By Les Dixon
BARBOURVILLE — Clinging to a 26-25 lead at halftime, Barbourville coach Andrea Hillard stressed to her team in the locker room that if the Lady Tigers were going to beat Pineville, they must play better defense — her players must have listened.
Barbourville turned in one of its best defensive efforts of the season during the second half, holding the Lady Mountain Lions without a field goal during the game for 12 minutes, as Pineville’s first basket since the 4:05 mark of the third quarter came with five seconds remaining in the game, but the damage had already been done.
“That was a big part of the game,” Hillard said. “I told the girls we were going to have to play better defense and they did just that. I’m really proud of them.”
The Erslan twins also stepped up when needed most.
The Lady Tigers (20-10) were clinging to a 38-35 lead to begin the fourth quarter and that’s when Kayla and Kelsey Erslan took over.
The Barbourville duo combined to score the Lady Tigers first 12 points of the period, as Hillard’s squad raced out to a 50-37 lead and never looked back.
“They did a fantastic job for us when we needed them to,” she said. “The girls realize that we need to get them the ball, but they also look for the open player and get the ball back to their teammates — this was definitely a team win.
“I’m just glad to be able to get this win and now know we’re going to play in the region tournament,” Hillard added. “Of course you want to win a district championship, but you want to be able to secure a spot in the region first and we were able to do that tonight.”
It didn’t look as if the Lady Tigers were going to have an easy time advancing to the 51st District title game early on. After taking a 13-9 lead into the second quarter, Barbourville fell behind 25-21 with 2:39 remaining in the first half before closing out the period with a 5-0 run.
That was big,” Hillard said. “We were able to regain the lead and that was really big for our girls.”
Pineville managed to tie the game at 34 apiece with 4:05 remaining, but Kelsey Erslan scored four straight points to get her team a 38-35 edge heading into the final quarter of play.
That’s when the Lady Tigers took over. Led by the Erslan twins along with a basket by Kalan Liford, Barbourville managed to pull away and grab the 13-point win.
Pineville connected on only one-of-12 shot attempts during the fourth quarter and finished the game connecting on 15-of-48 from the floor.
Hillard’s squad finished the game hitting 21-of-44 shot attempts while turning in an 11-of-20 effort from the free-throw line.
Barbourville will now play Lynn Camp in the 51st District finals Friday. The two teams played three times so far this season with the Lady Tigers winning twice, including a 61-57 decision on Jan. 24.
51st District Girls Tournament
at Barbourville High School
Barbourville 54, Pineville 41
Pineville 9 16 10 6 41
Barbourville 13 13 12 16 54
Pineville (41) — Washington 14, Adams 10, Enix 5, Mullins 5, Gambrell 5, Barnes 2.
Barbourville (54) — Ka. Erslan 19, Ke. Erslan 14, Mills 11, Hicks 4, Liford 4, Bunch 2.
Lynn Camp comes from behind to knock off Knox Central in overtime
By Les Dixon
- Local Sports
For the third straight year, the Times-Tribune Tri-County Baseball Player of the Year hails from North Laurel High School.
Back to Work
As of Monday, Brian Evans is now the new, and old, coach of the Knox Central Panthers basketball team.
It was good to watch some Little League games again
With so much going on the past few weeks I’ve been a little bit busy, which means there’s plenty rattling around in my head to ramble on about, but the first thing that comes to mind is Little League baseball.
Canady to lead KC athletics
The Knox Central High School athletics department is under new leadership as Jeff Canady was named Athletic Director on Monday.
Local Little League All-Star rosters released
With the Little League regular season out of the way, it will soon be time for All-Star Tournaments across the area. Local leagues have released their rosters as they start to get ready for action in the coming weeks.
The Corbin Little League baseball tournaments came to an end this weekend with a trio of championship games on the menu.
Along Came Jones
The Whitley County Lady Colonels underwent a coaching change at the end of the 2012-13 season, but it wasn't a complete overhaul of the system which has been in place for years.
Boys’ and girls’ All-Star tourney bracket schedule
Little League All-Star action begins next weekend with the girls starting with the 9-10 year-old and 11-12 year-old divisions while boys action will begin a couple of days later.
The Search is On
Former Lynn Camp Wildcat basketball coach and current Lynn Camp assistant principal, Anthony Pennington, has taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, and is ready to find a new replacement for former coach Clyde Dixon, who retired a couple of weeks ago.
The Final Four
The stage is set for today’s championship double-header as the Corbin Little League will decide its Little League and Minor League Tournament champions.
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- A No-Brainer