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Taylor County's Cardinals fought back from an eight-point third-quarter deficit to tie defending Fifth Region champion Adair County only to be outscored down the stretch 46-42 on Friday night in Columbia.
Coach Troy Young's club held its only lead at 13-12 in the second quarter on Lloyd Stotts' three-pointer.
Adair County (4-0) used a 9-2 run to end the first half and lead 23-16 at the intermission despite 10 points by TCHS senior Josh Gumm.
The Indian lead expanded to 31-23 on Kalen Kimberland's trey with 2:57 left in the third period before Taylor County used a 14-6 run of its own to knot the score at 37-37 with 4:27 remaining in the fourth frame.
Stotts' second three of the night started the rally after Chase Cox had hit a free throw at 1:52. After a Nick Fudge lay-up and free throw, Taylor Cox made a lay-up on a Josh Gumm feed to end the third and Chris Thomas scored inside on Chase Cox's assist.
Corey Helm's three put Adair County back up by six (37-31) before Chase Cox banked in a three on the left wing and then connected on a trey from the top of the key.
Darren Ballou put the Indians back in front with a pair of free throws and Kimberland hit a charity toss at 1:55 to make it 40-37.
Chase Cox's lane jumper cut the Cards' deficit to 40-39 before Kimberland banked in a shot at :56 to push Adair back up 42-39.
Chase Cox's right baseline trey tied the game at 42-42 with 39 ticks left. However, after Kimberland hit a free throw at :28.7, Taylor County misfired and Kimberland rebounded and hit two charity tosses at :5.6. The Indians also had four free throws in the final four seconds as Helm had two late steals.
Kimberland finished with 17 points to lead Adair County and was the Indians' only double-digit scorer.
Chase Cox paced the Cardinals with 16 points while Gumm added 13.
Taylor County (3-1) hosts Bethlehem tomorrow in a junior varsity/varsity doubleheader starting at 6:00. The Cardinals visit Green County on Friday for a girl/boy twinbill beginning at 6:30.
Adair County hosts Campbellsville tomorrow in its third 20th District encounter of the young season.