PINEVILLE — Coming into Wednesday’s 51st District Tournament semifinal against Pineville, Lynn Camp head coach Richard Jones said he was concerned with the long layoff his Lady Wildcats had to endure.
Even though his squad hadn’t played a game since Feb. 14, the Lady Wildcats were able to put a solid effort together and eventually knock off the host team Pineville Lady Lions, 46-37, to advance to Saturday’s championship game against Knox Central.
“We hadn’t been on the floor for game action since Valentine’s Day, so I was really concerned with how our legs would hold up and if our kids would tire easily,” Jones said. “I was really impressed with the team, especially my seniors the way they held up and fought through this game.
“Miranda Miller didn’t come off the floor at all tonight and she had the ball in her hands probably 75 percent of the time when we were in possession, so that’s the kind of senior leadership we wanted,” he added.
Lynn Camp grabbed a 14-9 at the end of the first quarter and held the same margin, leading 19-14, as the two teams went to the halftime intermission.
Lynn Camp was able to stretch its lead by the slimmest of margins in the third quarter, using a 9-8 effort to take a 28-22 lead as the game headed to the fourth quarter.
Both teams woke up offensively speaking in the fourth quarter, combing for 32 points in the period. Lynn Camp was able to outscore the home team, 17-15, in the quarter to come away with the 46-37 victory.
Pineville’s Autumn Short led all scorers in the game with a 14-point effort, but Lynn Camp’s Brooklyn Bryant paced the Lady Cats to victory with 12 points. Miller added nine for Lynn Camp, while Bradi Coe scored eight, including a pair of 3-pointers.
While Jones said he will focus on Saturday’s finals against in-county rival Knox Central, he admitted that a little bit of the pressure is off his squad, having punched their ticket to next week’s 13th Region Tournament at The Arena in Corbin.
“We want to win that district title, but I’m sure the girls are relieved a little having gotten past this first round,” Jones said. “I know this group of seniors didn’t want to be the group that broke a streak of region tournament appearances, so maybe they’ll loosen up and play a little bit Saturday.
“I know it’s going to be a tough game, but we’ll try a similar game plan to the one we used tonight and see what happens,” he added. “Of course we’ll talk about a few things that need fixed and try to get better from there.”
Lynn Camp will face Knox Central in the 51st District championship game Saturday at 2 p.m. at Pineville High School.