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.
By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Knoxed Out