TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
WHITLEY COUNTY — The Whitley County Lady Colonels opened their season with a 70-67 win against the Lady Green Dragons of Harlan at Lawson Gymnasium.
The win was Donnie Jones' first as he made his debut as head coach of the Lady Colonels.
Whitley County opened the game with the momentum and jumped out to a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Colonels extended the lead over Harlan to 36-25 at halftime as they outscored their opponent, 21-11, in the second quarter.
Both teams stepped up the offensive pace in the third quarter, but it seemed as though Whitley County was in control of the game, leading by as much as 18 at one point during the second half. However, the momentum would soon take a turn in favor of the Lady Green Dragons.
The Lady Colonels held a 58-46 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter when Harlan's scoring attack picked up. Harlan took advantage of Lady Colonel miscues and clawed their way back to cut the deficit to 67-60 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
A seven-point Whitley County lead would shrink to a three-point margin with 1:07 remaining in regulation. That lead disappeared when Harlan tied things up at 67 with less than :30 to play.
That's when Lady Colonels’ standout Brandi Smith drew a foul and sank one-of-two free throws giving her team a one-point edge at 68-67.
Harlan failed to score on the ensuing possession and Smith would once again find herself at the free-throw line with six seconds on the clock.
Brandi Smith finished with 18 points and Kandace Craig led the scoring attack for Whitley County as she poured in 19 points on the evening.
Head coach Donnie Jones commented on the Lady Colonels performance.
“I was about as shaky nervous as a kid so I guess it's a learning experience for all of us right now,” Jones stated. “We just got a little too rushed there at the end and didn't finish up and took several bad shots. All in all a win's a win and I don't care how it looks.”
Whitley County 70, Harlan 67
Whitley County 15 21 22 12 70
Harlan 14 11 21 21 67
Whitley County (70) – Craig 19, Smith 18, Johnson, 12 Estes, 9 Jones 9, Mahan, 3