By John Henson For the Times-Tribune
If the Harlan County Lady Bears are to make another run at the 13th Region title, junior guards Lauren Lee and Kaitlyn Stittums will be counted on to graduate from their jobs a year ago as role players.
The athletic backcourt duo took on a leadership role Tuesday as the Lady Bears, runner up to Clay County last year, opened the season with a 65-34 rout of visiting Williamsburg.
After being held without a basket in the first quarter as Harlan County held on to a slim four-point lead, Lee and Stittums came alive in the second period with four baskets each. Each turned turnovers into points as Harlan County forced seven with its press, leading to a 12-for-21 shooting performance. The Lady Bears closed the quarter with a 21-2 run to build a commanding 40-15 lead at the break.
"I think the big thing was they got a little tired," Harlan County coach Anthony Nolan said. “We were aggressive the first quarter but didn’t get much out of it. We weren’t converting. The second quarter we started finishing the plays off. Once we settled down, our defense created a lot of shots.”
“We weren’t smart and didn't handle the basketball. They played great press defense in the second quarter for sure,” Williamsburg coach Andrea Ellis said.
Harlan County's backcourt trio carried the offense as freshman Brooklyn Massingill scored 19, followed by Stittums with 11 and Lee with nine.
Massingill supplied most of the offense in the first quarter with three baskets to help HCHS take a 14-10 lead. Tarrah Davis and Carissa Conlin each had three-pointers for Williamsburg.
A basket by Kacie Brown pulled the Lady Jackets within six with 6:06 left before a flurry of steals by Harlan County quickly turned the game into a rout.
“We didn’t set up in our offense or run the things I was asking them to run,” Ellis said. “I don't know. We weren’t ourselves tonight. That was not the team I’ve been coaching for the last two or three months. It stinks to drive this far and get beat like this. All we can do is learn from it.”
By John Henson For the Times-Tribune
- Local Sports
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
- 13th Region Top Scorers
Harlan coach Derrick Akal knew his team needed to change things up during their second meeting with the Barbourville Lady Tigers.
The Way It Is
With four girls games finished in the 13th Region Tournament, now it’s time to switch things around a bit, and focus on the boys tournament.
Like It or Not
After a perfect opening night when it came to picking winners, Les Dixon and I both struggled in the second night of action.
Brian Evans’ Knox Central Panthers might be tagged as one of the teams to beat in the 13th Region Tournament, but they have to get past upstart Williamsburg first.
Chris Parsons' Daily Region Pick 'Em
After the first two days of the girls 13th Region Tournament I find myself at 2-2 when it comes to picking the winners.
Tigers look to eliminate Middlesboro for second straight year
Even though his team is the defending 13th Region champion, Robert Marcum was quick to point out he doesn’t believe his Tigers are the favorite to repeat just yet.
Ready to Defend
Coming into Tuesday's first round match-up with North Laurel in the 13th Region Tournament, Corbin coach Jason McDaniel knew his team would see a different Lady Jaguar team than the one it beat earlier in the season, 86-48. He was right.
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- Early Exit