©2014 NPT PHOTO BY SETH BUTLER
Cosby’s Kyal Clevenger (at right) came up big for the Eagles on both ends of the floor during Monday’s win over Pigeon Forge. Clevenger scored 21 points on offense and helped limit Tigers’ leading scorer Trevor Jain to 10 points in a 52-46 non-district win, the Eagles 10th in their last 12 chances.
|Published: 3:59 PM, 02/04/2014
||Last updated: 3:59 PM, 02/04/2014
Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
COSBY—Brad Flatford preaches defense to his Cosby High School squad on a daily basis.
It paid off with a victory on Monday night.
The Eagles endured one of their worst shooting nights of the season and yet prevailed after holding Pigeon Forge at bay in a 52-46 victory. The win is Cosby’s 10th in their past 12 games, going back to December 10.
Flatford, despite seeing his team have two players reach double figures in scoring, credited the team’s defensive effort with being able to come away with the win over the Class AA Tigers (9-14).
“I thought it was our best defensive effort of the year, not even close,” Flatford said. (That defense) is encouraging especially against a team like Pigeon Forge, that has some parts that are pretty good.
“Pigeon Forge makes you do some things and they have some guys that can score, so it’s really encouraging to hold them to 46.”
Cosby (13-9) swept the season series with their non-district rival in large part to the efforts of Kyal Clevenger. The Eagles junior poured in 21 points, but also had a hand in holding Tigers’ leading scorer Trevor Jain to just 10 points. Jain scored 29 points in the previous meeting between the two teams and also scored 27 points in a Pigeon Forge win over Cocke County in December.
“Kyal played pretty good on the offensive end, but I swear I think he was better on the defensive end than he was on the offensive end - and I thought he was good on the offensive end tonight,” Flatford said following Monday’s win. “He did a great job on (Jain).”
The game was slow to come to the Eagles, as they struggled early, shooting just 26 percent from the field in the first half. Cosby was able to turn a 13-9 first period deficit into a 23-22 lead at the half.
Cosby made just nine of their 34 first half field goals, but a strong defensive effort held the Tigers to just nine points in the second quarter and allowed the Eagles to take the lead at halftime. Over the final 5:19 of the half, Cosby went on an 8-3 run to take the one-point edge into the locker room.
For as much as the Eagles struggled on the offensive end in the opening half, they were equally as efficient in the second half. The squad shot 52 percent in the second half as much of the offense went through Clevenger, who scored 12 points in the second half.
Clevenger scored his 21 points on a 9-of-17 night from the field. Flatford credited his ability to make things happen in the paint to assist the team’s offensive production down the stretch.
“I really thought they would start playing behind him and they didn’t,” Flatford said. “They still side-fronted him - and we got it in there.
“(Kyal) made some tough catches and he stuck it in there. The guys did a good job looking for him,” Flatford said.
Jordan Self added eight of his 15 in the final 16 minutes of the game as well.
Cosby, which led the game 36-32 after three periods, opened up as much as a nine-point lead on two occasions in the second half. Pigeon Forge attempted to close in after some miscues by the Eagles, but the defense rose to the occasion.
“We kind of got a little Jekyll and Hyde with it, but really, even when we were doing that, we were getting stops on the defensive end,” Flatford said. “Defense is what got (the win) for us tonight.”
The Eagles return to action with a trip to District 2-A foe Clinch tonight, they return home for the final time in the regular season on Friday night when they host Berean Christian.
COSBY (52): Kyal Clevenger 21, Jordan Self 15, Bryson Valentine 7, Keenan Phillips 5, Michael Hood 4.
PIGEON FORGE (46): Jake Kingery 11, Trevor Jain 10, Ryan Beal 8, Anthony Shuer 7, Nate Marine 6, Peyton Marshall 2, Skylar Gibbons 2.
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