By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
LYNN CAMP — The Corbin Lady Redhounds took the first step toward defending their 13th Region Championship from last year with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-13 and 25-4) win over Harlan Monday.
Despite the fact they were able to cruise to the win in straight set, Corbin coach Liberty Roberts said she was concerned with the way her team started the first set against the Lady Dragons.
“Sometimes the girls get it in their mind that they don’t have to play hard with certain opponents and that is something I’m really trying to get them to move past,” Roberts said. “They should play every game like they’re fighting for a point and they don’t yet.
“I think they picked it up in that last set,” she added. “I told them that we’ve got one practice between now and the championship game, if we make it, so we’ve got to pick it up.”
Harlan jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, but the Lady Redhounds were able to restore order by tying things up at five apiece. From that point, Corbin used a 14-3 run to take a commanding 19-8 lead.
Harlan was able to trim the gap a few times, but the Lady Redhounds closed the set out for the 25-14 win.
The two teams traded points in the early stages of the second set, but Corbin was able to grab the momentum and eventually seal the 25-13 win.
The third set was one of the most dominant efforts the Lady Redhounds have put forth all season, sprinting out to a 16-0 lead before Harlan coach Tara Posey used a mass substitution, benching every starter for a bench player, to try and get back in the match.
The Lady Dragons were able to rally for a few points after the switch, but in the end, Corbin was too much as they closed things out for the 25-4 win.
“Like I said, we were able to get things together in the third set and play a little more like ourselves,” Roberts said. “That’s something we have to work on if we want to continue to get better.”
After arriving early to take in some of the first match between Jackson County and Knox Central, Roberts said she feels like her team will match up well against the Lady Generals when they meet in the semifinals Wednesday.
“We’ve played them this year and we know they are a good team,” she said. “They can play a few different ways and either way, our kids have to come out and play their best to get the win.”
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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.
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