It was close! Lady Bears open 13th Region Tournament

By Paul Lunsford

A three-point play by Ella Karst late in the third quarter, as well as another basket by Karst and Kellybell Hoskins’ 3-pointer to close the period, gave a momentum switch as Harlan County opened the 13th Region Tournament on Wednesday with 47-40 victory over Pineville.

The Lady Bears outscored the Lady Lions 19-14 in the fourth quarter to seal the win, sending Pineville to it’s 15th consecutive regional tournament loss.

The Lady Lion got as close as two points in the final period.

With the victory, Harlan County (11-12) earns a semifinal showdown with region favorite North Laurel, an 80-45 winner over Whitley County in Monday’s other game.

Senior guard Jacey Lewis powered the Lady Bears with 16 points. Karst, a freshman guard, scored 14 points. Hoskins added six points. HC also got four points each from Jaylin Smith and Kassy Owens while Kylie Jones tallied three points.

Whitney Caldwell and Raigan King closed out their senior seasons with 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Pineville (15-5). Ava Arnett scored five points. Summer Partin and Virginia Hall each had three points.

Harlan County shot just 32 percent (12 of 38) from the field. Pineville hit 13 of 41 from the field for 32 percent.

One of the biggest efforts for the Lady Bears on the night was hitting 16 of 17 free throws.

The Lady Lions outrebounded HC 30-17. King led Pineville with seven boards. Caldwell grabbed six rebounds. Owens led Harlan County with five rebounds.

The Lady Bears took a 9-6 lead after one quarter but trailed 17-11 at halftime. HC outscored the Lady Lions 17-9 in the third quarter to take a 28-26 advantage into the fourth period.

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Hailee Valentine fired in 27 points as North Laurel rolled to the win over Whitley County.

The Lady Jaguars also got 11 points each from Emily Sizemore and Chloe McKnight.

Sizemore grabbed 10 rebounds for North Laurel while Bella Sizemore added nine assists.

Jaycie Monhollen paced Whitley County (16-10) with 14 points. Reis Anderson added 10 points.

The Lady Jaguars outscored WC 22-12 after one quarter and pushed he lead to 42-23 at the break. North took a 63-33 lead into the final period.

Both teams committed 13 turnovers each.

Harlan County 47, Pineville 40

HARLAN COUNTY (11-12)

Ella Karst 3-12 8-9 14, Jacey Lewis 5-11 2-2 16, Jaylin Smith 1-6 2-2 4, Kellybeth Hoskins 2-2 0-0 6, Kassy Owens 0-2 4-4 4, Kylie Jones 1-5 0-0 3, Taylor Lunsford 0-0 0-0 0, Tayton Griffin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 1238 16-17 47.

PINEVILLE (15-5)

Whitney Caldwell 5-13 4-8 15, Ava Arnett 1-6 3-4 5, Virginia Hall 1-8 0-0 3, Abby Jackson 0-5 0-0 0, Raigan King 5-6 4-8 14, Summer Partin 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 13-41 11-20 40.

Harlan County 09 02 17 19 – 47

Pineville 06 11 09 14 – 40

3-Point goals: Harlan County 7-14 (Lewis 4-9, Hoskins 2-2, Jones 1-2, Karst 0-1), Pineville 3-8 (Hall 1-1, Partin 1-1, Caldwell 1-2, Jackson 0-1, Arnett 0-3). Rebounds: Harlan County 17 (Owens 5), Pineville 30 (King 7). Assists: Harlan County 10 (Smith 4), Pineville 6 (Caldwell 4). Turnovers: Harlan County 5, Pineville 13. Steals: Harlan County 4 (Hoskins 2), Pineville 3 (Caldwell 2). Fouled out: None.