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Eagles work overtime to upset Pigeon Forge

Cosby High School sophomore Bryson Valentine unleashes a second half jumper in Tuesday night’s non-district 71-69 overtime victory over Pigeon Forge. Valentine scored 19 points, including six three-pointers in the win.
Published: 6:39 PM, 12/12/2013 Last updated: 6:39 PM, 12/12/2013

Author: Adam Greene
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

PIGEON FORGE—Until the final minutes of the fourth quarter it looked like Cosby was going to fall to Pigeon Forge.

Instead timely rebounds, tough defense and a couple of hot shooters helped the Eagles escape with a 71-69 overtime win over the Tigers Tuesday night.

Cosby snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory. The Eagles hadn’t won since defeating West Greene 68-63 on Nov. 29.

“We got stop after stop and these guys didn’t quit,” Cosby assistant coach Cody Lowe said. “They played their guts out. We said when we was down late that we could come back and win and we did it. It was unbelievable, the perseverance they showed tonight.”

Lowe was in charge on the sidelines Tuesday as head coach Brad Flatford took time off to deal with an illness.

The Eagles (4-7) looked overmatched from the beginning as Pigeon Forge (5-6) to a 21-13 lead in the first period. Trevor Jian scored 10 of his game-leading 29 points.

“Jain is one of the best players we’ll face all year and we did a great job on him late in the game when we had to,” Lowe said. “The rivalry between these two teams is huge over the past 10 years. We played big down the stretch.”

Cosby got a huge game from Bryson Valentine, who scored 19 points in the victory. Valentine already had knocked down three three-pointers in the first half, but added three more in the second and overtime period. Keenan Phillips and Derrick Norris added a couple more in the fourth to pull Cosby even, then give them the lead.

“My teammates look for me on the outside,” Valentine said. “Coach (Lowe) told me to take over and I did. It was a big win for us. We work on that all the time in practice, shooting the ball off screens and working to get open. It’s a good combination and Derrick shot the ball well tonight.”

As deadly as the Eagles were deep, nothing they did frustrated Pigeon Forge more than hitting free throws. In the overtime period the Tigers sent Cosby to the line five times and the Eagles finished 10-for-10. Cosby was 14-of-17 from the foul line in the game.

“It’s the little things that win games and we work on free throws all the time,” Valentine said. “Threes and free-throws won it for us tonight. This was a big win for us. We had nothing to lose and we played like it tonight. It felt great.”

The fourth period was almost a mirror image of the first, with Cosby outscoring the Tigers 23-13. Five Eagles would finish with double digits. Bryson Valentine had 19 points, Cody Valentine, Norris and Phillips each had 13 apiece and Kyal Clevenger finished with 11. Only one other Eagles player scored a basket, with Austin Ford putting in a layup in the firs period.

For Pigeon Forge, the second-half collapse happened in spite of Jain’s 29-point effort, with 16 points coming in the second half and overtime. Ryan Beal scored 14 and Jake Kingery had 13 points.
Cosby opens District 2-A action Friday night when they host Clinch at 8 p.m.

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