Lady Bears take control early on the way to win at Lynn Camp

By John Henson, Managing Editor

CORBIN — After watching leads slip away the past two games against 13th Region heavyweights South Laurel and Whitley County, the Harlan County Lady Bears left nothing to chance Monday at Lynn Camp.
Harlan County (7-8) scored the game’s first 15 points and stayed in command throughout on the way to a 72-48 win over the Lady Cats.
“I can see improvement in all areas the last couple of weeks,” Harlan County coach Anthony Nolan said. “We played pretty well the first half and got out to a good lead and kind of coasted from there. I’m happy to get out of here with a win.”
Lynn Camp tried several approaches on defenses in the first half, beginning with a triangle-and-two focused on Jacey Lewis and Ella Karst, but it was the HCHS defense that controlled the game early as the Lady Cats missed their first seven shots from the field and fell behind 15-0 before Abby Mabe and Jorja Carnes ended the drought with 3-pointers seven minutes into the game.
“We really struggled in the first half and some bad decisions by not taking care of the basketball,” Lynn Camp coach Darrell Hendrix said. “We also tried a couple of things on defense that didn’t work that well.”
Karst, who finished with a game-high 20 points, had two baskets in the opening quarter as HCHS built an 18-8 lead. Karst and Kelly Beth Hoskins each hit 3-pointers in the second quarter as the Lady Bears blew the game open by outscoring Lynn Camp 25-6 and building a 43-14 lead.
Hoskins finished with 15 points for the 7-8 Lady Bears, hitting five of seven 3-point attempts. Lewis added 10 points.
Mabe led the 8-11 Lady Cats with 13 points. Carnes and Julia Shepherd contributed nine points each. Alissa Crumpler added seven points.
On the verge of being on the wrong end of a running clock to start the second half, the Lady Cats showed some grit in the third quarter as Mabes and Shepherd each hit 3-pointers. Each team scored 16 points in the period as HCHS took a 59-30 lead into the final period.
Lynn Camp outscored Harlan County 18-13 in the fourth quarter, led by two baskets from Mabe.
“I got after them pretty hard at halftime. They played a lot better the second half,” Hendrix said.
The Lady Bears had 15 of their 23 turnovers in the second half.
“Lynn Camp continued to battle, plus we rotated quite a few players, so a lot of it is on me,” Nolan said. “We went to our bench early to get some of these girls some minutes. They have been working hard in practice.”
Harlan County returns to action Thursday at Clay County and will play host to Middlesboro on Saturday in a 1 p.m. game. Lynn Camp will travel to Barbourville on Tuesday.
Hailey Austin scored 12 points, Paige Phillips tossed in 11 and Taytum Griffin added 10 as Harlan County evened its record at 5-5 in junior varsity action with a 43-11 win over Lynn Camp.
Taylor Lunsford and Cheyenne Rhymer added three points each. Jenna Wilson and Haley Middleton scored two each.
Julie Moore scored four to lead Lynn Camp, followed by Lauren Prewitt with three and Baileigh Bargo and Mackenzie Owens with two each.