Lady Panthers open season with win at Harlan


Knox Central’s Reagan Jones battled for a loose ball with Harlan’s Aymanni Wynn in the season-opener for both teams on Monday. Knox Central pulled away for a 73-54 victory.


Visiting Knox Central used a 26-12 outburst in the fourth period on Monday to claim a 73-54 win over Harlan.
For the three quarters, both teams kept the game close.
Central began the final quarter with a 9-2 run – led by a pair of three-point plays from Caylan Mills and Presley Partin – giving the Lady Panthers a 56-44 advantage with six minutes left.
Knox Central used a 14-2 spurt to put the game out of reach. Harlan managed to close the game on a 6-1 run.
“I felt our pressure wore on them as the game went on,” said Knox Central coach Steve Warren. “Hats off to Harlan. They played a good game.”
The Lady Panthers were led in scoring by Partin, a senior guard, with 22 points. Freshman guard Halle Collins poured in 21 points and grabbed nine boards. Mills, a senior guard, added 15 points.
Harlan got 16 points and eight rebounds from freshman forward Kylie Noe. Aymanni Wynn, a freshman wing, scored 12.
“I was super pleased with the first quarters,” said Harlan coach Tiffany Hamm. “We had under double-digit turnovers in the first half. That’s always good. We didn’t shoot it the best but was still right there in it.”
Knox Central got six points from Partin and four points from Collins as the Lady Panthers took a 10-2 advantage after three minutes. Harlan pulled within three at the 4:33 mark, but Collins scored six points as the lead grew to 16-8.
A 3-pointer from Faith Hoskins and a layup by Emma Owens cut the deficit to 16-13. A trey by Mills gave Central a six-point lead after one quarter.
Owens made one of two free throws as Harlan pulled within four, but the Lady Panthers used an 11-3 spurt, led by four points from Mills and a 3-pointer from Timberly Fredrick as Knox made it 30-19 at the 2:41 mark.
Harlan got baskets from Scarlett Rowe, Wynn, Leah Davis and Noe to trim the deficit to 33-27 at halftime.
“We had a lot of bright spots,” said Hamm. “Playing this type of game earlier, it will show our weaknesses.”
Wynn opened the second half with a 3-pointer and Noe added a jumper as Harlan pulled within one.
Knox Central saw its lead jump to 45-38 following five points from Partin with 54 seconds left in the quarter. Noe closed the third period with a 6-0 run, but HHS trailed 47-42.
“I couldn’t ask for any better energy out of them for three quarters,” added Hamm. “It just got out of hand early in the fourth quarter. They made a ton of free throws and turned up the pressure. We had a lot of turnovers (eight) there in the fourth quarter.”
The Lady Panthers outrebounded Harlan 37-27. The Lady Dragons had 23 turnovers.
Knox Central (1-0) plays host to Harlan County on Thursday.
Harlan (0-1) travels to Mason County on Friday to participate in the Lady Royals Showcase. The Lady Dragons will play Mason County on Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Campbell County on Saturday at 3.
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Knox Central jumped out to an 18-8 advantage after one quarter to roll to a 52-11 victory over Harlan in the junior varsity game.
Sydnee Hurst powered the Lady Panthers with 13 points. Zoey Hamilton scored 11 while M. Hensley and H. Melton added nine and eight points, respectively.
Addison Jackson, Annie Hoskins and Destiny Williams each led the 0-1 Lady Dragons with three points. Kaylee Clark scored two.