Whitesburg KY

Girls take to road

The Letcher County Central Lady Cougars are spending much of the month of December playing on the road, but not by choice, said coach Dickie Adams.

“The scheduling just worked out that way,” he said. “After (local) teams we contacted would not schedule us, then we had to reach out and contact other teams farther away and since we were contacting them, they naturally wanted the first game to be at their place.”

After the Lady Cougars had to reschedule last Saturday’s home opener with Scott County for Jan. 20, LCC’s first home game will be a district matchup against an unbeaten Jenkins on Friday night. The Lady Cavs opened their season last week with victories at J.I. Burton in Norton, Va., and at home against Cordia and South Floyd.

After their game against Jenkins, the Lady Cougars’ next home game will be a month later on Jan. 11 against East Ridge.

LCC visits Bell County Saturday afternoon and then travels to Cordia on Dec. 16 and to Leslie County on Dec. 18.

Letcher Central 67
Jackson City 56

The combined inside/outside scoring of senior Kristina Bentley and Cheyanne Stidham led the visiting Lady Cougars to a 67-56 win over the Lady Tigers last Friday night in Jackson.

Bentley, who was scoreless in the Lady Cougars’ earlier loss week at Johnson Central, came up big down the stretch scoring nine of her team-high 19 points. She also claimed a team-high 13 rebounds and five blocked shots. Stidham, who made some big three-point shots, also scored 19 points with six coming in the final minutes as the Lady Cougars held off the Lady Tiger for their first victory of the season. Stidham helped out with five rebounds and four assists while committing just one turnover.

As a team, LCCHS shot 40% (27/68) from the floor, but the Lady Cougars were guilty of 25 turnovers.

LCCHS raced out to a comfortable 20-10 lead after the first period, but then ran into a scoring drought and Jackson City closed to within 29-23 at the break.

Thanks to the tremendous scoring efforts of Ashlee Combs, the Lady Tigers were able to hang around in the second half, entered the final quarter trailing just 46- 39. Combs, who scored only four points in the first half, wound up with a game-high 28 – including three treys in the second half. Brittany Barnett chipped in with 15.

LCCHS converted 9/16 from the charity line while Jackson City made 16/25 attempts.

Kim Meade scored eight points and pulled down six rebounds for 1-1 LCCHS. Courtney Brock chipped in with six points and Kelli Quillen added five and Kelly Adams scored four points. Sara Baker, Amber Crawford and Alexis Cornett finished with two points each.

Johnson Central 49
Letcher Central 38

In the season opener for both teams Dec. 2, the host Lady Eagles of Johnson Central rallied in the final quarter to beat the Letcher County Central Lady Cougars 49-38.

LCCHS, with one starter returning from last year’s 29-6 regional champions, led 11-10 after the first quarter and 21-15 at the half and 33-29 after three quarters.

The Lady Eagles’ full-court pressing defense finally began to take its toll on the Lady Cougars as the turnovers began to mount up.

“(Johnson Central) physically forced us into 25 turnovers,” said LCCHS coach Dickie Adams. “The new rules of calling defenders for putting their hands on players with the ball wasn’t enforced all night. They were shooting the bonus with two minutes left in the first quarter.”

JCHS connected on 16/25 from the charity line while LCCHS converted 9/15.

With LCCHS up 36-31 with five minutes left in the game, Johnson Central when on an 18-0 run to finish the game.

“We threw the ball to every place in that gym” said coach Adams. “We threw the ball to places that had hardly seen a human in years and cleaned out many cobwebs.”

Junior Kim Meade led LCCHS with a game-high 15 points. Junior Kelly Adams chipped in with 10. Senior Kelli Quillen added five and juniors Cheyanne Stidham and Sarah Baker finished with three points each. Junior Courtney Brock wound up with two points.

Bailey Daniel and Lauren Delong led JCHS with 13 points each.

“The truth is,” explained coach Adams about his team’s low-scoring output in their season opener, “you aren’t going to win too many ball games scoring just 38 points.

“We just didn’t have enough finish around the goal and we gave up too many inside points. We have lots of work to get done in practice.”

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