Placing four players in double-figures, Hopkinsville overcame a 36-point effort by Jones to beat the Wildcats 71-62 Feb. 25 in Hopkinsville.
The Wildcats wrap up the regular season at 17-9 and will face Crittenden County Thursday in the semifinals of the Fifth District Tournament at Wildcat Gym.
The game featured the best senior player in the Second Region, Hopkinsville’s Curtis Pulley, against arguably the region’s top junior in Jones.
Jones scored 28 of his 36 points in the second half, including 15 of Trigg’s 17 third quarter points. The 36 points was the second-highest of Jones’s career. He also had a team-high 11 rebounds and was 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
Pulley, the Mr. Football winner who is a serious candidate for Mr. Basketball, scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds – slightly below his season averages.
But Pulley made the key plays when they counted in lifting the Tigers to their tenth win in 24 games.
Jones hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help eat into a 13-point Wildcat deficit. The second of his treys capped a 10-2 run and inched the Wildcats to within 43-38 with 3:09 left in the third quarter.
Pulley countered with a free throw, a blocked shot, and an assist in Hopkinsville’s next three trips down the floor to help extend Hoptown’s lead to 48-42 after three quarters.
After Jones and Pulley exchanged buckets to start the fourth quarter, Chad Brown picked up some of the slack for Hopkinsville.
Brown scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, and he and Pulley combined for 19 of Hoptown’s 23 fourth quarter points.
"We didn’t want Pulley to beat us, and they had some guys score for them who haven’t been scoring much lately. Not taking anything away from them, but their balance was what helped them win the game," Wildcat coach Bill Chumbler said.
Trigg County did chip into the lead in the fourth quarter, drawing to within six at 61-55, but Pulley countered with the next four points to seal the win.
Cody Adams added 14 for Hopkinsville, and Jeremy Wardell added ten points.
Each of the four also hit the glass hard, helping Hopkinsville to a 37-28 rebound advantage.
Jones also led Trigg in rebounding with 11.
"We just had some guys who didn’t give us a good effort, and I was really disappointed with that," Chumbler said. "Hopkinsville was just more aggressive than we were."
T.J. O’Hara was the only other Wildcat in double figures scoring with 10 points. Jamaal Boyd added nine points.
Trigg County shot 44-percent from the field, but turned the ball over 16 times that led to 19 Tiger points.
Hopkinsville hit 49-percent of their shots and dished out 16 assists to just nine for Trigg County.
"We didn’t lock down on them defensively, and they beat us on the dribble out top. We didn’t rotate in the zone, and they did a good job of finding the open man," Chumbler said of the Tiger guards.
The win was the eighth straight over Trigg County for Hopkinsville, which leads the all-time series 49-23.