Bell County tops Middlesboro, advances to district finals

Published 7:08 pm Monday, February 18, 2019

After falling to Middlesboro in their two match-ups of the regular season, the Bell County Lady Bobcats defeated the Lady Jackets 57-46 in the opening round of the 52nd district tournament, hosted by Bell County.

Led by Abby Cornett with 16 points and Ashtyn Meyers with 11 points, the Lady Cats advance to the 52nd district championship game against Harlan County.

Kailey Owens led Middlesboro with 18 points.

Email newsletter signup

Bell County’s Cornett shot the lights out in the first quarter, hitting three three-pointers, giving the Lady Cats the early advantage, 11-4. Bell County limited Middlesboro to just seven points in the opening quarter, while forcing five turnovers. At the first quarter buzzer, the Lady Bobcats held a 14-7 advantage.

Bell County continued to play well offensively in the second quarter, opening on a 6-3 run to increase the lead to 20-10. The Lady Cats later capitalized on two steals and scored two quick buckets on fast breaks to bring the score the 24-13. The Lady Cats closed the half outscoring the Lady Jackets 7-4, capped off by a reverse lay-up from Abby Harris, to take a 31-17 lead at the half.

Middlesboro opened the third quarter on a 12-3 run, including two big three-pointers from Aubrey Sowders and Grace Gent, bringing the score to within single digits, 34-29. Bell County answered with baskets from Sara Kidwell and Cornett to extend the lead to 38-29 with two and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter. Outscoring the Lady Cats 14-9 in the period, the Lady Jackets pulled the game to within a manageable margin at 40-31 heading into the fourth quarter.

Each team opened with a 3-point basket in the final quarter, bringing the score to 43-34 in favor of the Lady Cats. Bell County went on a 9-2 run in two minutes to extend its lead to 52-36 with just over two minutes remaining.

Middlesboro outscored Bell County 10-4 in the final minute and a half, but it wasn’t enough.

Bell County (13-16) (57) — Abby Cornett 16, Ashtyn Meyers 11, Makenzie Griffin 1, Brea Browning 6, Abby Harris 9, Sara Kidwell 11, Ashley Middleton 3.

Middlesboro (12-18) (46) — Kailey Owens 18, Baylee Woody 8, Grace Gent 3, Grace Gent 5, Brittany Davis 5, Aubrey Sowders 7.