Mar. 31—Wyan-Pine Grove may have come into the tournament as underdogs but the Comets came out on top on Saturday, after being named the 2021 Laurel County Elementary Boys Basketball Champions.
Wyan-Pine Grove defeated the Bush Blue Devils in Saturday's championship matchup, 32-31, defeating teams they had lost to earlier in the season to get there.
Even before the championship game, the Comets had to face two teams they had lost to earlier in the season but were able to come out with the win to make it to the finals.
"We just made adjustments because we lost to all three teams we beat, so we made adjustments and we came out ready to play," said Wyan-Pine Grove Coach Chris Huff.
A last second three-point shot by Wyan-Pine's Trey Smith helped to give the Comets the lead heading into the second quarter, 9-6. But the Blue Devils' were able to hold the Comets to only three points in the second quarter to give Bush a 15-12 lead at halftime.
Smith knocked down to more three's for the Comets in the third quarter that helped Wyan-Pine to secure a lead over the Blue Devils.
"We shoot a ton of them," Huff said of the Comets' three-pointers. "We try to set those up in a particular play and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and this time it worked."
Huff said it was her team's defensive press that really helped the Comets find the win.
"We rely a lot on our press, our defensive press, so that helps us," she said. "It helps with the momentum of the game, helps us feel like we're in control, so I think that really helped us. We got some turnovers from that and that's what really helped us."
"I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, first of all, for the opportunity to be here—win or lose," said Bush Coach David Cupp. "He is always good. We played hard, fought hard but got to give Wyan-Pine credit. They had a couple big three's there in the third quarter that got their momentum going and then we just didn't get enough baskets down the stretch to win. That's how it goes sometimes but we're just happy to be here. I'm proud of my kids. They played hard, fought hard all year."
After being unsure of whether or not they would get to play, both coaches said they were glad that the school system allowed the kids have a basketball season.
"We were just tickled to get to play," Cupp said. "Usually this is in the fall, so when they gave us the green light to play elementary school, I was really happy for the kids because they get to play."
Laurel County Elementary Boys Tournament
At North Laurel High School
Wyan-Pine Grove 32, Bush 31
Wyan-Pine 9 3 14 6—32
Bush 6 9 10 6—31
Wyan-Pine (32) — Smith 15, Garland 1, Warren 8, Patterson 2, Ellis 6.
Bush (31) — Allen 2, Collett 17, Cupp 2, Elza 8, McPhetridge 2.