An Enterprise Staff Report
Yet another overwhelming defensive effort sent the Harlan County Lady Bears to a 56-31 victory over Signal Mountain, Tenn., in the opening round of the Smoky Mountain Classic at Gatlinburg-Pittman on Thursday.
Harlan County held Signal Mountain to just one point int he first quarter to jump out to a 16-1 advantage.
“We came out with a lot of energy. As long as we are getting some easy baskets from our defense it seems to make our game flow pretty smooth,” said Harlan County coach Anthony Nolan.
The Lady Bears continued to pull away in the second quarter on their way to a 28-9 lead at the half. Harlan County limited Signal Mountain to three field goals in the first half. Nolan substituted heavily in the opening half, with 11 Lady Bears seeing playing time.
“They had trouble passing through our man defense,” Nolan said. “The kids stayed pretty disciplined. They were patient, so we had to work defensively. They had trouble converting against our defense in the half-court set, but they were very patient.”
The Lady Bears outscored Signal Mountain 28-22 in the final two periods to cruise to the win.
Freshman Brooklyn Massingill paced Harlan County with 18 points, while junior Lauren Lee added eight in the win.
“We went inside early and they started double-teaming, so we kicked it out and they made the open shots,” Nolan said. “We missed some easy shots that we have to learn to convert, but we were pretty balanced and had good ball movement.”
Harlan County (10-0) returns to action today in the tournament semifinals against Moore County, Tenn., at 7 p.m.
Harlan County (56) — Kaitlyn Stittums 2, Brooklyn Massingill 18, Lauren Lee 10, Keisha Mimes 1, Sarah Evans 6, Madison Cornett 4, Shauntae Lewis 7, Bella Noe 6, Lauren Smith 2.
Signal Mountain (31) — Peterson 2, Whitmire 4, Althans 4, Bledsoe 10, Leuin 1, McGowan 10.