By John Middleton For The Times-Tribune
HARLAN — Harlan’s offense could have taken the night off Monday and the Lady Dragons would likely still have been fine against visiting Lynn Camp. Harlan forced 22 turnovers, while limiting the Lady Cats to just nine made shots from the field in a 52-24 win.
“I think we have played pretty good defense throughout the year. Tonight, our defense held them in check early on,” said Harlan coach Derrick Akal.
Lynn Camp’s Merita Burke scored the game’s opening basket, but the Lady Cats’ lead was short-lived as Jourdan Ledford put the Lady Dragons up with a trey. Ledford had eight points in the opening period as Harlan took a 14-8 advantage. The junior guard finished with 16 points and six rebounds in one of her better outings of the season.
“Jourdan was aggressive on both ends. She has always been a really good defender. I think she rebounded the ball well tonight,” Akal said.
Harlan began to pull away in the second quarter. The Lady Dragons held Lynn Camp to four points and forced six turnovers while building a 15-point lead at the half. The Lady Cats trailed by just six after a bucket from Burke, but Ledford answered with a basket on the opposite end to start a 9-0 run to close the period. Eighth-grader Emma Bianchi had six of her 15 points in the second quarter to power the run.
The Lady Dragons continued to pull away in the third quarter. Harlan forced eight more turnovers in the period to push the lead to 19 points. Ledford and Bianchi each had four points in the third as the Lady Dragons took a 37-18 advantage into the final period.
Senior Kelly Cox had all six of her points in the fourth quarter as the lead grew to 28 points. Lynn Camp continued to struggle on the offensive end, and Heather Wilson had the only field goal in the period for the Lady Cats. Wilson finished with seven points to lead the team.
“They are getting used to each other. A lot of these girls had never played together,” Akal said. “As the season goes on I think the girls are getting a little better chemistry and know where each other wants the ball. That helps a lot.”
Harlan 52, Lynn Camp 24
Harlan (52) – Brock 6, Ledford 16, Charles 1, Mitchell 4, Bianchi 15, Cox 6, Jenkins 2, Wilson 2.
Lynn Camp (24) – Smith 4, Miller 3, Burke 2, Wilson 7, May 6, Bryant 2.