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The Williamstown boys’ basketball team had to jump off the bus and onto the court to start the Fleming County Tournament.
Following a two-hour bus ride, the Demons had to be ready to play immediately against Bracken County on Dec. 19. They came away with a 78-69 win.
“We had the bus ride and then had to jump off and play,” coach Stacey May said. “We struggled from the foul line, but Dustin Bryant shot well from the three point line.”
Bryant scored 17 points and Patrick Spoonamore scored 19 to lead the Demons.
Starting the first half sluggish, the Demons shook off the long ride and earned the win in the second half.
“We didn’t execute at first, but hitting our shots helped us,” May said. “My concern was the bus ride and getting off and having to play. We were lethargic, but improved our play in the second half.”
The next day, the Demons took on host Fleming County and battled for a win at the buzzer.
“We didn’t get many calls, but they were a good team that was well coached,” May said.
Storm Mason led the Demons in their second game, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, all while guarding Fleming County’s best player.
With the game tied and about 38 seconds left, the Demons had the ball, but were unable to make a shot. Senior Wes Philpot grabbed the rebound, but got tangled up with a Fleming County player with the refs calling a jump ball, which gave the ball back to the Demons.
Williamstown ran the same play as before and Philpot came down with a rebound and tried for the game winning shot. He was fouled, but the Demons couldn’t get a call. It didn’t matter though as Mason saw the ball was going to be short and came away with the loose ball and the game winning shot from under the basket as time expired.
“Storm watched the ball the whole time and just made a play,” May said. “It was a challenge for us to play a bigger school, but we played together. We matched them point for point. It feels good. We’re a small school and to beat the host team, it’s a big win. We were feeling good. This team is building confidence. We’re the most dangerous when we make a couple early shots. It’s a mental thing.”
With their two wins, the Demons earned a spot in the finals, but Russell County earned a 71-56 win. Russell County was one of two undefeated teams in the tournament and the only team to leave without a loss.
“You don’t ever want to lose, but sometimes losing makes you better when you lose to a good team,” May said. “Going in, there were two undefeated teams and taking second place is pretty special. We’re trying to build something for March. It proves this group of players are getting better.”
Todd Vice scored 20 points, Spoonamore added 13 points and Bryant hit four three pointers for 12 points.
With their two wins, the Demons are 5-3 on the season, surpassing the four wins they had last year.
“I took this job and last year we were able to get four wins,” May said. “The biggest part of the battle is seeing these players realize they can win. This team is starting to believe we can win.”