By Chris Parsons
WILLIAMSBURG — Following Friday’s 56-52 win over Whitley County in the 50th District Championship game, Corbin Lady Redhounds coach Jennifer Parsons was asked to sum her team’s effort up in as few words as possible.
Without hesitation, her answer – all heart.
That heart and a 17-point showing from Miranda Wilson, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter, is what it took to withstand several second-half runs by the Lady Colonels, who trailed 27-18 at halftime, but battled back to tie the game on two occasions late in the fourth quarter.
“I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty good teams in my time here, but it’s been a while since I’ve coached a team with this much passion,” Parsons said. “There were a few times they could have laid down when Whitley County made their run, but like they’ve done all season, they just refused to give in.
“Everyone played their hearts out, but Miranda Wilson was huge for us down the stretch,” Parsons added. “She tends to struggle against Whitley County, but tonight it seemed like the harder they went after her, the better it made her play and we really needed her tonight.”
On the losing side of things, longtime Lady Colonels coach Larry Anderson was disappointed with the loss, but surprisingly upbeat after the game.
“The sun is going to shine tomorrow and our season isn’t over,” Anderson said. “You always want to win these games, but you know we really aren’t healthy right now.
“We’re in the region tournament and that’s the big picture right now,” he added. “The good news is we’ll have almost a week off to try and get everyone healthy so that maybe we can make a run in the region tournament.”
After a fass start to the first quarter, it looked like the game would be a shootout the whole way. After missing their first four shot attempts, the Lady Redhounds connected on nine of their next 13 to grab a 19-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The pace slowed for both teams in the second period as they shot a combined four-of-18 from the field, allowing Parsons’ squad to stretch the gap to 27-18 at the break.
Corbin stretched the lead to 38-27 with two minutes to play in the third quarter, but a 6-0 run to close the period trimmed the gap to 38-33 with eight minutes to play in the game.
The Lady Redhounds pushed the gap to 42-34 with just under seven minutes to play in the game, but a 9-2 Whitley County run cut the gap to 44-43 before the Lady Colonels eventually tied the game at 45 apiece. It was the first tie since the score was 6-6 early in the first quarter.
From that point, it was all Miranda Wilson. The junior guard scored nine of the final 11 points for the Lady Redhounds. Her free throw with seven seconds to play made it a two-possession game before Corbin pilled out the 56-52 victory.
After the game, Miranda Wilson talked about her nine-of-11 free throw effort in the fourth quarter.
“I’ve worked real hard on my free throws, so I was pretty confident stepping up to the line late in the game,“ she said. “I’m just glad we could get the win because we haven’t won the district in a few years.”
Sarah Ashley added 10 points for Corbin, while Kayla Wilson and Holli Disney scored nine apiece.
Brandi Smith led all scorers with 22 points, while Kandice Craig scored 13.
Both teams will be back in action next week in the 13th Region Tournament at Harlan County High School.
50th District Girls Tournament
at Williamsburg High School
Corbin 56, Whitley County 52
Whitley Co. 12 6 15 19 52
Corbin 19 8 11 18 56
Whitley Co. (52) – Smith 22, Craig 13, Sizemore 6, Powers 5, Johnson 4, Jones 2.
Corbin (56) – Mi. Wilson 17, Ashley 10, Disney 9, K. Wilson 9, Me. Wilson 6, Fothergill 3, Gallagher 2.