Lady Lions hand MHS 55-47 loss

Published 8:27 am Friday, January 19, 2018

It was short surges of offense that aided Pineville during Thursday’s rivalry game against Middlesboro. Small runs throughout the game allowed the Lady Lions to pull away for a 55-47 victory over the Lady Jackets.

For Pineville, it was a much needed victory after dropping back-to-back games to Knox Central and Williamsburg.

“We played well (and) played hard. Anytime you have a rivalry game it gets rough, and everybody plays up,” said Pineville coach Jamie Mills. “We got in foul trouble. (Raigan) and Jill got in foul trouble and that changed us a little bit. At the end, we’ve got to handle the ball better and get some poise.

“We haven’t played in a while. We lost our last two, and we’re not used to that. We bounced back against good competition. That was a good win.”

With Jill Enix and Raigan King spending some time on the bench due to foul trouble, a few of the other girls stepped up their game. Makenzie Fuson ended the night with a double-double after tallying 11 points and 11 rebounds. She also had an assist and a steal.

While Whitney Caldwell was limited to just a single basket from the field, she made up for it at the free-throw line going 7-for-9 to give herself 10 points. She also had three assists, four rebounds and a steal.

Enix finished the game as the leading scorer for Pineville with 16 points. King shot a perfect 100 percent from the field on her way to 12 points.

The loss was Middlesboro’s second straight after losing to Harlan in the 13th Region All A Classic. The Lady Jackets made a push in the fourth quarter, but they didn’t have the time needed to close the gap.

“There were a couple of times they got some runs on us, (and) we weren’t able to come back with points. The first half I had some of my scorers in foul trouble. They were on the bench and that hurt us a little bit,” said Middlesboro coach Bethany Evans. “Pineville kind of played a box-and-one on Hannah (Warren), which hurt us because she is a big scorer for us too.

“We just really couldn’t get anything going on offense there for a little bit. It took us a while. I think they played well tonight. These girls are so used to things not going their way, that now we’re having to learn how to win. We’re putting ourselves in winning situations. We just have to figure out how to finish. I saw good things tonight and we’re getting better. We didn’t quit. They played hard until the end.”

Middlesboro was led by eighth-grader Lakin Burke. She finished with a game-high 20 points off the bench. Baylee Woody added 12 points to the scoreboard while scoring five baskets from the field. Jamayha Poe chipped in 11 points for the Lady Jackets.

The two teams went toe-to-toe in the first quarter with neither team being able to grab more than a four-point lead. A pair of free throws from Enix near the end of the quarter gave Pineville an 11-9 lead heading into the second.

Momentum favored the Lady Lions earlier in the period. A layup by Sarah Combs increased the Pineville lead to 13-9 before a free throw by Woody narrowed the lead to three. Consecutive baskets by Enix gave the Lady Lions a 17-10 lead.

Middlesboro narrowed the deficit to four, 18-14, midway through the quarter after Poe hit a pair of free throws with 4:53 remaining in the half.

Pineville responded with an Enix layup that helped spark a 7-0 run that gave the Lady Lions a 25-14 lead with 1:35 remaining. Fuson capped the run with a pair of free throws.

The Lady Jackets answered with a 5-0 run of their own that was capped by a Poe lay up off a steal that narrowed the lead to 25-19. Free throws from Caldwell with 9.9 seconds left gave Pineville a 27-19 lead heading into halftime.

The Lady Lions grew their lead to double digits twice in the third quarter. The first was at the beginning of the period when Fuson and King hit back-to-back baskets to give Pineville a 31-19 lead with 6:46 remaining.

Baskets from Woody and Burke cut the lead to single digits, 31-24. The Lady Jackets were able to hold the deficit below 10 points until Fuson hit a 3-pointer and layup to give the Lady Lions a 42-31 lead heading into the fourth.

A layup by Enix gave Pineville a 13-point lead, 44-31, early in the final period. The two teams exchanged baskets to keep the deficit at 13 with 5:43 remaining in the game.

A King basket and a free throw from Caldwell gave the Lady Lions their biggest lead of the game at 51-35 with 3:50 left in the fourth. Middlesboro went on a 6-0 run with a Burke jumper cutting the deficit to 51-41 with a little over a minute remaining.

Back-to-back layups from Burke after a pair of Pineville free throws brought the Lady Jackets within single digits, 53-45. A pair of free throws from Poe narrowed the deficit to 53-47 with 6.1 seconds left.

Enix secured the eight-point victory with a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining in the game.

Up Next

Pineville (13-4) has a quick turnaround with the Lady Lions playing Barbourville (6-10) at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Middlesboro (6-9) will host Harlan (8-8) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

———

Pineville 55, Middlesboro 47

PINEVILLE (13-4)

Sarah Combs 2 2-4 6, Jill Enix 4 8-11 16, Raigan King 5 2-3 12, Makenzie Fuson 4 2-2 11, Whitney Caldwell 1 7-9 10. Totals: 16, 21-29 55.

MIDDLESBORO (6-9)

Baylee Woody 5 1-2 12, Jamayha Poe 2 7-11 11, Hannah Warren 1 2-3 4, Mallory Carter 0 0-0 0, Gracie Moles 0 0-0 0, Lakin Burke 7 4-4 20, Kailey Owens 0 0-3 0. Totals: 15 14-23 47.

Pineville 11 16 15 13 — 55

Middlesboro 9 10 12 16 — 47

3-point goals: Pineville 2 (Fuson 1, Caldwell 1), Middlesboro 3 (Burke 2, Woody 1).

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN