An Enterprise Staff Report
The Harlan County Lady Bears held off a late Barbourville charge for a 45-38 win on the first day of the Candy Cane Classic at South Laurel on Thursday.
Senior Madison Cornett had all eight of her points in the first half, as Harlan County took a 10-point lead at the break. Cornett also had nine rebounds to lead the Lady Bears in the win.
“Madison has been pretty consistent for us. She is looking to take the open shot, making good passes and is really helping us out with her rebounding too,” said Harlan County coach Anthony Nolan.
Harlan County outscored Barbourville 13-9 in the third quarter to extend its lead to 14 heading into the final period. The Lady Bears were limited to six points in the fourth quarter, but were never seriously threatened.
“After we got that lead I think we relaxed in the fourth quarter and let them hit a couple of shots to get back in it,” Nolan said. “We were a little rusty offensively, but played pretty good defensively. The shots they made were challenged jumpshots for most part. We just made a lot of careless mistakes with the ball.”
Junior Lauren Lee hit six-of-seven shots from the field to pace the Lady Bears with 12 points.
“Lauren is playing with a lot of confidence right now. She is looking to get her shot. Her eyes light up when teams focus on other players,” Nolan said. “She had a good overall floor game, and distributed the ball well.”
Harlan County (12-1) will face Somerset today at 6 p.m. The Lady Briarjumpers edged South Laurel 40-34 on Thursday. Barbourville (9-2) will meet Upperman (Tenn.) 2 p.m.
Harlan Co. 14 12 13 6 — 45
Barbourville 9 7 9 13 — 38
Harlan County (45) — Kaitlyn Stittums 6, Brooklyn Massingill 10, Lauren Lee 12, Madison Cornett 8, Sarah Evans 4, Keisha Mimes 5, Bella Noe 0.
Barbourville (38) — K.K. Liford 1, Amber Mills 1, Brianna Tate 9, Kara Erslan 11, Kelsey Erslan 12, Tyra bunch 2, Madison Hicks 2.