An experienced and talented Letcher County Central Lady Cougars squad opened their season at home with a couple of easy victories. Despite hosting two less-talented teams, the Lady Cougars’ offensive firepower and depth were impressive.
As expected, senior guard Kelah Eldridge lived up to her expectations while a healthy senior guard Vannah Breeding, made her own statement. Breeding’s outside shooting took some of the pressure off Eldridge. Breeding went 3 for 4 from behind the arc against Jackson City and 4 for 6 against Estill County. Eldridge was 5 for 10 combined in the two games.
Senior forward Julie Cornett and senior forward Keisha Collins, who is battling a sore ankle, also played well as expected, but the pleasant surprise was the depth off the bench provided by sophomores Kristina Bentley, Kelly Adams, Kelli Quillen, Courtney Brock and Kim Meade.
Coach Dickie Adams said his team played well in both games. “We did some good things and we played very well at times over the two games. I saw some things I wanted to see us do and we played pretty well. We shot the ball pretty good, too.”
Against Jackson City, Letcher Central was 30 of 65 for 46 percent, including 5 of 9 from behind the three-point line.
Against Estill County, the Lady Cougars were even better — making 33 of 64 shots for 52 percent, including 8 of 15 from behind the arc.
“We felt like we could have a deep bench,” said Adams, “and that’s one of the things I wanted to see here these two games — see how our girls would play at the varsity level. Kristina played very well both nights. Kim and Kelli and Courtney played very well and they got some stuff done.”
The Lady Cougars are scheduled to visit June Buchanan School tonight (December 5) for a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Alice Lloyd College gym. On Saturday afternoon, LCC travels to Georgetown to take on 20th ranked and unbeaten Scott County with the tip-off slotted for 3:30 pm.
The Lady Cougars return home to host Betsy Layne next Monday, before traveling to East Ridge the following night.
Letcher Central 78
Estill County 38
The host Lady Cougars jumped on the Lady Engineers on Saturday almost before the players could find their seats on the respective benches.
Kelah Eldridge’s second trey at the 3:41 mark of the first quarter, extended LCCHS’s lead to 21-4 and the lead only grew after that — despite ample substituting by coach Dickie Adams.
Eldridge was 8/12 shooting the first half, including 4 of 7 from behind the arc for 20 points. Eldridge finished with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds. The other half of this senior guard duo, Vannah Breeding, was 5 for 7 shooting in the first half, hitting 4 of 6 from behind the arc while scoring 14 first-half points and finishing with 16.
LCC had a season-high 22 assists, which could explain the team’s outstanding field goal percentages in both halves — 22 of 42 (53 percent) in the second half.
Three other players scored in double figures for LCCHS led by Julie Cornett’s 12 points. Kristina Bentley added 11 points and nine rebounds, and Cheyanne Stidham finished with 10 points, three assists and three steals.
Kennedy Flynn led the 0-3 Lady Engineers with 16 points.
Letcher Central 83
Jackson City 40
Against the Lady Tigers on Nov. 30, the host Lady Cougars used a 17-0 run in the first quarter to decide this game early in everything but the final score. During this opening run, Vannah Breeding hit three consecutive treys. Breeding finished with 13 points — all in the first half as she sat most of the second half.
LCC led 26-10 after the first quarter, 53-20 at the half, and 70-31 after three quarters. Julie Cornett’s double/double of a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds led the Lady Cougars. Kelah Eldridge added 17 points and five assists.
Kristina Bentley chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds Keisha Collins and Kim Meade scored six points each, and Courtney Brock finished with five points. Kelly Adams added three points and Kelli Quillen finished with two points.
For the game, LCCHS shot 57 percent (20/35) in the first half and 10/30 in the second half for 46 percent for the game.
Ashlee Combs’s 11 points led the 1-1 Lady Tigers, who had defeated Estill County 89-85 earlier last week.
The host Hazard Lady ‘Dogs evened their record at 2-2 last Saturday night by edging Jenkins 66-60 in the Lady Cavaliers’ season opener.
Jenkins, behind a gamehigh 25 points by freshman Whitney Creech, battled Hazard on even terms until down the stretch, when the Lady ’Dog’s experience made the difference as Hazard pulled away for the victory.
Jenkins led 11-8 after the first quarter but Hazard managed a 30-29 lead at the break and led 51-48 after three quarters.
Senior Brooke Sharpey led Hazard with 19 points.
Brittany Sexton scored 13 points for the 0-1 Lady Cavs, and Brittany Mullins finished with 10. Alexis Stambaugh finished with five points and Baylee Rose added three. Sydney Yonts and Estevez finished with two points each.