The Lady Cougars outlasted visiting Pikeville 41-39 on January 15 to improve their record to 10-7.
LCCHS, still trying to recover from the loss of senior forward Kim Meade two weeks before, struggled on both ends of the court.
LCCHS got off to a fast start with senior guard Cheyanne Stidham scoring her 1,000th career point on the first basket of the game. The Lady Cougars led 7-2 on senior forward Kristina Bentley’s lay-up and 12- 5 on Courtney Brock’s lay-up with 5:41 left in the opening quarter. Then the Polar Express came along and LCCHS went scoreless until senior forward Amber Crawford’s basket with 5:20 left in the second quarter cut Pikeville’s lead to 17-14.
Courtney Brock’s layup with 3:47 left in the first half cut Pikeville’s lead to 17-16, but the Lady Cougars would get no closer in the first half — trailing 24-19 at the break.
In the first half, LCCHS made just 6/24 field goal attempts for 25 percent and were outrebounded 18-16 by the Lady Panthers who made 10/25 field goal attempts for 40 percent.
The Lady Cougars battled back and started the second half with a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead at 25-24 on Cheyanne Stidham’s free throws with 5:05 left in the third quarter.
Senior forward Kelly Adams stepped up for the Lady Cougars who were struggling in the paint with Kristina Bentley saddled with four fouls. Adams’s back- to- back baskets pushed LCCHS in front 29- 28 with 1:10 left in the third and Stidham’s free throws gave the Lady Cougars a 31-28 lead heading into the final quarter.
Adams’s eighth point in the game extended LCCHS’s lead to 36- 30 midway of the final quarter, but Pikeville sophomore guard Savannah Nunemaker’s lay-up tied the game at 37- 37 with 2:15 left to play. Courtney Brock’s jumper pushed LCCHS back in front 39-37 and the Lady Cougars got possession again seconds later when Pikeville threw the ball away.
With 14 seconds remaining, LCCHS missed the front end of the bonus and Pikeville missed on its end with Kelly Adams getting the rebound, being fouled and calmly stepping to the free throw line and nailing both ends of the bonus free throw situation with five seconds left and extending LCCHS’s lead to 41-37.
Senior forward Emma Looney’s meaningless field goal at the end provided the final 41- 29 margin. Looney finished with a game-high 15 points for the 9- 9 Lady Panthers. Nunemaker wound up with 10 points and freshman Sara Morton with four.
Cheyanne Stidham’s 13 points left LCCHS. Kelly Adams finished with 10 points and Kristina Bentley fouled out midway of the fourth quarter with 9 points. Courtney Brock chipped in with eight points and Amber Crawford finished with two points.
The Lady Cougars host Knott Central Friday night, January 23, with first place in the district on the line. LCCHS then travels to Perry Central January 26 and visits Central High ( Va.) January 28.