By Chris Parsons
CORBIN — It’s hard to imagine anybody as big as Corbin head coach Jason McDaniel having any trouble filling shoes.
That’s exactly what McDaniel talked about when he took over the Lady Redhounds this summer as the team got set to defend its 13th Region Championship.
In the end Sunday, McDaniel said his team had done its best and it turned out that was plenty good enough as Corbin picked up the 59-40 win over Harlan to advance to the state tournament for the second straight season.
The win marked the first time in the history of the program that the Lady Redhounds have won back-to-back region titles.
While Sunday’s win may have gone to the team that played the most consistent basketball throughout the region tournament, McDaniel said he was a lucky person to be in the position he’s in right now.
“I’m really lucky to be in this position because these girls accepted me as their coach and have made it easy for me,” McDaniel said. “This is a tremendous group of girls because they listen to me and do the things I ask of them.
“It may have been a little tough for them when we struggled a little bit early in the season, but the character these girls have is unbelievable,” he added. “We saw it all throughout this tournament — they don’t really falter and they don’t get rattled. We played three tremendous games against good competition and I’m really happy for my team and for this program.”
Corbin took a 12-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but stretched the gap to 27-18 by the time halftime rolled around.
The Lady Redhounds took advantage of Harlan’s shooting woes in the third quarter (3-for 10 in the period) as they pushed the lead to 38-25, thanks to a 9-3 run to end the quarter.
Harlan was able to cut the lead to 12 points on several occasions in the fourth quarter, but that’s as close as the Lady Dragons could get. Corbin took advantage of free throw attempts late in the game, scoring 13 of its 21 fourth-quarter points from the charity stripe. The Lady Redhounds finished the game 21-of-26 from the line, while Harlan was 10-of-18.
Corbin’s Kayla Wilson led all scorers in the game with 14 points, while Miranda Wilson and Sarah Ashley added 13.
Harlan’s Emma Bianchi led the Lady Dragons with a 12-point effort, while Torri Mitchell added 11 and Jordan Brock scored 10.
Corbin will advance to the 2014 KHSAA Girls Sweet Sixteen Tournament at E. A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, where they’ll face 10th Region Champion George Rogers Clark at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Lady Cardinals are 25-7 on the season after knocking off Montgomery County, 56-46, Sunday.
13th Region Girls
At The Corbin Arena
Corbin 59, Harlan 40
Harlan 10 8 7 15 – 40
Corbin 12 15 11 21 – 59
Harlan (40) – Bianchi 12, Mitchell 11, Brock 10, Ledford 4, Jenkins 2, Charles 1.
Corbin (59) – Kayla Wilson 14, Miranda Wilson 13, S. Ashley 13, Jewell 8, Gallagher 6, B. Ashurst 5.
Corbin captures first-ever back-to-back region championships
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