by Rusty Ellis
Pickett County finished off a season sweep of Clay County on Tuesday evening, as Zoey Nicholas poured in a career-high 31 points to lead the Lady Bobcats to victory. The Bobcats got a balanced scoring night in their win, led by Eli Reagan’s 19.
Nicholas’ 31 was jumpstarted by a big first quarter that saw her knock down two threes and score 12 total points to give Pickett a 20-8 lead at the end of the first, as Addy Lowe’s layup before the buzzer pushed the lead out to 12.
The second quarter is where Pickett began to expand on the lead, as a scorching first-half from three saw them take a 47-24 lead into the locker room. This included two more threes from Nicholas, as well as two other second-quarter threes from Ella Kate Keisling and Callie Reeder.
Pickett continued to build on the lead in the third quarter, taking a 25-point lead into the fourth at 61-36, and they cruised from there to a 79-53 victory.
Nicholas led all scorers with her 31, while Keisling and Reeder followed closely behind with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Madison Hayes and Halle Buford finished with 10 points apiece for the Lady Bulldogs, as Buford also scored her 1,000th career point.
The Bobcats won their fourth straight game overall in their 67-52 win over the Bulldogs, as they swept the season series and took full control of the District 7-A standings at 3-0.
Pickett was once again red-hot from three to start the game, as six first-quarter threes powered the Bobcats to a 21-15 lead. Jacob Amonett led the charge with three of the makes from long-range, but Nate Adams kept the Bulldogs in the game with 12 points of his own.
Both offenses calmed down a bit in the second, and it was Pickett who maintained their lead heading into the break, as the Bobcats held a 34-29 advantage at the break.
Pickett pushed the lead out to seven early in the third, but Clay battled right back and used six points in the frame from Wyatt Browning to keep the game close. Heading to the fourth, it was still the Bobcats who led by a 50-42 count.
There, the Bulldogs just couldn’t muster enough offense up and Pickett made several key free throws down the stretch to ice the game by a final score of 67-52.
Eli Reagan scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the fourth to lead the way, while Amonett matched him with 19 points of his own. Lyric Parris added 15 to round out the trio of Bobcats in double figures.
Adams finished with a game-high 21 points to lead Clay County.
Pickett County will hit the road on Saturday to take on district foe Clarkrange, while Clay host Gordonsville on Friday in a key district matchup.