Lawrence County tops Hubbard to advance to county finals

Lawrence County's BenMichael Bennett prepares to go up for a basket Thursday against R.A. Hubbard

Another year, another county finals appearance for Lawrence County. 

The Lawrence County Red Devils defeated R.A. Hubbard 60-52 Thursday night in the semi-finals of the Lawrence County tournament. 

Hall of Fame coaches Gary Steadman and Royal Carpenter took over prior to the 2017-18 season. They've yet to miss a county finals. 

"It's always fun to make the finals," Steadman said. "We're 1-2 the past three years. Hopefully we can even that up." 

Hubbard didn't make it easy on them. The Chiefs jumped out and went toe to toe with the Devils. But like they always do, Lawrence County found a way to win. 

"We've done that a lot this year, got down and had to come back," said Steadman. "Hubbard has a really good 1A ball team. They get after you on defense. If you don't protect the ball against them you'll be in trouble." 

Hubbard's chances of winning took a major blow in the fourth quarter when both Keyondrick Cobb and Tre Kellogg fouled out with still sisx minutes to go. 

The chiefs trailed just 44-42 at the time. 

"That was a big impact. It was tough not having our best two guys out there," said Bobby Winston, who is in his first year as head coach of R.A. Hubbard. "But it's a growing moment. What we teach our guys is you have to keep fighting through things like that. I believe in everyone on our team and when one guy goes down another has to step up." 

BenMichael Bennett led the Red Devils with 24, while Trey Kellogg led Hubbard with 14. 

Lawrence County will attempt to win their second straight county championship Saturday night when they play host East Lawrence. That game will take place at 6 p.m. 

"I hold the record for most runner-up finishes in the county tournament," Carpenter said. "I don't plan on extending that." 

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