By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
BARBOURVILLE — The Barbourville Lady Tigers achieved one of their season goals Thursday night, knocking off Lynn Camp, 61-57, to lock up the top seed in the upcoming 51st District Tournament.
Barbourville’s Amber Mills led all scorers with 22 points, while Lynn Camp’s Jessica May helped her team’s cause with a 21-point showing.
Kelsey and Kara Erslan scored 17 and 14 points, respectively
The game went as expected for both coaches, back-and-forth for most of the way before coming down to the final minute with nothing settled.
The Lady Tigers were able to knock down several key free throws as time wound down, including one after a technical foul against Lynn Camp coach Richard Jones. Barbourville coach Andrea Hillard said she was proud of her team for the way they kept their composure and played until the final horn went off.
“We knew what was coming because we know Lynn Camp and they know us,” Hillard said. “I was really pleased with the way our kids played the entire game and you know, it’s taken this group a good two years to learn that you have to do that.
“This was a big win for us because it gives us that top spot in the district tournament,” Hillard added. “We’re happy to have that top spot, but I’ve stressed to the girls that just because we’re in that position, doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier.”
As for the Lady Wildcats, head coach Richard Jones said that despite the loss he was pleased with his team’s effort in what he said was a physical contest.
“We started out bad and we were able to come back and stay with them,” Jones said. “I think these two teams are about as evenly matched as two teams can be, so you know what you’re getting when we face each other. I just hope we get to meet them in the district finals.
“I felt like our kids did a good job in certain situations, but we’ve said all year that if we can get them to play a full 32 minutes, they will be a pretty good team,” he added.
Barbourville trailed 16-15 after the first quarter, but the Lady Wildcats used a 15-11 second-quarter effort to grab a 31-26 lead at halftime.
The Lady Tigers turned the tables in the third period, turning a five-point lead into a two-point lead (43-41) by the time the third quarter was over.
Barbourville managed to outscore their opponent 18-16 in the final eight minutes to grab the 61-57 win.
The Lady Tigers will have a week off before hosting Jellico, Tenn. next Thursday, while Lynn Camp will travel to Corbin to face the Lady Redhounds tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Barbourville 61, Lynn Camp 57
Lynn Camp 16 15 10 16 57
Barbourville 15 11 17 18 61
Lynn Camp (57) – May 21, Smith 13, Miller 6, Hollin 6, Wilson 6, Burke 3, Bryant 2.
Barbourville (61) – Mills 22, Ke. Erslan 17, Ka. Erslan 14, Liford 6, Hicks 2.