Berea Community coach Eric Swords didn't have a good feeling about his team heading into Friday's district match-up with Model in Richmond.
And with good reason.
"It was awful," Swords said of Berea's practice session on Thursday. "That may have been the worst practice we've had all year. I wasn't real confident. I didn't like our mindset -- and it showed in the first half."
Some of that negativity certainly carried over into the opening minutes of the rivalry showdown.
The Pirates (14-5) trailed by as many as 11 points and went into the half down 39-31.
"We challenged our guys to sit down and guard," Swords said. "That's what we do. We were able to extend the pressure and get after them a little bit."
Berea did just that.
The Pirates opened the second half on a 6-0 run and were finally able to push ahead in the final minutes.
Jaylen Dorsey had a game-high 27 points as Berea defeated Model (5-16) 60-58.
Jayden Smith added 14 points to help the Pirates beat the Patriots for the first time in more than 12 years.
Berea's last win over Model was on Dec. 27, 2007.
"It was a big win. We talk about rebuilding the program and we've done that with wins like this," Swords said. "It's big time for our program to get that monkey off our back."
Ethan Bailey and Bryson Perry had 13 points each for Model, while Camden Stamm had 12 points (all in the first half).
Model hit five three-pointers in the first half, taking a 26-15 lead on a three by Stamm in the second quarter.
Berea quickly closed the gap to two points in the opening minutes of the third quarter on a pair of baskets by Jarred Whitaker and a put-back by Dorsey.
The Patriots refused to surrender the lead, though.
Model had a 52-50 lead after three quarters.
Dorsey tied the game at 55-55 by hitting one of two free throws with 2:35 left in the fourth quarter.
Berea finished the game on a 10-4 run, with all those points coming at the line.
"All around, a good group win," Swords said.
Whittaker had nine points, Quenten Morgan had seven points and Edward Sexton had three points.
Cruse Pingleton had 10 points for Model. Nate Feese had five points, Josh Barrick and Colton Collier had two points and Andrew Frazier had one point.
Berea is set to return to action today at home against Bellevue.
Model is set to return to action today against Franklin County in the Gary Moore Classic.