Rose sparks Jackets in comeback win

Published 6:50 pm Sunday, January 14, 2018

MIDDLESBORO — In order for his Williamsburg Yellow Jackets to wipe out a 10-point deficit against Harlan in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 13th Region All “A” Classic, coach Nick Napier knew two things had to happen.

First, Harlan had to keep shooting, but quit making, 3-pointers after the Dragons had hit 10 of 20 in the first three quarters and three minutes.

Second, sophomore guard Caleb Rose had to take over for the Jackets on the offensive end.

Email newsletter signup

The Dragons missed all six 3-pointers over the final six minutes after a Jacob Wilson 3 early in the fourth quarter had given them a 54-44 lead, and Rose dominated down the stretch, hitting six of seven shots in the fourth quarter to carry the Jackets to a 64-60 win and into the tournament semifinals.

“We wanted to try and turn them over some out of traps. We felt they would keep shooting 3s, because that’s their game,” Napier said. “Coach (Derrick) Akal does a great job with them. They gave us some problems.”

Rose scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead the 7-9 Jackets, who will play the Oneida Baptist-Middlesboro winner on Tuesday in the semifinals. Sophomore forward Slaht Hunter added 18 points.

“Caleb took charge of the game. I thought he was the difference,” Napier said.

Rose scored inside with 5:02 left to start the comeback, then added a 3-pointer. Stohn Hunter’s putback cut the deficit to three.

Harlan moved back out to a five-point lead as Jordan Akal and Jon Eldridge each hit two free throws, but Rose hit two shots, including a jumper off a turnover to cap a 6-0 run that put the Jackets up by one with 1:35 left. Eldridge hit two more free throws to give Harlan a lead, but Rose followed his own miss with a basket and foul for a three-point play and a two-point lead with 28.1 seconds left. With Harlan unable to convert on the offensive end, Alec Poore and Rose each hit one of two at the line to put the game away.

“They hit some tough two-point shots and got all the 50-50 and loose balls,” Akal said. “(Rose) hit several pull-up jumpers, tough shots.

“We were sluggish to start the game, which you’d expect after 14-15 days off. We did some good things to get back in the game, but they made the plays when it counted.”

Akal, an eighth-grade guard, led Harlan (1-11) with 21 points, including five-of-six shooting on 3-pointers.

Akal hit a pair of 3-pointers to give Harlan a short-lived early lead before WIlliamsburg grabbed the momentum with a 12-0 run sparked by two baskets each from Slaht Hunter and Toby Cunningham. A 3-pointer by Wilson and basket by Kilian Ledford led a late charge by Harlan that cut the deficit to 19-15 after one quarter.

Williamsburg led by five, at 25-20, midway through the second quarter when a basket by Carter Barnes and a three-point play by Tyler Carmical pulled the Dragons even. Akal and Jared Hawkins each hit 3-pointers in the final 68 seconds of the half to put Harlan on top, at 31-29, going into the break.

Cade Barnes scored all nine of his points in the third quarter as Harlan extended its lead to 48-42 as the Jackets missed 11 of 16 shots from the field.

The All “A” Classic first round will continue with three games Monday at Middlesboro as Oneida Baptist plays Middlesboro, Lynn Camp takes on Pineville and Red Bird meets Barbourville.

Harlan returns to action Saturday at home against South Laurel.


Williamsburg 64, Harlan 60


Toby Cunningham 3-12 0-2 7, Caleb Rose 8-15 2-3 19, Jeremy Purdie 2-4 0-0 4, Stohn Hunter 4-5 0-0 9, Slaht Hunter 8-17 2-6 18, Hunter Brown 2-6 0-0 4, Alec Poore 1-3 1-2 3. Totals: 28-62 5-13 64.

HARLAN (1-11)

Jordan Akal 6-9 4-4 21, Cade Barnes 4-8 0-1 9, Jacob Wilson 2-9 0-0 6, Kilian Ledford 2-10 0-1 5, Jon Eldridge 0-2 6-8 6, Carter Barnes 2-3 0-0 4, Jared Hawkins 2-2 1-1 6, Tyler Carmical 1-2 1-1 3. Totals: 19-45 12-16 60.

Williamsburg 19 10 13 22 — 64

Harlan 15 16 17 12 — 60

3-point goals: Williamsburg 3-14 (Stohn Hunter 1-1, Cunningham 1-3, Rose 1-4, Purdie 0-1, Brown 0-1, Poore 0-1, Slaht Hunter 0-3), Harlan 10-26 (Akal 5-6, Wilson 2-7, Hawkins 1-1, Cade Barnes 1-3, Ledford 1-7, Eldridge 0-1, Carmical 0-1). Rebounds: Williamsburg 29 (Rose 8, Stohn Hunter 6, Purdie 5, Slaht Hunter 4, Brown 3, Cunningham 2, Poore 1), Harlan 27 (Eldridge 10, Wilson 9, Ledford 3, Cade Barnes 2, Carter Barnes 1, Hawkins 1, Carmical 1). Turnovers: Williamsburg 7, Harlan 14. Fouled out: Harlan (Williamsburg).