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MOUNT STERLING – Elliott County erased a 17-point deficit with a 23-2 scoring run then overcame some late-game Anderson County heroics to score a 76-72 overtime win over the Bearcats in the Kentucky Prep Classic at Montgomery County High School.
Elliott, ranked No. 1 in both the Litkenhous Ratings and Rating the State, remains unbeaten against Kentucky competition. The Lions are 12-1 overall, losing to a team from Texas. The Bearcats fell to the current top-ranked team for the second time in two weeks. Scott County defeated Anderson on the same floor in the finals of the Gateway Classic on Dec. 29. Anderson is now 9-4 on the year.
“This was a great high school basketball game, but we had some very unfinished business,” said Anderson coach Glen Drury.
Anderson stunned the Lions, breaking a 17-all tie after a quarter to go up 39-22 late in the first half. Elliott, however, started inching back and got a huge 3-pointer that banked in at the buzzer to make it 39-27 at the break.
Elliott went ahead by as many as five points in the second half but the Bearcats got a pair of 3-pointers from Jacob Russell in the final minute, the last falling through the net as the final horn sounded to send the game to overtime.
The Bearcats never led in the extra period.
Anderson's C.J. Penny led all scorers with 31 points. With a bevy of college coaches looking on, he also had 14 rebounds. Russell scored 14 points and hauled in 15 rebounds. Elliott County's Tim Knipp led the Lions with 21 points.
“You have to give Elliott County all the credit,” Drury said. “They are a team of runs and they came out in the second half with the big run. We played well but we need to continue to improve.”
For a complete recap of the Bearcats' game with Elliott County, see the Jan. 14 edition of The Anderson News.