By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
MIDDLESBORO — The Whitley County Lady Colonels took advantage of a 32-point effort by senior guard Brandi Smith Tuesday, picking up the team’s 21st win of the season in a 69-56 victory over Middlesboro.
Kandace Craig added 21 to help lead the way as the Lady Colonels did most of their damage in the first half, opening up a 45-27 lead at the break.
While he was pleased with his team’s effort overall, Whitley County head coach Donnie Jones admitted he was concerned with how his team came out of the locker room after halftime. He was quick to take the blame though, adding that he may try to change things up on his own.
“We’re playing well in spurts, but we’re not being consistent for an entire game right now,” Jones said. “We came out in the third quarter and we seemed to be flat for some reason.
“I guess it may be my halftime talk, so maybe I’m going to have to change something up while we’re in there,” he added. “Brandi (Smith) had a really nice game and was able to pretty much do what she wanted to and we played well as a team, so we were pleased with the win.”
Middlesboro was able to trim the gap by the slimmest of margins in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Colonels 15-14 in the period, but still trailed 59-42 with eight minutes to play in the contest.
The Lady Yellow Jackets continued to outpace Jones’ squad in the fourth quarter, using a 14-10 effort to cut the gap to 69-56 by game’s end.
Whitley County will be back in action Thursday when the Lady Colonels host Clay County at 7:30 p.m. Jones said he’s hopeful that his team can continue to play well as the regular season winds down and postseason play approaches.
“We need to maintain some positive momentum throughout these last few games,” Jones said.
Whitley County 69, Middlesboro 56
Whitley Co. 19 26 14 10 – 69
Middlesboro 10 17 15 14 – 56
Whitley Co. (69) – Smith 32, Craig 21, Dingess 4, Johnson 3, Estes 3, Jones 2, Hickey 2, Feltner 2.
Middlesboro (59) – Hensley 16, Green 15, Spurlock 13, Biscardi 5, Warren 5, Thompson 2.