By Chris Parsons
WILLIAMSBURG — For the first time in over a month, Whitley County coach Larry Anderson had a full roster of Lady Colonels at his disposal Tuesday.
Granted, Anderson’s squad wasn’t at 100 percent by any stretch and he said the saying ‘no pain, no gain’ definitely came to mind during Tuesday night’s 43-40 win over South Laurel.
“These kids just came out and played through the pain tonight,” Anderson said. “Not to take anything away from South Laurel, but I would estimate that we were really at about 60 percent health-wise tonight.”
As if it were scripted that way, the game came down to a pair of last-second shots before anything was decided.
The Lady Colonels’ Brandi Smith connected on a three-pointer with :03 to play to put her team up 43-40. The Lady Cardinals had one last chance to inbound the ball and get a shot off, but it was off the mark as Whitley County advanced to the district finals on Friday night.
Though he was happy to have a bench full of players to utilize, Anderson was quick to point that several of his kids probably shouldn’t have even been on the court Tuesday.
“Bethany (Powers) actually had to come out and have her knee worked on at one point, and Brandi is extremely weak right now and maybe should have not played so much, if at all,” he added. “They did a great job though and this was indicative of how they have battled through this season as a team.
“I can’t say enough about the fight in this team,” he added. “They didn’t want this to be their last game, but I wasn’t concerned with that as long as they left everything they had on the court when it was all over, I would’ve been happy either way.”
Both teams struggled offensively throughout the game, but the Lady Cardinals managed to grab an 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and extend the margin to 19-12 at halftime.
The Lady Colonels doubled their first-half output in the third quarter alone, outscoring South Laurel 12-7 in the period to take a brief 22-23 lead, but still trailed 26-24 with eight minutes to play in the game.
As time wound down, the two teams traded the lead five times, thanks to good free throw shooting on both sides.
Smith gave the Lady Colonels a 40-38 lead with :32 to play, but Taylor Arthur tied the game at 40 apiece with two of her game-high 14 points with :18 to play.
Whitley County tried to go inside on the final possession, but the Lady Cardinals’ defense collapsed on Kandice Craig, forcing her to dish to Smith, who had an open look at the go-ahead three-pointer.
“I had a good look and we really like to shoot the three, so I let it go,” Smith said. “It wasn’t the shot we were looking for, but coach tells us if we are open to shoot it and I did.”
South Laurel threw the ball in to Arthur, who got it to Karli Parker at half-court. Parker’s shot was released in time, but it went wide as the horn sounded.
Girls 50th District Tournament Semifinals
at Williamsburg High School
Whitley County 43, South Laurel 40
South Laurel 8 11 7 14 40
Whitley County 7 5 12 19 43
South Laurel (40) — Arthur 14, Clonce 13, Johnson 9, Baker 2, Reynolds 2.
Whitley County (43) — Smith 11, Dingess 10, Powers 8, Johnson 6, Sizemore 4, Craig 2, Jones 2.
Brandi Smith's three-pointer with three seconds remaining gives Whitley Co. 43-40 win
By Chris Parsons
- Local Sports
It’s hard to imagine anybody as big as Corbin head coach Jason McDaniel having any trouble filling shoes.
Here we go again
It'll be a matchup between two of the most historic programs in the 13th Region tonight when the Clay County Tigers defend their 13th Region title against the Corbin Redhounds.
The Way It Is
We’re not even through with the 2013-14 season yet, but it’s never too early to talk about next season. Since we’ve crowned a 13th Region champion on the girls’ side of things, let take a glimpse of what might be for the 2014-15 campaign.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
Well, here we are, Corbin vs. Clay County for the right to see who will represent the 13th Region next week at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
For the seventh time in the last 10 seasons, the Corbin Redhounds are headed to the 13th Region finals, after their 56-48 win over the Bell County Bobcats in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Like It or Not
I hate to steal an idea, but I guess in the end that's what everyone seems to be doing these days. After reading Les Dixon’s list of what he thought were the top five upsets in recent memory of the 13th Region Tournament, I decided to rank my top five basketball movies in today's column. With that said, here goes.
Williamsburg sees Cinderella run come to an end
For the third straight year, the Clay County Tigers are playing for the 13th Region Championship and the opportunity to play in the Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena, after their 79-58 victory over the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
- 13th Region Tournament Schedule
Clay County, Bell County fall in semifinal round
Both Corbin and Harlan had to withstand battles during the 13th Region semifinals, but when all was said and done, they both won, punching tickets into the finals of the 13th Region Girls Tournament title game.
Pick Up Game
Six straight 50th District titles and a 10-game winning streak were not enough to place the Corbin Redhounds as the favorite heading into their matchup with the Jackson County Generals in the first round of the 13th Region Tournament.
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