Rosspoint completes perfect season in county with championship win over JACES


John Henson

The Rosspoint WIldcats are pictured with the championship trophy after defeating James A. Cawood 49-30 on Thursday in the tournament finals at Harlan County High School.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

Undefeated against county competition, the Rosspoint Wildcats found themselves in an unusual position midway through the second quarter of the fifth- and sixth-grade county championship game Thursday at Harlan County High School against James A. Cawood.
The Wildcats trailed by four points before closing the first half with eight straight points, then took control in the third quarter on the way to a 49-30 victory.
“I’m proud of the boys. They had to handle some adversity, but they battled and fought,” Rosspoint coach Scotty Bailey said. “(JACES coach) Tim (Engle) did a great job switching up defenses on us. We finally settled down and communicated a little. The boys were a little nervous, but once we got settled down we were all right.”
Fifth-grade point guard Trey Creech scored 17 points to lead the 23-2 Wildcats. Bentley Alred added 11 points.
“We traveled weekends all year and these boys never complained, and neither did the parents. I want to tip my hat to them,”: Bailey said. “Our boys wanted to play basketball, which you don’t always see today. Even our fourth-graders were there every day. We played a tough schedule against great teams. It was an enjoyable season.”
The 14-4 Trojans were led by sixth-grade wing Andrew Vance with 14 points.
Both offenses were on fire early as Creech and Vance traded baskets in the opening two minutes, then Creech and the Trojans’ Win Cooper combined for the next five baskets. Easton Engle’s three-point play gave the Trojans their first lead at 13-10, then a Vance field goal made it 15-12 after one quarter.
Shooting cooled in the second quarter as JACES led by four before Alred hit consecutive 3-pointers and Hudson Faulkner added a basket in a 6-0 run that put the Wildcats ahead 21-17 at halftime.
“JACES came out hot and put it to us. They were hitting some shots and it was back and forth for a while,” Bailey said. “(Alred) was a little skittish at first, but he hit those 3s and fired us up. We play a lot off of emotion. We have all year.”
Rosspoint started to pull away in the third quarter by forcing several turnovers they turned into layups. The Wildcats outscored JACES 16-5 in the quarter to build a 37-22 advantage.
Two baskets by Vance and one by Engle in a 6-0 run got the Trojans as close as 11 before Rosspoint pulled away for good on baskets by Eli Joseph, Creech and Jackson Mackowiak.
Shawn Smith scored 13 points and Ryan Housley added 11 as Cawood captured third place with a 32-25 win over Cumberland.
Hunter Fuson led the Redskins with 14 points.
Rosspoint (49) — Hudson Faulkner 6, Nathan Barger 5, Trey Creech 17, Blake Johnson 4, Bentley Alred 11, Eli Joseph 2, Jax Shepherd 2, Jackson Mackowiak 2,
James A. Cawood (30) — Easton Engle 7, Andrew Vance 14, Win Cooper 7, Adrian Fields 2.
Cawood (32) — Ryan Housley 11, Shawn Smith 13, Kaydan Gray 4, Isaiah Myers 4.
Cumberland (25) — Hunter Fuson 14, Bryce Saylor 3, Tobey Lunsford 6, Nathan Harrell 2.

Rosspoint guard Trey Creech scored 17 points on Thursday in the fifth- and sixth-grade county tournament finals to lead the Wildcats to a 49-30 win. (John Henson)
James A. Cawood guard Easton Engle worked down the court in the county championship game Thursday. (John Henson)