HARLAN — While it’s still a long way to March, the Corbin Lady Hounds unveiled a 1-2 backcourt punch Monday in an 80-44 season-opening rout of Harlan County that may just be as good as any duo in the 13th Region.
Sophomore guard Kallie Housley, a transfer from Whitley County, hit 13 of 20 shots in a 32-point debut with the Lady Hounds. Senior guard Shelby Stewart, already one of the region’s top players, added 26 points as she hit eight of 17 shots, including four 3-pointers.
“That’s a very good 1-2 punch, and they have other players who fill their roles very well,” said Harlan County coach Anthony Nolan, who is in his first game back with the Lady Bears after six years away. “We missed a lot of easy shots early. We dropped our heads and they kind of feasted on that. That’s one thing we can learn from and build on as we go forward. We were very indecisive tonight and made things too difficult.”
“A lot of people didn’t know about (Housley) as a freshman. She is in a different role for us, and I think she will shine in that role,” Corbin coach Isaac Wilson said. “She is a really good basketball player. She made others better, and that’s what good players do. She may not score 30 every night, but she will make others better, and that’s what makes her special.”
Harlan County struggled mightily against the Lady Hounds’ pressure with 27 turnovers and 26 percent (12 of 47) shooting while Corbin had success in transition off the HCHS mistakes.
“I feel we pieced together little spurts. We won the first quarter by 10 and the second quarter by 10 and just continued to build,” Wilson said. “I think transition was key to the game. We knew we wanted to get out and run, and I think that broke the game open. We got some easy buckets in transition.”
“Corbin played fast and we took quick shots and allowed them to get out on the floor. We didn’t play inside-out and they took advantage of it,” Nolan said. “They played like a veteran team. They really ran the floor well.”
Freshman point guard Ella Karst led the Lady Bears in her HCHS debut with 13 points. Kassy Owens and Kelly Beth Hoskins, both seniors, added eight points each.
Stewart and Housley teamed for six baskets in the first quarter, capitalizing on six Harlan County turnovers to build a 20-10 lead.
Housley hit five of seven shots in the second period, part of a 10-of-17 shooting effort by the Lady Hounds in the quarter as the lead grew to 45-24 by halftime with the help of nine more HCHS turnovers.
Harlan County hit only one of nine shots in the third period as Corbin’s lead grew to 30, at 61-31. Stewart and Reagan Walker each had 3s for the Lady Hounds in the period.
Corbin plays host to McCreary Central on Thursday.