Owens leads Lady Jackets to district win over Harlan


Middlesboro junior forward Kailey Owens was honored before Wednesday’s game for joining the school’s 1,000-point club. Owens had 36 points and 13 rebounds in the Lady Jackets’ win over Harlan.

MIDDLESBORO – Recognized before the game for joining the school’s 1,000-point club, Middlesboro junior Kailey Owens was the difference Wednesday as she scored 36 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Lady Jackets’ 64-54 win over visiting Harlan.
“She had a great night for us tonight. She’s just a great leader,” said Middlesboro coach Scott Overbay. “Luckily, our free throws came through late for us.”

The Lady Dragons never led in the game and had to play catch up all night, falling behind 31-9 late in the first half.

Harlan started the game with five turnovers before even scoring as Middlesboro began with a 7-0 lead.

The Lady Dragons got on the scoreboard at the 2:34 mark when Kylie Noe completed a three-point play. Two 3-pointers by Angel Wynn cut the deficit to 14-9 with 1:34 left in the quarter, but an 8-0 run by Middlesboro pushed the advantage to 22-9 after eight minutes.

The Lady Jackets opened the second period with 9-0 run, led by Owens’ eight points. Harlan didn’t score in the quarter until Abbi Fields’ basket at the 1:36 mark.

Aymanni Wynn completed a three-point play with 12 seconds left in the first half, but the Lady Dragons trailed 31-14 at the break.

“Against any high school team, you’re not going to be able to play a half like that and come out and win,” said Harlan coach Tiffany Hamm. “I told them at halftime, we’ve got to play the best 16 minutes of our life to get back into this game.”

Harlan, which had 25 turnovers for the game, committed 16 in the first half. They missed 18 of 20 shots from the field in the second quarter.

The second half was a different showing for the Lady Dragons.

Angel Wynn nailed four 3-pointers and Faith Hoskins added another as Harlan outscored the Lady Jackets 19-9 in the third quarter. Middlesboro led 40-33 entering the final period.

Noe hit two free throws, Hoskins had a jumper and Angel Wynn hit a trey as the Lady Dragons made it a 44-40 game with 5:43 to play. That was as close as Harlan got.

“We fought back hard, but you can’t play one-half of basketball,” added Hamm.

Owens, a junior guard, scored 12 points the rest of the game as the Lady Jackets escaped with a key district win, snapping an 11-game district losing streak.

Mallory James, a junior guard, tossed in 12 points for Middlesboro. Senior guard Grace Gent scored eight points and had eight rebounds.

Angel Wynn, a senior guard, finished with eight 3-pointers and 24 points. Aymanni Wynn contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds. Noe grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds.

“Angel can shoot it,” said Hamm. “She’s struggled a little bit early in the season, but I’ve not lost confidence in her. She really got it well tonight and got us back into the game.”

Middlesboro (3-9 overall, 1-2 district) plays host to Bell County on Friday and Lynn Camp on Monday.

Harlan (1-7, 0-3) returns home to face Williamsburg on Friday before traveling to Barbourville on Saturday.