Lady Cats coast past Harlan to stay perfect in district action


John Henson

Harlan’s Emma Owens raced down the court in Tuesday’s game at Bell County. The Lady Cats rolled to a 77-45 victory.


LOG MOUNTAIN — Racing to an 11-1 lead in the opening three minutes, the Bell County Lady Cats set the tone for their victory over visiting Harlan on Monday by turning four quick turnovers into points.
Bell hit 11 of 15 shots in the opening quarter, including its first five 3-point attempts, to build a 28-13 lead on the way to a 77-45 victory that all but locked up a fourth straight No. 1 seed for the Lady Cats in the 52nd District Tournament.
Sophomore forward Gracie Jo Wilder scored 26 points, hitting 10 of 13 shots, to lead the Lady Cats. Nadine Johnson and Mataya Ausmus added 17 and 12 points, respectively, as Bell improved to 14-6 overall and 4-0 in district action.
Freshman forward Kylie Noe scored 19 points and freshman wing Aymanni Wynn added 11 as Harlan fell to 8-11.
Harlan turned the ball over six times in the opening quarter and had 10 more in the second as Bell’s lead grew to 46-19 at halftime. Johnson and Wilder teamed for several baskets to lead the Bell offense.
Wilder hit all four of her shots in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer with four minutes left in the period to extend the lead to 60-24 and start a running clock. Wynn hit a pair of 3-pointers as Harlan cut the deficit to 67-36 going into the final period.
Bell County travels to South Laurel on Thursday. Harlan is scheduled to play host to Middlesboro on Friday in the first game of a girls/boys doubleheader.