RED JACKET – The Kermit Blue Devils won the Mingo County middle school championship by beating Burch 33-31 in an exciting overtime game Saturday afternoon at the Mingo Central High School gym.
The game featured Kermit, the No. 1 seed, and Burch the No. 2 seed and the game showed how close the two teams were.
The game was tied 10-10 after one quarter and the Blue Devils had a one point lead heading into the dressing room at the half.
Brady Spaulding had eight points in the first half to lead KMS, while Chaz Farley had six and Jeremy Dillon five for BMS in the first two quarters.
Early in the second half Kermit guard Bryson Preece injured his arm and had to leave the game. (Family members say his arm is broken.) This definitely hurt the Blue Devils losing one of their starters.
Kermit had a 24-19 advantage heading into the final quarter, but Burch battled back and tied the game at the end of regulation 28-28.
The Blue Devils led 26-21 with 3:03 left when Burch’s Joe Hunt got an offensive rebound and made the put-back. He got fouled and finished the 3-point play the old fashioned way. That cut the lead to 26-24.
Dillon made two free throws to tie the game at 26-26. Dillon then gave the Bulldogs the lead with a layup driving down the lane.
Then Kermit’s Colby Savage made a jumper just inside the 3-point line near the top of the key to tie the game at the buzzer, 28-28, and sent the game into overtime.
Spaulding, who played one of his best games of the season, made a layup to give the Blue Devils the lead 30-28 in overtime.
Savage fouled out with 1:21 left, which put Kermit down two starters.
Dillon made one of two free throws to cut the lead to 30-29.
Then KMS 7th grader Tyler May stepped to the line on the bonus situation and made two clutch free throws to give the Blue Devils a 32-29 lead with :29 seconds left.
However the Bulldogs of coach Melvin Cunningham would not quit. Burch, after missing a shot, came up with a loose ball. Then Dalton Sheppard made a basket after getting a nice pass from Dillon to cut the lead to one point with :13 seconds left.
An offensive foul was whistled on KMS on the inbounds play. This gave Burch a chance to go ahead if they could make a shot. The Bulldogs had two tries at a basket, but they couldn’t get them to fall.
Kermit’s Jared Spaulding grabbed an important rebound for Kermit and was fouled. He made one of two at the free throw line to give the Devils a 33-31 lead.
Dillon fired up a long shot at the buzzer for Burch that fell short.
The Blue Devils then rushed the floor and celebrated another Mingo County Championship.
KMS, coached by Ed May a former Kermit High School basketball star, finished the season with a fine 17-2 record. Burch finished the season at 13-7.
“I’m really proud of the way our kids competed,” May said. “They have improved so much from last season. Most of them were in the 6th grade last year and we took our lumps. This was a good win for our team.”
The all-tournament team was led by four Kermit players: May, Preece, Savage and Justin Farley. Burch had three members on the team: Dillon, Farley and Sheppard. Lenore’s Jonathan Blankenship and Chandler Pack made the all-tourney squad, along with Aaron Banks of Williamson, Gilbert’s Hunter Lester and Matewan’s Sid Sipple.
Kermit’s May won the free throw shooting award.
In the consolation game, Lenore beat Williamson 43-34. Banks and Keshean Rhodes led the Cubpack with 12 each, while Pack led the Rangers with 10, and Blankenship and Samuel each added seven for LMS.
Score by quarters:
BMS … 10 7 2 9 3 - 31
KMS … 10 8 5 4 5 - 33