Lady Jackets drop All A opener to Harlan

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, January 5, 2023


Contributing writer

It was a struggling start to the Middlesboro-Harlan game in the opener of the 13th Region All “A” Classic at Harlan on Monday.

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Harlan managed to take advantage of 30 Lady Jacket turnovers as the Lady Dragons advanced to the semifinals with a 54-23 victory.

“I think it’s an important tournament for any All “A” school, and our goal was to win three games. This is one of them,” said Harlan coach Tiffany Hamm-Rowe. “Our goal is to win this tournament.”

Harlan took a 7-5 lead when Middlesboro coach Sally Adams called a timeout. Rowe used the opportunity to encourage her team to pick up its intensity on the defensive end.

Kylie Noe and Aymanni Wynn combined for nine straight points as Harlan took control, forcing the Lady Jackets into 10 opening-quarter turnovers.

“I was glad she called it because I didn’t want to burn one that early,” said Rowe. “I thought we might come out a little rusty. We just wanted to continue to play defense while the offense started a little rough.”

Wynn powered the balanced Harlan attack with 15 points and six rebounds. Leah Davis and Noe each scored 12 points. Emma Owens finished with 11. Peyshaunce Wynn and Annie Hoskins each had two.

Up 19-8 after one quarter, Harlan outscored Middlesboro 15-2 in the second quarter. Noe hit all three of her shots and Davis connected on two of three as the Lady Dragons’ lead grew to 34-10 by halftime.

The Lady Dragons opened the third quarter with a 14-3 run, capped by two baskets from Wynn, to start a running clock with 2:55 left in the period. Harlan led 52-16 going into the fourth quarter as reserves for both sides finished the game.

Sophomore guard Keevi Betts scored seven points and Halaya Brown added six and six rebounds to lead the Lady Jackets. Jenna Baker and Addison Larew each collected three. Emily Lambert scored two while Morgan Martin and Millie Roberts each added one.

The Lady Dragons outrebounded Middlesboro 30-23.

Harlan (5-7) played Barbourville (2-6) in the semifinals on Friday at 6. The Lady Tigers advanced with a 56-50 win over Williamsburg (7-4) in the opening game Monday.

Jackson County (11-2) rolled to a 72-29 win over Lynn Camp (3-9) on Tuesday.

Pineville was scheduled to play Red Bird, but the Lady Cardinals are not fielding a team this year.

The 10-4 Lady Lions advanced to the semifinals against Jackson County on Thursday. The championship game was slated for Friday.

Middlesboro (1-10) plays host to June Buchanan (3-4) today at 3:30 p.m.

The Lady Jackets will host Barbourville on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) and Harlan County on Friday in the first game of a district doubleheader against Harlan County at 6.