-28 after three.
Gibson County scored the first nine points of the final frame to take what proved to be an insurmountable 52-28 lead. That didn't mean McKenzie laid down. The Lady Rebels hit nine of their last 10 free throws, but by then, the issue had pretty much been settled.
Hannah Ball led Gibson County with 16, McKinley Burkett added 11.
Jacey Davis led McKenzie with eight points, Whitley Smith and Lilly Bennet each had six, Butler and Ognibene each scored five, Brooke Hobson tossed in four, Shelby Davis had three, Camille Travis scored two and Anna Callahan contributed one.
In the nightcap, McKenzie raced to a 14-7 first-quarter lead and parlayed that in to a 24-11 advantage in the second frame. But the Rebels struggled to find the mark. The Rebels were a chilly 10-21 from the floor in the first half. That would haunt them in the second half.
In the second half, outpaced Gibson County 6-2 for a 30-15 lead. That's when Donte Holder woke up for Gibson County. He scored 10 third-quarter points, 14 for the second half, 16 for the game and sparked 21-5 run that put the Pioneers in front for the first time in the game, 36-35. McKenzie's Ben Austin tossed in a pair of free throws with :56 left in the game to put the Rebels back in front, temporarily, 37-36.
GC's Noah Stafford rang the bell with :39 left and Billy McMinn added a free throw with a 11 seconds remaining as Gibson County escaped with a 39-37 win.
Chase Colotta came off the bench to lead the Rebels with 10 points. Ben Austin added nine, Lucas King scored seven, Micah Austin collected five, Lazarick Hill scored three, Lane Horton two and Tyler Spivey one.
McKenzie hosts Clarksburg 6 p.m. Tuesday and visits Bradford Friday.