The Wildcats used a 23-8 run to end the game and defeat the Pirates 83-81 in West Paducah for their fifth win in six games.
The Wildcats got a strong night from their top three scorers in handing the Pirates only their second loss in seven games.
Jeremy Jones scored nine of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and had four blocked shots, including one in the game’s final seconds that sealed the win. The junior guard also had nine rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
Jamaal Boyd hit 9-of-10 shots from the field and finished with 23 points, and Russell Mackins added 19 points and a season-high 18 rebounds.
"Those three are so important to us, and they were ready to play from the start tonight," Wildcat head coach Bill Chumbler said. "They all made some big plays for us."
Trigg County enjoyed the game’s biggest lead at nine points in the first half, but Heath stayed close thanks to a healthy advantage at the free throw line.
The Pirates were 12-of-33 from the field and 14-of-20 from the charity stripe in the first half. Trigg County was 17-of-32 from the field and had no trips to the free throw line in the game’s first 16 minutes.
As a result, Heath erased the deficit with a 13-2 run to end the first half and take a 39-37 advantage at halftime.
The third quarter remained close with Heath’s largest lead only six points.
The Pirates led 61-55 heading into the fourth quarter and used a 5-0 run capped by a Tiron Peoples dunk to extend their lead to 68-60 with 5:34 left in the game.
A bucket by Mackins and two free throws by Zack Wright cut the lead to 68-64.
Down 73-68, Jones hit a 3-pointer from the corner to cut the lead to 73-71.
Boyd added a pair of free throws to tie the game at 73 with 2:44 left, one of nine ties in the contest.
After both teams exchanged free throws, Jones hit a running jumper in the lane to give the Wildcats their first lead since early in the third quarter.
After a missed Heath shot, Devin Tejada fed Boyd on the break for a layup that gave the Wildcats a 79-75 lead with 47 seconds left.
Heath hit two out of four free throws to cut the lead to 79-77 with 29 seconds left.
Mackins was fouled on the rebound and countered with 1-of-2 at the line for an 80-77 lead.
Jayce Long drove the length of the floor and hit a layup to pull Heath to within 80-79 with 21 seconds left.
But the Wildcats again answered in transition, shredding the Heath press and taking an 82-79 lead when Jones fed T.J. O’Hara for a layup with 18 seconds left.
But a Wildcat foul sent Brad Lewis to the free throw line where he sank both attempts to again trim the lead to one point with 11 seconds left.
Trigg turned the basketball over on the in-bounds pass, but Jones’ block of Long’s layup attempt with four seconds left saved the game.
Jones was fouled on the rebound and hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left for an 83-81 lead.
Long’s half court shot hit the front of the rim to secure the Wildcat win.
Trigg County shot 52-percent from the field (33-of-64) and 59-percent from the free throw line (13-of-22) – all in the second half.
Heath hit just 39-percent of their shots (25-of-64), but stayed close by hitting 28-of-40 (70-percent) free throws.
Trigg held a commanding lead on the boards 45-29, which led to 18 second chance points for the Wildcats.
Mackins had nine of Trigg’s 15 offensive rebounds, with five of his nine field goals coming on putbacks.
Mackins work on the offensive glass and Boyd’s accuracy from in close helped the Wildcats to outscore Heath in the paint 48-32.
While Devin Tejada didn’t score, he did have seven rebounds and a team-high six assists.
O’Hara again provided quality minutes off the bench, scoring six points in seven minutes.
The Wildcats also got a boost from guard Rodney Davis, who scored six points and had three assists in 17 minutes of action.
The 5-8 sophomore transfer from Martin, Tennessee became eligible to play for the Wildcats last week after his family moved here earlier in the month.
"He still isn’t sure where to go on offense, and some of the turnovers he had weren’t his fault. Once he learns the system and learns where to go, he’ll be fine," Chumbler said.
Long scored ten of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for Heath, who also got 21 points and eight rebounds from Clint Tilford.
The game was just the second all-time against the Pirates, with Trigg winning last year’s contest 84-75 in Cadiz.
The Wildcats return to action next week in the Marion Round Robin Tournament in Marion, Illinois.