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Lady Panthers triumph over Harlan

Tiffany Hamm now has Exhibit A, under the Knox Central game file, for her case against the Harlan Lady Dragons continuing their fascination with 3-pointers.

Harlan had eight more field goals than visiting Knox Central on Monday but watched the Lady Panthers grind out a 59-56 victory by following the gameplan that Hamm has touted since she arrived as coach in the spring. The Lady Panthers hit 29 of 43 free throws by attacking the basket. Harlan shot only 15 free throws while launching 22 3-pointers and missing 18.

“I felt we settled for too many 3-pointers, and we’re not a good shooting 3-point team,” Hamm said. “Our girls have to work on other aspects of their games. When the going gets a little tough, they fall back into old habits.”

Harlan raced to an 11-3 lead as Knox Central missed its first six shots and turned the ball over seven times in the first seven minutes. The Lady Panthers battled back, pulling ahead by four by halftime and by as many as eight in the third quarter. Harlan pulled ahead twice in the fourth quarter but struggled to execute with the game on the line, turning the ball over on several crucial possessions down the stretch.

Freshman guard Presley Partin scored 21 points and junior center Emily Davis added 16 points as the Lady Panthers improved to 5-2, one of the 13th Region’s most improved teams in the early part of the season.

Senior forward Mackenzie King scored 22 points and senior guard Noah Canady added 11 for the 3-5 Lady Dragons.

With Knox Central up by six with five minutes left, King completed a three-point play and her sister, Natalee, hit a 3-pointer to pull Harlan even. Another 3 by Mackenzie King gave Harlan the lead. Two free throws by Canady put Harlan up by two before Knox Central reeled off five straight points.

Taylor Simpson’s basket with 19 seconds left pulled Harlan within one. Maddie Pennington pushed the lead to three with two free throws. Canady missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Harlan returns to action Tuesday at home against Corbin.

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Eighth-grade guards Katie Broughton and Zoey Liford scored 16 and 12 points, respectively, as Knox Central won 34-21 in junior varsity action.

Angel Wynn and Kaylee Leslie scored six points each for the 0-5 Lady Dragons. Alli Thompson chipped in with five. Raegan Jones and Paighton Jones added two each.

Harlan lost 64-12 in junior varsity action at North Laurel. Leslie scored six for the Lady Dragons, followed by Paighton Jones with three, Ella Morton with two and Wynn with one.

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Knox Central 59, Harlan 56

KNOX CENTRAL (5-2)

Presley Partin 5-11 9-13 21, Morgan Warren 1-4 1-2 3, Ryleigh Swafford 0-2 1-2 1, Madison Taylor 0-5 0-0 0, Emily Davis 3-9 10-13 16, Abby Mills 3-6 4-9 10, Maddie Pennington 2-5 4-4 8. Totals: 14-42 29-43 59.

HARLAN (3-5)

Payeton Charles 2-8 0-0 5, Noah Canady 4-13 2-2 11, Natalee King 2-8 1-3 6, Mackenzie King 9-17 3-8 22, Brandi Haywood 2-2 0-0 4, Taylor Simpson 2-6 2-2 6, Whitney Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, Katelyn Burkhart 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 22-57 8-15 56.

Knox Central 11 17 15 13 — 56

Harlan 14 10 14 21 — 59

3-point goals: Knox Central 2-8 (Partin 2-4, Warren 0-1, Pennington 0-1, Mills 0-2), Harlan 4-22 (Charles 1-4, N. King 1-4, M. King 1-4, Canady 1-6, Burkhart 0-1, Simpson 0-3). Rebounds: Knox Central 31 (Swafford 15, Pennington 5, Davis 4, Partin 3, Taylor 3, Mills 1), Harlan 30 (M. King 8, N. King 6, Canady 5, N. King 3, Wilson 3, Simpson 2, Burkhart 2, Charles 1). Turnovers: Knox Central 17, Harlan 14. Fouled out: Harlan (Charles, N. King).