By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune
BARBOURVILLE — Lynn Camp's Heather Wilson is known for her free-throw shooting.
When Wilson is at the charity stripe, you can almost bank she's going to hit the freebie. After injuring her ankle a couple of weeks back, Wilson struggled a bit shooting free throws. So during open gym Sunday, she decided to shoot more than 100 free throws and at one point she knocked down 33 in a row.
Let's just say the extra practice paid off during the Lady Wildcats' matchup with rival Barbourville Monday in opening round action of the 13th Region All 'A' Classic Tournament.
Wilson knocked down 10-of-11 free throws during the fourth quarter, including on her last eight, to seal a 43-40 win over the Lady Tigers. She also finished with a game-high 16 points, as Lynn Camp will face off against Pineville Thursday in semifinal action and a showdown between last year's title game opponents.
"That's huge what Heather did tonight," Lynn Camp coach Richard Jones said. "She's a veteran player and she came up big. When she gets to the foul line, it's money."
Wilson said she wasn't nervous once she toed the free-throw line during the game's final eight minutes.
"We had open gym yesterday and that really helped," she said. "I shot over a hundred (free throws) and did really good. I hit 33 in a row at one point and really felt confident tonight each time I shot them."
Barbourville had a chance to blow the game wide open in the first quarter, but couldn't take advantage of Lynn Camp's 11 turnovers.
The Lady Wildcats turned the ball over on their first five possessions of the game, but only trailed 3-0, as Barbourville's Amber Mills knocked down a three-pointer just minutes into the game.
The Lady Tigers failed to take advantage of a solid defensive effort in the opening period by hitting on only two-of-15 from the floor, including a one-of-eight effort from three-point range.
Despite the miscues, Lynn Camp still managed to only trail 5-4 heading into the second quarter after baskets by Merita Burke and Heather Wilson. The Lady Wildcats shot two-of-three from the floor in the first eight minutes.
"We had a chance to really jump ahead of them, but we just didn't shoot the ball well enough," Barbourville coach Andrea Hillard said. "We just had a lot of missed opportunities.We just couldn't get anything going."
Jones' squad managed to open the second quarter with a 6-0 run, as consecutive layups by Burke extended Lynn Camp's lead to 10-4 with 3:35 remaining in the first half.
Barbourville hit only two-of-seven shot attempts during the period, as Laken Woolum hit two three-pointers to pull her team to within a point (12-11) of the Lady Wildcats' lead at halftime.
The Lady Tigers connected on only four-of-22 shot attempts from the floor in the first half and committed nine turnovers while Lynn Camp hit on five-of-12 from the floor while turning the ball over 17 times.
Lynn Camp managed to improve its lead 26-21 in the third quarter, as Brooklyn Bryant managed to drive to the basket on two straight trips down the court while scoring four points.
Barbourville managed to remain in the game thanks to two three-pointers by Mills despite shooting three-of-14 during the third quarter.
The game remained close throughout the fourth quarter, as the Lady Tigers managed to get as close as one point (40-39)) with 31 seconds remaining after a three-pointer by Kalan Liford, but the Wildcats sealed the deal as Bryant and Wilson combined to hit five-of-six free throws down the stretch to wrap-up the three-point win for Lynn Camp.
Barbourville finished the game hitting on only 12-of-56 shot attempts, including a seven-of-29 effort from three-point range while the Lady Wildcats were 12-of-29, and turned the ball over 27 times.
Lynn Camp 43, Barbourville 40
Lynn Camp 4 8 14 17—43
Barbourville 5 6 10 19—40
Lynn Camp (43) — Wilson 16, Bryant 9, Burke 13, Miller 5.
Barbourville (40) — Ka. Erslan 6, Ke. Erslan 6, Mills 13, Woolum 11.