Thursday, February 23, 2017 - Updated: 9:09 AMHardin County’s home standing Cougars shocked Joppa’s Rangers with a stunning reversal of form, coming back from a 24-12 halftime deficit to snatch a 48-31 regional tournament win from the Rangers.
Joppa was in control from the opening tip to halftime putting up a 12-3 lead after eight minutes and a 24-12 margin at the intermission.
But a Hardin County team that couldn’t shoot a lick in the first half, found the range and Joppa couldn’t handle the ball, committing six turnovers in the third quarter, and suddenly the Cougars were right back in the fight.
Hunter Cullum dropped three triples on Joppa and Hardin County’s bulky front line asserted themselves as the Cougars took a 27-26 lead at the third horn completing a 15-2 run in the quarter.
If the third quarter was bad for Joppa, the final eight minutes was worse as Cullum, Jaimson Hicks and Craig Hutson put up 21 more points to Joppa’s five in the final frame making six of eight free throws in the final seconds for the 17 point win.
Kaleb Cox scored six of Joppa’s seven-second half points. Thomas Kendall led Joppa with 12 points while Cox had 10 for the Rangers. Hunter Johnson had six with Jase Hutchason adding three.
The Cougars took on top seeded Cairo Wednesday night.