March 14, 2018..a date that the people of Estill County will never forget. This is the date that the dream’s of so many was realized, the Engineers will play for an opportunity to win a state championship in basketball. There had been 100 years of Sweet Sixteen basketball played in Kentucky but Estill could never get there but in year 101 they break through. The school had only played for one regional championship before this year, 1955 they played for an opportunity to advance, they were in the 11th region then, but fell to Berea by 15 in that game.
Now that Estill County is here the Corbin greyhounds of the 13th region stand in the way. They are led by Andrew Taylor, a Furman commit, who is averaging nearly 29 points a game. He sits third all time in the state in career scoring at 2588 points, a good Sweet Sixteen could see him move into second place all time. We know that this is Estill County first ever trip to Rupp, this is the 15th trip for Corbin and the third in the past ten seasons.
Estill County, perhaps in awe of their surroundings, started slow falling down 5-0 to Corbin early. Caleb Bonny knocks down a three pointer for the first ever points for Estill County in the Sweet Sixteen and and Lane Doty with an old fashioned three point play to tie it at 5. Corbin uses an 8-0 run to lead 15-7 but a three from Kevin Richardson makes it 15-10 after a quarter. Second quarter Chandler Stewart with a basket and free throw to make it an 18-10 lead for Corbin. The Engineers did not panic and went on their own 10-0 run to take their first ever lead in the Sweet Sixteen at 20-18. At the end of one half of play we are tied at 23. Kevin Richardson and Caleb Bonny both with 7 points to lead Estill. Joe Benton with 3 points, Lane Doty with 6 points. Estill defense holds Andrew taylor to only four points in the opening half.
Second half Doty with a free throw to give Estill County a one point lead but Corbin would go on a mini run to push out to a 29-24 lead before Doty would one again score to make it a three point lead. Estill would not go away quietly. Three pointer from Candler Stewart was answered by Joe Benton. Caleb Bonny with the old fashioned three point play to end the third period and it was 38-34 going into the final frame. Bonny picked up where he left off in the third scoring the first basket to make it a two point game at 38-36. Taylor who was held to four points at half, scores eleven in the second half, and gets four quick ones to to make it 42-36. The great players find a way to keep their teams in it and Bonny is one of the greatest to ever play for Estill and he knocks down a couple of free throws and a basket from Doty makes it 42-40 but unfortunately Estill would go ice cold from the free throw line, missing the front end of one and one opportunity’s twice and from the floor not scoring for the final 4:32 of the game. Corbin wins it 50-40.
For Estill County they shot 52% from the floor. Estill had 17 turnovers which resulted into 21 Corbin points. Corbin had 13 offensive rebounds but only got 6 points off them. Scoring for the Engineers Caleb Bonny led the way once again with 14 points, Kevin Richardson with 7, Andrew Doty with 7, Lane Doty with 6, Joe Benton with 6.
Thank you to everyone for joining us on the magical run by Estill County here on WBONTV.com and Wallingford Broadcasting