By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
Girls Player of the Week
Lynn Camp’s Kayla Smith turned in a fantastic week, scoring 82 points during the Lady Wildcats’ perfect 4-0 week.
Boys Player of the Week
Go no further than Jackson County’s Steven Wagers, who came up huge with 27 points during the Generals’ 86-85 triple overtime win against North Laurel this past week.
A team on a mission
The Harlan County Black Bears look to be the real deal this season after starting the 2012-13 campaign with an unbeaten 4-0 mark. The Black Bears have high expectations this season with hopes of winning the program’s first-ever 13th Region Tournament game and 13th Region championship.
You’ve got to give credit
where credit is due
Andrea Hillard’s Barbourville Lady Tigers are off to their best start (5-0) in recent memory and will have a big test Thursday on the road against Corbin.
Harlan County (4-0) and Clay County (4-0) are the two lone teams remaining with a perfect record while five teams remain perfect on the girls’ side with Harlan County leading the way with a 6-0 record. Bell County (5-0), Barbourville (5-0), Whitley County (4-0) and Clay County (2-0) are also unbeaten.
Game of the year in the 13th Region?
I know it’s early, but the showdown between 49th District rivals North Laurel and Jackson County had all of the ingredients for game of the year. First off, it took three overtimes to get a winner. Second off, both teams gave it their all on the hardwood and if you were in attendance, you know you got your money’s worth.
The game had a regional final-type atmosphere to it and it also had a last-second buzzer beater by North Laurel’s Marcus Carson to force overtime. Then Jackson County’s Austin Whitehead canned a three-pointer to send the game into another overtime and
Mike Jones’ Harlan County Black Bears jumped out to a 25-4 lead against Lee, Va. and never looked back during their 76-38 win. Harlan County forced 40 turnovers during the win.
That’s right 40.
As one of the state's youngest coaches, Anthony Nolan earned his first victory as the Cawood High School boys coach over Thomas Walker, Va., in the 1995 Middlesboro Invitational Tournament.
Victory No. 300 came 17 years later in a 54-38 win Monday at Pineville. Nolan was 210-132 in 12 years at Cawood and is 90-33 in his fifth year with the Lady Bears.
First win as a Green Dragon
Former Evarts’ coach David Parks picked up his first win as the Harlan Green Dragon coach when his team defeated Riverside Christian, 63-11, Thursday.
1,000 point milestone
Barbourville junior Kara Erslan recorded her 1,000th point during Saturday’s 69-40 win over Richmond Model.
With starting center Andrew Griffith out due to an injury, Williamsburg coach Patrick Robinson has made it no secret that his team is going to use the three-point shot to its advantage for the time being. The Yellow Jackets did just that during its season-opening win against Lynn Camp by draining 14-three-pointers, which included seven made threes from Skyler Griffith. They added 12 more three-pointers during their 82-77 overtime loss to Pineville on Friday.
Region’s most underrated player?
Lynn Camp’s Kayla Smith continues to be one of the most underrated players in the 13th Region, but she might not be for long. The senior sharpshooter turned in a game-high 33-point effort to lead the Lady Wildcats past Jenkins Friday, 75-58.
The Cavaliers didn’t have an answer for Smith, who scored 20 points in the first half and finished the game with three three-pointers while knocking down 10-of-16 shot attempts from the free-throw line.
Big games of the Week
Whitley County at Clay County (today)
South Laurel at Corbin (today)
Hazard at Harlan County (today)
Barbourville at Corbin (Thursday)
Pineville at Barbourville (today)
South Laurel at Corbin (Tuesday)
Boyle County at Clay County (Tuesday)
North Laurel at Harlan County (Wednesday)
Clay County at Knox Central (Thursday)
Corbin at Trinity (Friday)
Pineville at Middlesboro (Friday)
Harlan County at South Laurel (Saturday)
Girls highlights of the week
Knox Central’s Jenna Mills is living up to the hype by delivering a 27-point scoring effort during the Lady Panthers’ 38-36 win over Middlesboro Monday. If you go a step closer, Mills accounted for 71 percent of Knox Central’s points during the two-point win.
Clay County’s Cheyenne Madden scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds during the Lady Tigers’ 70-33 win over Harlan Monday. Morgan Chesnut scored 17 points while Sara Robinson scored 14 points and finished with seven rebounds in the win.
Brooklyn Massingill and Sarah Evans played a big role in Harlan County’s win Monday by combining to score 29 points during the Lady Black Bears’ 54-38 win over Pineville. Massingill scored 15 points while Evans added 14 points.
Williamsburg’s Tarrah Davis had an impressive showing during the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 69-52 road loss to Pulaski County on Monday. She dished out a team-best 20 points against the Lady Maroons.
Harlan County’s Brooklyn Massingill continued her impressive play by scoring 18 points during the Lady Black Bears’ 59-23 win over Thomas Walker, Va.
Whitley County’s Brandi Smith and South Laurel’s Taylor Arthur each had fantastic games during a Tuesday meeting between the Lady Colonels and Lady Cardinals. Smith’s 20-point effort helped pave the way for a 67-44 win over the Lady Cardinals, as Arthur finished with a game-high 23 points.
Bell County’s Maci Morris turned in the region’s first triple-double of the season by turning in a 17 point, 11 rebound and 10 assist effort during the Lady Bobcats’ 78-45 win over Corbin Tuesday. Teammate Morgan Garnett scored a game-high 18 points while Corbin’s Sarah Ashley finished the contest with 15 points.
Lynn Camp’s Heather Wilson scored 15 points while Kayla Smith scored 13 points during the Lady Wildcats’ 39-37 win over Williamsburg Tuesday.
Lynn Camp’s Kayla Smith added another solid performance on Wednesday during the Lady Wildcats’ 57-44 win over the Kilsyth (Australia) Cobras. She turned in an impressive 19-point effort in the win while Breanna Hollin played a big role by knocking down two three-pointers while scoring eight points.
The Barbourville Lady Tigers got off to one of their best starts in school history by improving to 4-0 on the season with an impressive 71-64 win over 51st District rival Pineville on Thursday. Barbourville's Kelsey Erslan recorded a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor while Kara Erslan finished with 22 points and six rebound while hitting three-of-three from three-point range. Pineville’s Devin Enix also turned in a stellar effort by going five-for-six from three-point range while scoring 23 points. Teammate Annalee Adams added 21 points in the loss.
The North Laurel Lady Jaguars were able to pick up their first win of the season, cruising past Jackson County 53-28 in a 49th District contest.