Lady Cougars edge Harlan County

The Harlan County Lady Bears had three chances to send the game into overtime on Monday, but three missed baskets sent Letcher Central home with a 57-55 victory.

Keira Couch hit two free throws with 1:08 to play to even the score at 55-55. Harlan County ran the clock down, but a missed jumper allowed Letcher Central’s Brooklyn Collins to hit a pair of free throws with 10.3 seconds left. Hannah Wood missed a 3-pointer, Morgan Blakley rebounded, but missed a shot followed by a rebound and missed jumper by Kassy Owens at the buzzer.

Kaylee Banks, a sophomore guard, powered Letcher Central with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Brooke Bates and Couch followed with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Blakley led the Lady Bears with 19 points and eight rebounds. Wood scored 12 points, while Kelly Beth Hoskins and Jaylin Smith added 10 points apiece.

Wood hit a pair of 3-pointers as the Lady Bears took an 8-2 advantage after three minutes. Two treys by Bates tied the score at 8-8.

A jumper by Dixie Ewing and a basket by Smith put Harlan County ahead 17-12 with one minute left in the opening quarter. The Lady Bears took a 19-17 edge into the second period.

Hoskins’ jumper at the 5:42 mark gave Harlan County a 23-20 advantage, but Banks scored six points during an 8-0 run to lead 28-23.

Blakley hit one of two free throws and Hoskins nailed a jumper as Harlan County trailed by two at halftime.

The game was at 33, 35 and 40 in the third quarter as neither team could build more than a three-point lead.

With the game even at 40-40 entering the final quarter, Smith hit two free throws and Blakley scored inside as HCHS led 44-40 with 6:50 remaining. A trey by Hayes and a three-point play by Banks gave the Lady Cougars 46-44 edge.

Blakley scored five points and Wood hit a long distance 3-pointer to give the Lady Bears a 55-50 advantage with 2:14 to play. Banks completed a three-point play as Letcher Central cut the deficit to two.

Letcher Central (17-7) returns to action Wednesday at home against Cordia before visiting Knott Central on Friday.

Harlan County (11-9) will return to district play Friday at Harlan in a girls/boys doubleheader.

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Couch, Tori Holcomb and Farrah Combs each scored 10 points at Letcher Central claimed a 49-45 win in the junior varsity game.

The Lady Cougars took an 11-2 lead after one quarter and led 21-9 at halftime.

Hailey Austin paced Harlan County with 15 points. Taylor Lunsford scored nine. Kylie Jones and Paige Phillips added seven each. Taytum Griffin contributed six points while Issabelle Kirby scored one.

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Letcher Central 57, Harlan County 55

LETCHER CENTRAL (17-7)

Brooke Bates 4-10 0-3 11, Loran Boggs 0-1 1-2 1, Kaylee Banks 7-13 8-9 22, Brooklyn Collins 2-7 2-2 8, Courtney Hayes 2-9 0-0 5, Keira Couch 2-6 6-6 10, Tori Holcomb 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey Kincer 0-0 0-0 0, Kaylee F. Banks 0-1 0-0 0, Heidi Bentley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-47 17-22 57

HARLAN COUNTY (11-9)

Hannah Wood 4-11 0-1 12, Kelly Beth Hoskins 4-7 0-0 10, Morgan Blakley 5-15 9-11 19, Jaylin Smith 4-11 2-4 10, Kassy Owens 1-5 0-0 2, Jaylin Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Dixie Ewing 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 19-52 11-16 55.

Letcher Central 17 11 12 17 — 57

Harlan County 19 7 14 15 — 55

3-point goals: Letcher Central 6-17 (Bates 3-8, Collins 2-2, Hayes 1-4, Banks 0-1, Couch 0-2), Harlan County 6-18 (Wood 4-8, Hoskins 2-4, Smith 0-1, Owens 0-1, Blakley 0-2, Preston 0-2). Rebounds: Letcher Central 30 (Banks 10, Couch 7, Bates 5, Hayes 4, Collins 3, Holcomb 1), Harlan County 24 (Blakley 8, Smith 5, Wood 4, Owens 4, Hoskins 3, Ewing 1). Assists: Letcher Central 8 (Banks, Bates, Couch 2), Harlan County 5 (Wood, Hoskins, Blakley, Smith, Ewing 1). Turnovers: Letcher Central 18, Harlan County 12. Fouled out: Letcher Central (Boggs). Technical foul: Letcher Central (bench)