Tonight in Irvine two old friends met on the hardwood. The basketball court is where they met and where they both love to be. Jon Bentley and Austin Newton both played college basketball together at Eastern Kentucky and now they both coach high school basketball where they are passing their knowledge to the next generation of players. Jon Bentley is entering his 9th season as head man for Estill County and has won over 100 games as a head coach. He led the Engineers to the Sweet Sixteen last season for the first time in school history. Austin Newton is coaching his second game as head coach for Madison Southern and entered the game looking for his first career victory.
Newton’s Eagles came out and scored 8 of the games first 10 points leading 8-2 forcing Estill County into 9 turnovers in the first quarter. They took two charges on the defensive end but foul trouble set in for them. Starters Josh Reynolds and Chad Fugate pick up two fouls each in the quarter and Estill makes a run to tie the game at 11 after one period. Using a 9-0 run to end the first and begin the second Estill goes on top. Estill uses the free throw line in the second quarter going 8-10 in the frame to take a 29-23 lead at the half. Both Fugate and Reynolds picked up their 3rd fouls in the 2nd. At the half Trent Moberly led the Eagles in scoring with 10 points. Dylan Long had 7 points to lead Estill.
The second saw Estill County extend the lead to 9 points at 35-26. That’s when the defense of Madison Southern once again stepped up, forcing 8 Engineers turnover in the 3rd and scored 12 straight points to take a 38-35 lead. After three quarters Eagles led 41-39. Big play of the game was a call made by an official when an Estill County player was whistled for a questionable intentional foul as he went up for a block attempt with 6:30 left in the game. The basket was good and with the ensuing free throws and possession Madison Southern had the games largest lead of the night at 10 points, 51-41. After only attempting two free throws in the 3rd quarter Estill took 15 in the 4th. As a team the Engineers missed only 3 going 27-30 from the line. Down 58-52 Estill scores 8 in a row to take a point lead. Cobbe Click with a three pointer to give the home team the lead and he adds a free throw. With only 25 seconds left Madison Southern ties the game and holds off Estill to get their first win of the season.
Trent Moberly leads a quartet of Eagles in double figures with 18 points. Chad Fugate with 11, Hunter Buchanan and Britten Robinson add 10 each. Walter Smith 7 points, Samuel Lee with 5 and Jonah Wooten 3. For Estill County Cobbe Click led all scorers with 20 points. Joe Benton with 12, Dylan Long with 10, Will Isfort has 7, and Logan Napier with 6.
Madison Southern returns to action Saturday at North Laurel against Russell County and Estill will be at home Tuesday against Rockcastle County.