You have to put the ball in the basket to win in basketball. Pulaski County did, Hidden Valley had a lot of trouble doing it. Some of the reason was a lot of shots came with a hand in their face. The Titans made only six of 26 shots the first half, 24% and just 13 of 43, 26% for the game as Hidden Valley fell to 3-8 on the season.
Pulaski County head coach Tyler Cannoy was pleased with his team’s 59-42 home win over Hidden Valley Friday evening, and he had every right to be because it was a really good “team” victory for the Cougars who are now 6-5 on the season.
“We had great balance. We played really good defense, contesting Hidden Valley all over the floor. We moved to ball well offensively, hit the open man. We got control in the middle of the second quarter and continued to play well. We have some weapons. We just need to use them right, and we did tonight. Lots of solid contributions. I’m real happy with how we played,” said Cannoy.
Pulaski Co. was 11 of 23 the first half, 48%, and 23 of 50 for the game, 46%. The Titans had the two leading scorers in the game, Manmeet Singh with 13 and Grayson Carroll with 12, but got very little anywhere else. Cannoy talked of “contributions teamwide.” He was right. The Cougars had nine players hit the scoring column and all of them scored five or more points. And that defensive effort was very much in evidence in the statistics of the game as well. The Cougars forced 22 Hidden Valley turnovers and turned the ball over itself just eight times, displaying an excellent floor game that featured outstanding ball movement.
Pulaski Co. led after the first quarter as Hayden Gray hit two 3’s, and Luke Russell worked inside for two baskets for an 11-10 lead. Then midway through the second quarter Russell hit a 3 off the wing, Corvin Carter got a steal and a drive for two, and Gray popped another 3 off the edge and the Cougars were in control. Down the stretch before the half Josh Bourne got a big steal and five quick points and PCHS was on top 31-21 at the half.
In the third quarter Pulaski Co. pretty much put the Titans away with outstanding execution on both ends of the court, outscoring HV 20-11. Carroll scored eight points in the final minute after the Titans had managed just three points for seven minutes against a hard working Cougar defense.
But that only delayed the inevitable on this night. The Cougars built on a 51-32 lead, and down the stretch Cannoy was able to clear the bench and everybody got in on the action.
Gray led the Cougars with 11 points and J.J. Gulley was the only other double digit scorer with 10, but Russell finished with nine, Peyton Blackburn seven, Bourne and Clay Phillips both got six, and A.J. McCloud and Carter both finished with five. The Cougars were eight of 12 from the free throw line. Hidden Valley 13 of 17.
The Cougars also won the junior varsity game, 43-36. The win upped the JV team record to a good 8-3 on the season. Peyton McDaniel with 19 points and Kyle O’Neal with 13 led the way.