CORBIN — An 86-69 loss in the Cumberland Falls Invitational has the Harlan Lady Dragons off to one of the most promising 0-2 starts in recent memory. Just two nights after nearly knocking off 13th Region power Whitley County, the Lady Dragons found themselves in a similar position against defending regional champion Corbin.
Harlan found itself down by just one in the fourth quarter against the senior-dominated Lady Hounds, before fading in the final six minutes. With their second loss, the Lady Dragons have likely discovered they aren’t that far behind the region’s top teams, and that freshman Jordan Brock is emerging as one of the region’s elite players.
“You have to play them any way. If you get out here and compete against them at least you know where you stand. Coming out of next week — we have Clay and Bell next week — we will know where we stand,” said Harlan coach Derrick Akal.
Brock turned in arguably the best performance of her young career against Corbin. The freshman point guard poured in 30 points, after scoring 25 against Whitley. Brock kept the Lady Dragons close early in the final period — scoring the Lady Dragons’ first 10 points in the quarter.
There were seven lead changes in the first quarter as the teams exchanged baskets. A pair of free throws from senior Jourdan Ledford gave the Lady Dragons their biggest lead at 16-11. Corbin rallied to tie the game heading into the second. Sarah Ashley drained a 3-pointer as time expired to knot it up at 18.
Corbin began to pull away early in the second quarter. Miranda Wilson hit a pair of free throws to give the Lady Hounds a seven-point lead. This time, Harlan rallied to close the quarter. Ledford and Shanae Thomas each had four points in the final minutes as Harlan closed on an 8-1 run to tie the game at 34 at the half.
Torri Mitchell found Ledford for a basket with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter to give the Lady Dragons a four point lead. Harlan maintained the lead late in the period, but Corbin’s Miranda Wilson hit a jumper with eight second left to put the Lady Hounds up 56-55.
The Lady Dragons were unable to overcome the deficit in the fourth quarter, as Corbin pulled away. The Lady Hounds outscored Harlan 30-14 in the final period. HHS allowed 50 points in the second half of Wednesday’s contest. The Lady Dragons committed 19 turnovers, with six of those coming in the fourth quarter.
“You can’t turn the ball over like that against the better teams in the region. If we are going to be able to compete against the better teams in the region we have to be able to take care of the basketball,” Akal said.
Harlan returns to action Friday in the Cumberland Falls Invitational against Pulaski Southwestern at Corbin.
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CORBIN (86) — Miranda Wilson 24, Kayla Wilson 10, Brooklyn Ashurst 2, Sarah Ashley 12, Natalye Gallagher 6, Jaclyn Jewell 15, Melanie Wilson 9, Meghann Blackburn 8, Kaitlyn Waddle 0, Tori Baker 0.
HARLAN (69) — Jordan Brock 30, Jourdan Ledford 17, Masie Charles 0, Emma Bianchi 5, Mackenzie King 6, Torri Mitchell 7, Katie King 0, Leah Evans 0, Shanae Thomas 4.