Lady Lions overcome slow start in win over Harlan

Published 9:50 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

PINEVILLE — With a starting lineup led by two sophomores and a roster with no seniors, the Pineville Lady Lions have been one of the 13th Region’s most pleasant surprises to this point with an 11-8 record following a 57-52 win Friday over visiting Harlan. The Lady Lions’ growing confidence was on display early after fighting back from a nine-point deficit.

“We dug ourselves a hole and this is one of the best signs of maturity I’ve seen. They could have hung their heads and let the game get away from them,” said Pineville coach Jamie Mills. “They are growing up and getting better every game.”

Sophomore guard Whitney Caldwell and sophomore center Raigan King led the Lady Lions, as they have all season, with 23 and 21 points, respectively.

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Senior guards Payeton Charles and Savanna Smith led the 6-16 Lady Dragons with 25 and 13 points, respectively, teaming for 11 of Harlan’s 12 3-pointers.

Harlan’s defense was strong early and the Lady Dragons built an 8-0 lead on 3-pointers by Charles and Smith and a basket by Kaylee Leslie. Caldwell and King broke the drought for Pineville midway through the period, but Smith and Charles each hit another trey as the Lady Dragons took a 16-7 lead at the end of the quarter.

The Lady Dragons lost some intensity on the defensive end with Alli Thompson, Leslie and Natalee King each picking up their second fouls, and it showed on offense as Harlan missed seven shots from the field in the quarter. Caldwell and King each had two baskets in the period as Pineville went on a 9-0 run to pull even. Two free throws by Ella Karst, the only points of the period for Harlan, put the Lady Dragons back on top briefly before Pineville scored the final five points of the half on baskets by Caldwell and King to take a 21-18 halftime lead.

“We wanted to pressure them because we knew we couldn’t get in a halfcourt game against (King) due to her size and strength,” Harlan coach Tiffany Hamm said. “We did a great job the first quarter, but then we lost several to fouls and didn’t have our best offensive lineup in there.”

Pineville pushed its lead to 41-33 by the end of the third quarter as Summer Partin provided a lift with two 3-pointers. Charles and Smith each hit two 3-pointers to keep Harlan in the game.

“We had some girls step up tonight. Summer hit a couple of big shots and Virginia Hall did a great job on (Natalee) King on defense,” Mills said. “These girls are really learning their roles and playing as a team.”

The Lady Lions gave Harlan a chance to rally as they went over three minutes without scoring, but Harlan missed its first 10 shots in the period. Charles heated up down the stretch with three 3-pointers, but Pineville was able to put the game away at the free throw line

Pineville travels to Oneida Baptist on Saturday. Harlan returns to action Feb. 1 in a girls/boys doubleheader at Harlan County.


Aymanni Wynn hit the winning free throw with 11 seconds left as Harlan rallied for a 41-38 win in junior varsity action.

Sophomore guard Ella Morton led the 6-4 Lady Dragons with 13 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Angel Wynn added 11 points. Wynn and Makayla Sizemore scored seven each. Reagan Jones added three.

Mackenzie Widener led Pineville with 16 points. Virginia Hall scored eight, followed by Alyssa Edmonson with six, Jenna Bogucki with five, Makenna Partin with two and Summer Partin with one.


Pineville 57, Harlan 52

HARLAN (6-16)

Payeton Charles 9-27 0-0 25, Savanna Smith 4-10 1-2 13, Natalee King 2-6 2-5 6, Alli Thompson 0-0 0-1 0, Kaylee Leslie 1-1 0-2 2, Ella Karst 1-10 3-5 6, Angel Wynn 0-2 0-0 0, Reagan Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Peighton Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Emma Owens 0-0 0-0 0, Makayla Sizemore 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-56 7-15 52.


Whitney Caldwell 6-14 11-12 23, Virginia Hall 0-6 0-0 0, Chesney Brock 3-5 1-2 7, Summer Partin 2-6 0-0 6, Raigan King 7-11 7-13 21, Jenna Bogucki 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 18-43 19-27 57.

Harlan 16 2 15 19 — 52

Pineville 7 14 20 16 — 57

3-point goals: Harlan 12-34 (Charles 7-17, Smith 4-9, Karst 1-6, King 0-1, Wynn 0-1), Pineville 2-11 (Partin 2-6, Bogucki 0-1, Hall 0-4). Rebounds: Harlan 29 (Smith 7, King 7, Leslie 6, Charles 3, Wynn 3, Karst 1, P. Jones 1, Sizemore 1), Pineville 33 (Caldwell 10, King 9, Brock 6, Partin 6, Hall 2). Turnovers: Harlan 13, Pineville 15. Fouled out: Harlan (Leslie, Thompson).