Lady Dragons make plays, edge Corbin
Going to a spread offense with only a three-point lead and six minutes to play Tuesday was something of a gamble by first-year Harlan coach Tiffany Hamm, who watched her team struggle to execute a night earlier in a loss to Knox Central.
The Lady Dragons responded this time, holding visiting Corbin to only 10 points in the second half while making a couple of clutch shots down the stretch in a hard-fought 38-35 win.
“I think we’re getting better in these situations,” Hamm said. “I’ve told them, even as bad as we’ve shot lately, that if you play defense and rebound you can win. We proved that tonight by scoring only 38 points and winning a varsity basketball game.”
Senior guard Katelyn Burkhart was an unlikely hero for Harlan (4-5) in the fourth quarter as she came off the bench to force two critical turnovers during a 7-0 run after Corbin had moved ahead by four early in the period on a basket by Jayden Roberts. Natalee King scored to cut the deficit in half. Burkhart then put Harlan ahead with a 3-pointer at the 6:32 mark, then forced a turnover that led by a basket by Noah Canady.
“I feel she is a kid who has bought into doing the little things,” Hamm said. “She is not looking for the glory or worried about getting her name in the paper. She will do what you ask her to do. She had her mind right and put a stop to the girl who was hurting us.”
King and Canady each scored 10 points to lead the Lady Dragons.
Senior guard Mackenzie Grant scored 13 and Roberts added 10 for the Lady Hounds, who fell to 2-7 but are clearly improving as they pushed the defending 13th Region champs to the closing seconds. Shelby Stewart had a chance to force overtime in the closing seconds, but her 3-pointer was off the mark.
“We’re making progress. I thought we played great defensively. One of our goals is to hold teams under 40,” Corbin coach Isaac Wilson said. “We’re struggling on offense. When you only score 10 in a half it puts a lot of stress on your defense, but we are improving. I see it every day.”
After outscoring Corbin 17-12 in the first quarter, Harlan had its own offensive struggles in the second period. Led by three straight baskets from Roberts, Corbin reeled off 15 unanswered points to go up by eight before Taylor Simpson broke the Harlan drought with a three-play that cut the deficit to 25-20 at halftime.
Harlan will play in a tournament next week at Memorial Gym in Hazard. Corbin returns to action Dec. 28 in the Hancock County Christmas Tournament
Lauren Faulkner scored 12 points to lead Corbin in a 35-23 junior varsity win.
Angel Wynn led the Lady Dragons with eight points. Alli Thompson and Kaylee Leslie scored four each. Peighton Jones added three. Emma Owens and Makayla Sizemore scored two each.
Harlan 38, Corbin 35
Marissa Scott 0-0 2-2 2, Mackenzie Grant 6-9 1-5 13, Cora Stevens 1-7 1-1 3, Shelby Stewart 0-6 1-2 1, Jayden Roberts 4-8 2-4 10, Hannah Medlin 1-3 0-0 3, Meghan Mills 1-2 1-3 3, Brittnee Barnett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-35 8-17 35.
Payeton Charles 0-3 0-0 0, Noah Canady 3-12 3-6 10, Taylor Simpson 4-8 1-1 10, Natalee King 2-6 0-0 4, Mackenzie King 3-12 3-5 10, Brandi Haywood 0-0 0-0 0, Whitney Wilson 0-1 1-2 1, Katelyn Burkhart 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 13-43 8-14 38.
Corbin 12 13 4 6 — 35
Harlan 17 3 7 11 — 38
3-point goals: Corbin 1-8 (Medlin 1-1, Grant 0-1, Stevens 0-1, Roberts 0-1, Stewart 0-4), Harlan 4-16 (Simpson 1-1, Burkhart 1-1, M. King 1-4, Canady 1-6, N. King 0-1, Charles 0-3). Rebounds: Corbin 26 (Roberts 10, Stevens 6, Grant 4, Stewart 2, Mills 2, Medlin 1, Barnett 1), Harlan 24 (N. King 10, M. King 8, Simpson 3, Canady 2, Haywood 1). Turnovers: Corbin 18, Harlan 13. Fouled out: None.