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Anderson County's boys' basketball team seems intent on proving the doubters wrong.
That is what was apparent last Tuesday when the Bearcats rallied from seven points down in the fourth quarter to take a hard-fought 60-57 win at Casey County in the season opener for both teams.
Erik Newton, Anderson's only returning starter from 2010, scored Anderson's first 10 points, then sank a pair of free throws with 10 seconds to go to provide the winning margin for the Bearcats.
“We feel like this was a great win,” Anderson assistant coach Bryan Hyatt said in an e-mail. “On the road, out of the (Eighth) Region, and we only had one week to practice with everyone. We are going to be a work in progress due to the lack of time we have had everyone.”
At least seven Bearcats, including some expected to start, only joined the team eight days before, after playing on Anderson's regional runner-up football team.
Newton got Anderson going early and forced Casey to change defenses, according to Hyatt. “They couldn't guard him,” he said. Using a tough defense, the Bearcats jumped to a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Bearcats extended their lead to 28-24 on the strength of 3-pointers from Zach Peach and Lowell Gordon just before halftime, but Casey took the game to the Bearcats in the third quarter to take a four-point lead after three quarters.
Casey, which is expected to field one of its strongest teams in several years, built the lead to seven but Hyatt said the Bearcats refused to surrender.
“Our team kept fighting and kept playing we finally were able to force some of their role players to handle the ball and they turned it over,” Hyatt said. “Down the stretch Newton just made play after play, he refused to lose. We had pressed and fought our way back to within 3, we caused a turnover came down and found Lowell Gordon for a 3-pointer to tie the game with under a minute to go.”
Up one, Newton drew a charge before going to the line himself for the game-winner.
Logan Woodside scored 13 points off the bench for the Bearcats.
Madison Central game canceled
Anderson's game with Madison Central in the Wierwille Classic at Berea College, scheduled for last Saturday, was canceled due to Saturday's snow. The game will not be made up.