Lady Dragons roll into All ‘A’ semifinals with victory over Middlesboro


Jon Dickenson

Harlan sophomore guard Kylie Noe worked against a Middlesboro defender in action from the 13th Region All “A” Classic on Monday. Noe scored 12 points in the Lady Dragons’ 54-23 victory.

By John Henson, Managing Editor


As a star player for the Harlan Lady Dragons in the late 1990s, Tiffany Hamm Rowe made three trips to the All “A” Classic state tournament in Richmond. After a six-year absence for Harlan, Rowe would like nothing better than to see her team earn a return trip this week during the regional tournament on their home court. The Lady Dragons took the first step Monday, coasting to a 54-23 victory over Middlesboro in a first-round game.
“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,” Rowe said. “Our goal is to win this tournament.”
Harlan (5-7) got off to a slow start and was clinging to 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 turnovers in the period.
“I was glad she called it because I didn’t want to burn one that early,” Rowe said. “I thought we might come out a little rusty. We just wanted to continue to play defense while the offense started a little rough. I knew we’d start getting some steals and getting out in transition.”
With their expected starting lineup finally together again, Rowe hopes the Lady Dragons are ready to play their best basketball after a slow start this season.
“We’ve had some starters out and had some injuries. We finally had two days of practice with our starting unit, which we’ve not had in three-plus weeks,” Rowe said.
Wynn led a balanced Harlan attack with 15 points and six rebounds. Leah Davis and Noe each scored 12 points, and Emma Owens added 11.
Up 19-8 after one quarter, Harlan outscored Middlesboro 15-2 in the second quarter as the Lady Jackets missed all nine of their shots from the field. 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 to play in the period. Harlan led 52-16 going into the fourth quarter as reserves for both sides finished the game.
Keevi Betts scored seven points and Halaya Brown added six to lead the 1-10 Lady Jackets.
Harlan will play Barbourville in the semifinals on Friday at 6. The Lady Tigers advanced with a 56-50 win over Williamsburg in the opening game Monday.
The first round will continue Tuesday with Jackson County playing Lynn Camp at 7:30. Pineville was scheduled to play Red Bird, but the Lady Cardinals are not fielding a team this year. The Lady Lions will advance to the semifinals to take on the Jackson County-Lynn Camp winner at 7:30 on Thursday. The championship game is set for Friday at 7 p.m.
Barbourville (56) — Layla Brock 17, Sarah Smith 19, Cheyenne Sizemore 2, Lauren Smith 8, Emilee Sizemore 2, Danni Jordan 5, Marleigh Martin 3.
Williamsburg (50) — Allie Wilson 17, Zoie Brown 3, Maddy Hopkins 13, Abby Moses 5, Lorelei Coleman 12.