The Letcher County Central High School Lady Cougars, winners of eight of their last nine, take a 13-6 record into this Friday evening’s big district matchup with visiting Knott County Central (8-6). The Lady Cougars will visit Perry County Central Jan. 27, and then return home to host Central High of Wise, Va., on Jan. 29 and Cordia on Jan. 31.
Letcher Central 50
Scott County 45
The host Lady Cougars rebounded from a disappointing loss at Harlan County last Saturday with an impressive 50-45 win over Scott County Jan. 20.
The Lady Cardinals took early advantage of their superior height inside before LCCHS, led by 5-5 senior Kelli Quillen’s hustle, took control.
Quillen had two points and four rebounds in the first half, and wound up with nine points and a game-high — that’s right, a gamehigh — 11 rebounds. She also had three assists.
By pushing the ball inside, Scott County led 13-8 after the first quarter but LCCHS’s defense began to alter the Lady Cardinals’ offense.
After two lead changes and four first-half ties, LCCHS trailed 23-21 by the half. LCCHS trailed 29-28 after three quarters before Kelly Adams’s 17-footer straight away gave the Lady Cougars a lead they would not relinquish.
Scott County managed a 31-31 tie early in the final quarter, but Cheyanne Stidham’s four straight free throws pushed the Lady Cougars back in front.
A trey by Courtney Brock, a lay-up by Quillen and another pair of free throws by Stidham gave LCCHS its biggest lead of the game at 45-36 with 3:24 left to play.
With 27 seconds remaining, Quillen’s pair of free throws iced the victory.
Stidham’s team-high 17 points led 13- 6 LCCHS. Kim Meade chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds. Courtney Brock finished with nine points including three-of-seven from behind the arc. Kristina Bentley finished with three points, six rebounds and three steals. Kelly Adams added two points.
LCCHS was outrebounded 19-13 in the first half, but won the second-half battle 20-18. The Lady Cougars forced 19 turnovers and committed 14.
Neither team shot particularly well. Scott County hit 15/43 for 35 percent while LCCHS made just 14/46 for 30 percent — and still won.
“You need to win some games you’re not supposed to win,” said a pleased coach Dickie Adams, “and this was one of those games. We battled hard and after the first quarter, when our girls realized they could win this game, we played with confidence and it showed down the stretch.”
Scott County, which was picked second in the pre-season 11th Region rankings, fell to 8-9 overall. The Lady Cardinals were led by Audriana Christopher’s gamehigh 18 points.
Harlan County 45
Letcher Central 35
The host Lady Black Bears outmuscled the underdog Lady Cougars 45-35 in snapping LCC’s seven-game winning streak Jan. 18.
LCCHS trailed just 20-18 at the half and hung tough in the third quarter, trailing just 28-26 heading into the final eight minutes.
Six foot senior center Shannon Shackleford took over inside for the Lady Black Bears — scoring seven of her 11 points to lead Harlan County to the victory.
Lindsey Branson’s game-high 12 points led the 12-4 Lady Bears.
Courtney Brock led the Lady Cougars with nine points while Cheyanne Stidham and Kim Meade chipped in with eight points each. Kelli Quillen added five points and Kristina Bentley three. Kelly Adams wound up with two points.
Letcher Central 49
June Buchanan School 23
The host Lady Cougars ran their winning streak to seven straight with the easy 49-23 district win over the Lady Crusaders Jan. 17. The Lady Cougars are 4-0 in the district with the 8-6 Knott County Central Lady Patriots coming to Ermine this Friday evening for a big district showdown.
LCCHS led JBS 17-3 after the first quarter, 23-6 at the half and 40-11 after three quarters.
Cheyanne Stidham’s 12 points led all scorers. Kelli Quillen added 11 and Kim Meade eight. Kelly Adams scored six points and Kristina Bentley added five. Courtney Brock, Alexis Cornett and Destiny Hall chipped in with two points each. Shelby Hall wound up with one point.
Letcher Central 53
The visiting Lady Cougars withstood a 25-point effort by the 15th Region’s top player, Rachel Potter, to win their sixth straight at Pikeville 53 to 48 Jan. 16.
Junior Cheyanne Stidham, who is playing about as well as anyone in this part of the state, led the 12-5 Lady Cougars with a game-high 29 points.
The hot-shooting Lady Cougars jumped in front 19-7 after the first quarter and increased their margin to 35-14 by the half. LCCHS had an offensive meltdown in the third quarter, scoring just two points, and the Lady Panthers came back with a rush and trailed just 37-32 heading into the final quarter where Stidham again found her shooting eye and the Lady Cougars outlasted Pikeville for the win.
Courtney Brock scored nine points for LCCHS while Kristina Bentley chipped in with eight points. Kim Meade added six points and Kelly Adams two.