The Letcher County Central Lady Cougars took their unblemished 7-0 record and flew south this past Sunday. The Lady Cougars, who are playing in the fourday KSA Disney Holiday Invitation this week in Orlando, Fla., are scheduled to fly back home on Friday night.
After Christmas, the Lady Cougars are back on the road. Beginning next Tuesday, Dec. 27, LCCHS will be participating in the four-day Lady Bobcats Holiday Tournament at Breathitt Co. High School.
The Lady Cougars’ next home game will be on Jan. 2 against Hazard.
Letcher Central 67
Scott County 62
While the highly respected 11th Region Scott County, 3-4 now, may be in a rebuilding mode this season after a 19-11 regional runner-up finish last March, there was nothing to criticize about the Lady Cardinals’ losing effort against host LCCHS last Saturday afternoon. The Lady Cards used quickness and ball movement and then hit the boards hard — on both ends of the floor — to jump in front of the Lady Cougars 22-18 by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, LCCHS coach Dickie Adams countered with Keisha Collins. The 5’10” junior center came off the bench and immediately took the paint area and second shots away from Scott County. Collins’s free throw tied the game 24-24 with 6:24 left in the second quarter. Two minutes later, senior Haley Whitaker’s trey gave LCCHS its first lead of the game at 27-24. Senior Erica Meade shook off a lackluster first quarter and defensively really disrupted the Lady ‘Cards the rest of the game. Meade’s steal and layup, with 2:06 left in the second quarter, pushed LCCHS’s lead to 32-26 and another steal by her, in the final seconds, gave LCCHS a 34-28 lead at the half. Meade finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals.
LCCHS’s defense forced Scott County into 9 first-half turnovers and 11 for the game. However, LCCHS had only 5 turnovers in the first half and just 1 in the second half.
Junior Kelah Eldridge, who scored 9 of her team- high 16 points in the first half, gave LCCHS its biggest lead of the game at 43-29 with 4:41 left in the third quarter. Eldridge also pulled down 5 rebounds and handed out 3 assists.
Scott County, led by sophomore guard Audriana Christopher’s penetration and 9 third quarter points, rallied to close to within 49-48 heading into the final quarter. Christopher led everyone with 20 points and 6 assists.
The Lady Cards’ Iman Guy’s short jumper tied the game at 55-55 midway of the fourth quarter, but junior forward Julie Cornett’s offensive stick- back gave the lead back to LCCHS at 57-55 with 3:13 left. Cornett suffered a horrible shooting night — 5-of-19 — but she never quit battling and finished with a game-high 13 rebounds as well as 13 points.
Collins’s offensive putback, with 2:36 left to play, pushed LCCHS’s lead to 63- 58 and Haley Whitaker took over from there — making 3-of-4 from the charity line in the final minute to preserve the win. Whitaker finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
Junior Vannah Breeding added 8 points and freshman Cheyanne Stidham finished with two points.
LCCHS defensively limited Scott County to taking contested shots that resulted in the Lady Cards shooting just 35 percent on 23-of-65 field goal attempts. The Lady Cards did out-rebound LCCHS 48-41. LCCHS shot 39 percent on 24-of-62 from the floor — including 5-of-15 from behind the arc.
Letcher Central 72
East Ridge 39
In a game rescheduled from Dec. 1, the host Lady Cougars, with 10 players scoring, had no trouble in turning back visiting East Ridge Dec. 13.
LCCHS jumped out to a strong 19-6 lead and then expanded its margin to 37- 14 by the intermission and to 50-25 after 3 quarters.
Julie Cornett led 6- 0 LCCHS with a game-high 18 points and 6 rebounds. Vannah Breeding added 10 points, including a pair of treys in the third quarter. Kelah Eldridge finished with 9 points. Erica Meade turned in a big game by scoring 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Haley Whitaker and Cheyanne Stidham chipped in with 6 points. Keisha Collins contributed 4 points and a game-high 9 rebounds. Kelli Quillen and Kristina Bentley wound up with 4 points each. Courtney Brock finished with 3 points.
For the game, LCCHS converted 30- of- 60 field goal attempts for 50 percent — including four-of-seven from behind the arc. Poor free throw shooting continuing to plague the Lady Cougars as they managed to make just 8-of-18 for 44 percent.
Holly Fuller’s 14 points led the 1-5 Lady Warriors.
Letcher Central 65
Betsy Layne 49
Balanced scoring led the visiting Lady Cougars to their fifth straight win against a very respectable Betsy Layne team Dec. 12.
The host Bobcats, led by juniors Paige Watkins’s game-high 16 points and T.J. Tackett’s 14 points, stayed close to LCCHS throughout the first half and the early part of the third quarter before the Lady Cougars’ defensive pressure forced a number of turnovers that led to some easy baskets.
LCCHS built a 16-14 lead by the end of the opening quarter. A pair of treys from freshman Cheyanne Stidham and junior Kelah Eldridge helped LCCHS expand its margin to 35-30 by the intermission.
With Eldridge knocking down another pair of treys and scoring 7 of her gamehigh 16 points in the third quarter, the Lady Cougars extended their lead to 53- 41 heading into the final quarter and were able to withstand a late charge by Betsy Layne. Eldridge also pulled down 7 rebounds.
Junior Julie Cornett scored 13 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Cheyanne Stidham finished with12 points. Senior forward Erica Meade returned to action for the first time this season after severely spraining an ankle in the season- opener at Jackson City nearly two weeks ago, and finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Haley Whitaker chipped in with 6 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Vannah Breeding finished with 5 points. Keisha Collins wound up with 3 points.
Hot-shooting LCCHS converted 25- of- 49 field goal attempts for 51 percent — including seven-of-15 from behind the arc.