By John Henson
For the Times-Tribune
Bell County overcame a bad first quarter and an inspired comeback by Lynn Camp in the fourth quarter to advance in the 13th Region Tournament.
After hitting only one of 14 shots in the opening period, Bell County found itself down 6-4. The Lady Cats recovered to build a 16-point lead before Lynn Camp reeled off 11 straight points to get as close as five.
Bell County finally pulled away for good in the final three minutes to win 57-44 and advance to a semifinal matchup Saturday afternoon against Whitley County.
“They never quit,” Bell County coach David Teague said of Lynn Camp. “We went a little nuts and started throwing it away some. We told them they would keep coming after us, and I thought at times we didn’t handle it well. Luckily, we made enough free throws and plays down the stretch to hold them off.”
Bell County improved to 26-5 as guards Morgan Garnett, Maci Morris and Jessica Sanders combined for 40 points. Garnett led the way with 15, while Morris had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Sanders contributed 11 points.
They never quit. Bell County has an excellent team, but if we could have made a few more shots maybe we could have scared them a little more,” Lynn Camp coach Richard Jones said. “Bell County has a legitimate shot to win this thing. I think these girls have brought our program up another level. We have to learn to win, but we’re getting there.”
Lynn Camp completed the best season in school history with a 23-10 record.
“Since about a week after the state tournament, these girls would come down and run drills. None of them missed a day during the summer,” said Jones, who was not surprised that his Lady Cats fought back in the fourth quarter. “I’ve seen us get behind Barbourville and Knox Central and battle back. These girls never give up.”
Senior guard Kayla Smith scored 16 points and junior forward Heather Wilson added 10 to lead Lynn Camp.
Garnett’s three-pointer was the only field goal for Bell in the opening quarter as Lynn Camp took the lead on baskets by Jessica May and Smith.
“We settled for way too many jump shots,” Teague said. “I was trying to get them to attack. We've worked against that in practice because I felt they would play a zone of some sort. We were rushing instead of being set and penetrating and kicking it out. But give them credit because they did a good job defensively. And our defense allowed us not to be behind by eight or 10 at that point, so I was happy with that."
Sanders hit two three-pointers and Garnett added one in a 9-0 run that put Bell ahead in the second quarter. Garnett and Sanders each had two baskets in the period as Bell built a 22-13 lead by halftime.
“I think we missed six wide open shots in the first half. Defensively, I thought we had a good gameplan, but we left Sanders open a couple of times and went from one up to five down just like that,” said Jones.
Led by three baskets from Garnett, Bell pushed its lead to 39-26 heading into the fourth quarter. A field goal by Morris stretched Bell’s advantage to 16 before Lynn Camp made it interesting.
Wilson hit a three-pointer to start the 11-0 run, which also included baskets off turnovers by Smith and Miranda Miller. Smith’s two free throws cut the deficit to 42-37 with 3:35 left.
A basket by Katrina Johnson on an out of bounds play broke the Lynn Camp run. Morris hit six straight free throws helped Bell pull away for the win.
The first round concludes tonight at Harlan County High School as Harlan County plays Barbourville and Corbin takes on North Laurel.
13th Region Girls Tournament
at Harlan County High School
Bell County 57, Lynn Camp 44
Lynn Camp 6 7 13 18 44
Bell County 4 18 17 18 57
Lynn Camp (44) – Smith 16, Burke 6, Wilson 10, Miller 5, May 9.
Bell County (57) – Sanders 11, Garnett 15, Morris 14, Smith 2, Johnson 9.
Lynn Camp eliminated after falling to Bell County 57-44
By John Henson
- 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.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Sunday Best