TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

March 6, 2014

Like It or Not

Chris Parsons

CORBIN — After a perfect opening night when it came to picking winners, Les Dixon and I both struggled in the second night of action. Despite the losses by Barbourville and Whitley County on Wednesday evening, neither of the two eliminations were all that surprising when you look at the way this season has played out. Barbourville has been an up and down team, but has played as hard as any team this season. Whitley County has been as good as any team in the 13th Region all year, but always seems to have trouble when it comes to Clay County. Hats off to Clay County head coach James Burchell for a super effort against the Lady Colonels.

The bad news for Barbourville and Whitley County is that both teams have to say goodbye to several top-notch seniors. As far as giving them credit where credit is due, I really don't know where to start.

Some people will argue that with a group of seniors as large as Barbourville had, maybe they should have a little more as far as success goes, but I'm not one of them. Winning is something that you not only learn to do as a team, but as a program as well. Kara and Kelsey Erslan, Kalan Liford, Amber Mills, Laken Wollum and Teah Jordan have meant more to the Lady Tigers' program than most people can imagine. This particular group, along with coach Andrea Hillard, has come a long way as far as knowing how to win. Consecutive 51st District Championships over the past two seasons speak volumes if you ask me. It's been a long time coming for the Lady Tigers when it comes to the success like they've seen over the past two seasons and hopefully they'll stand their ground over the next few years as well.

As for Whitley County, Kandace Craig, Mariah Johnson and Brandi Smith have not only been three of the best players to come through the program, they've been three of the finest young ladies to cover over the past few years. The've each been down right vicious on the basketball court, but you won't find a nicer trio of young ladies when it comes to respect not only for the game, but in general. Craig became a member of Whitley County's 1,000-point club this season, while Smith became the the second player in program history to reach the 2,000-point mark. Heather Taylor was the other one, if that tells you anything about where she stands. Whitley County head coach Donnie Jones has done a great job this season taking over the program and you can expect the Lady Colonels to be contenders for the next few season as well.

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