PADUCAH, Ky. — There wasn't much defense to be found Saturday. Playing their first road game in two weeks, the Three Rivers men's basketball team shot 54 percent from the field in a 117-109 barn burner against West Kentucky Community and Technical College. "That little ol' team, they were hard to guard. The did a good job of spreading it out and all of them could shoot," Three Rivers coach Gene Bess said. "It was one of those really difficult things to keep them from just killing us." Both teams scored 62 points in the first half and shot better than 50 percent from the fi eld. The Raiders held West Kentucky to 31 percent shooting in the second half while they shot 51 percent to earn the win. "I think they got a little tired, we started somebody on (West Kentucky leading scorer Devon Hart) and then we ended up playing two sophomores alternating on him and we just couldn't stop him, he was a pretty good player," said Bess of Hart, who had 39 points. Five Raiders fi nished in double fi gures and three had at least 20 points as the team scored its most points since November 2015, when it scored 128 points against Oakland. "They were the kind of team, they didn't want to guard much. They wanted to get it and go. We ended up playing their kind of game and there wasn't much we could do to change things," Bess said. After being down as much as seven in the second half the Raiders were up a point with 9 minutes to play when they scored 12 straight. After a free throw by Willie Lucas, Chucky Wilson hit a jumper and a two 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to put the Raiders ahead by 10 for the first time. Wilson then grabbed a defensive rebound and Aidan Saunders found Cameron Maddox for another 3.
In the final 6 minutes, West Kentucky didn't get closer than eight points. "It showed some maturity this year that we haven't seen from this team," Bess said of the comeback. "I think fatigue became a little factor there. We were really pleased with the way the kids fought back. It was probably the best we've come from behind this year, so we think we've matured a little bit." Wilson led the Raiders with a season-high 29 points on 10 for 12 shooting and 7 for 10 on 3-pointers in his first start since Nov. 7. Chris Stocks was 6 for 9 from the field and 6 for 6 on free throws for 20 points. Ludy Kayouloud had his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds. He was 7 for 10 shooting. Jeffery Porter added 12 points while Saunders came off the bench for 23 points. "Chucky got the ball to the basket numerous times. Aidan hit three, four big shots and got it to the basket numerous times," Bess said. "Ludy had a pretty good game offensively and did a good job around the basket." It was Three Rivers' second-best shooting percentage as a team. It shot 55 percent in a 92-71 win over Lang Prep. The Raiders made a season-high 42 shots and took a season-high 78 shots. Three Rivers also matched a season-high with 24 made free throws, grabbed their second most rebounds in a game (49) and set a new season-high for blocks (9). At the other end of the floor, Hart was 13 of 19 shooting for his 39 points. Hayden had 24 points and Chris Campbell had 20 for West Kentucky.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic