PRESTONSBURG — Sophomore guard Sal Dean scored a game-high 22 points to lead visiting Belfry past Prestonsburg 83-62 in a boys’ high school basketball season opener on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Dean, one of the top sophomore guards in the 15th Region, connected on eight of 12 shots from inside the arc.
Belfry shook a slow start in the season opener to notch the win.
Starting strong, Prestonsburg outscored Belfry 19-12 in the opening quarter. However, Prestonsburg faltered and Belfry heated up offensively.
The Pirates battled back and eventually pulled away to lead 36-26 at halftime.
Visiting Belfry forced Prestonsburg into committing a dozen turnovers in the first half.
Belfry added to its lead after the intermission period, continuing to thrive offensively and defensively.
Four Belfry players reached double figures in scoring. Tyler Chaffin netted 20 points for the Pirates while Ben McNamee and Bol Kuir added 17 points apiece. Kuir, a junior center, recorded a double-double in his debut for the Pirates, grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds.
Belfry shot 55.6 percent (35 of 63) from the field. The Pirates were three of 11 (27.3 percent) from three-point range.
Belfry shot 52.6 percent (10 of 19) from the free-throw line.
Excelling around the goal, Belfry outrebounded Prestonsburg 38-28.
Noah Brown (three points), Zachary Savage (two points) and Jonathan Banks (two points) combined to account for the rest of the Pirates’ individual scoring.
Prestonsburg shot 47.6 percent (20-of-42) from the field. The Blackcats were seven of 19 (36.8 percent) from 3-point range.
Prestonsburg shot 75 percent (15 of 25) from the free-throw line.
Sophomore Ryan Rose paced Prestonsburg, scoring a team-high 18 points for the Blackcats. Accompanying Rose in double figures in scoring for Prestonsburg, seniors Will Gullett and Grant Justice contributed 10 points apiece.
The additional scorers for Prestonsburg in the season opener were Kaleb Jarvis (eight points), Wes Salisbury (five points), Jon Little (five points), Connor Hopkins (three points) and Jacob Martin (three points).
Belfry is scheduled to host rival Pikeville for a home opener on Friday, Jan. 8. The start time for the Belfry-Pikeville boys’ basketball game is set for 7:30 p.m.