The Letcher Central Lady Cougars will take their 7-3 mark to Bowling Green this weekend to compete in the Farmers National Bank Holiday Bash, a three day round-robin affair that pits the Lady Cougars against Glasgow (7-2) at noon on Saturday, Dec. 27, followed by Adair County (8-2) that evening. The Lady Cougars will play Franklin-Simpson (2-5) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 28, and then wrap up the tournament with Monday’s pool play to determine the championship.
Letcher Central 81
After needing a second half rally a week ago to edge the Lady Cavs 72-64 in Jenkins, Letcher Central left few doubters after they overwhelmed Jenkins 81-39 in the final round of the ARH Christmas Classic Dec. 20 in Whitesburg.
With senior guard Courtney Brock defending the Lady Cavs’ junior guard Whitney Creech and denying her the basketball, Jenkins never seriously mounted an offensive threat.
Brock’s defense limited Creech, who entered the game with a stateleading 36 points per game scoring average, to five points in the first quarter, 13 in the first half and 23 after three quarters. Unlike their first game a week ago when Creech hammered LCCHS with 42 points, Brock chased Creech all over the floor — making Creech earn every one of her game-high tying 26 points and seven rebounds. Creech handled the defensive pressure well and can expect individual defensive pressure the rest of the season — or at least until her teammates can take some of the focus from her by increasing their offensive output.
Alexis Stambaugh finished with eight points and seven rebounds for 3-6 Jenkins. Brittany Sexton added three points and McKenzie Gibson chipped in with two points.
Brock’s trey with 5:12 left in the first quarter pushed LCCHS’s lead to 8-2 and Jenkins got no closer. LCCHS led 19-9 after the first quarter, 45-24 at the half and 63-36 after three quarters.
Jenkins was outrebounded 52-29 and managed to make just 17/58 field goal attempts for 29 percent. LCCHS shot 46 percent, making 32/70 field goal attempts — including 10/23 from behind the arc.
Cheyanne Stidham’s gamehigh tying 26 points led 7- 3 LCCHS. Kristina Bentley posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Kim Meade chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds. Courtney Brock capped her defensive effort with 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Kelly Adams and Sara Baker scored six points each, but Baker contributed a game-high nine assists. Shelby Hall and Destiny Hall added two points each.
Letcher Central 55
Harlan County 43
The Letcher Central Lady Cougars used a stout defense, balanced offense and confident free throw shooting at crunch time to defeat Harlan County in the second round of the ARH Christmas Classic Dec. 19 in Whitesburg.
The Lady Cougars outmuscled a physical Harlan County team, forcing the Lady Black Bears into a whopping 22 turnovers, which resulted in an impressive 26 points-off-turnovers.
LCCHS jumped to a 7-0 lead and never looked back. Seven first-quarter turnovers by Harlan County contributed to its trailing the Lady Cougars 17-4 after the opening quarter.
With double- figure scoring from seniors Kim Meade, Courtney Brock and Cheyanne Stidham, LCCHS led 27-20 at the half and 40-26 after three quarters. Despite struggling offensively for the first half of the final quarter, Harlan County was only able to close to within 45-33 with 2:29 left to play. Over the final two-plus minutes, LCCHS converted 10/12 free throw opportunities to close out the victory.
Blair Green, a 6’0” guard, led 7-2 Harlan County in scoring and rebounding with 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Lady Black Bears outrebounded LCCHS 38- 30 and shot a higher field goal percentage, making 17/45 for 38 percent, but lost the game through turnovers and excessive fouling, which LCCHS converted into 22/31 from the charity line.
LCCHS made 15/47 field goal attempts for 32 percent.
Kim Meade posted a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds and two steals. Courtney Brock also scored 15 points and committed no turnovers. Cheyanne Stidham followed up her 41-point performance against Breathitt the night before with 14 points, two assists and three steals.
Kristina Bentley added nine points and eight rebounds. Sara Baker finished with two points and two assists.
Letcher Central 73
Breathitt County 39
Led by a 41-point career scoring effort from senior guard Cheyanne Stidham, the host Letcher Central Lady Cougars easily defeated Breathitt County in the opening round of the four-team, three-night ARH Christmas Classic Dec. 18.
Breathitt County, playing without two of its starters, had no answer to how to defend Stidham right from the first minute. Stidham scored 16 points in the first quarter and the Lady Cougars built a commanding 21-7 lead. Stidham scored 12 points in the second quarter, 28 points in the first half as LCCHS extended its lead to 35-12.
By midway of the third quarter, Breathitt County had cut LCCHS’s margin to 39-25 after three consecutive treys by guard Emily Noble. Noble finished with nine points. Stidham, with generous help from senior guard Courtney Brock, rallied and outscored the Lady ‘Cats 15- 5 to extend the margin to 54-30 entering the final quarter.
Brock finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
LCCHS’s biggest lead of the game was 66-34 and came on senior Amber Crawford’s trey with 3:50 left to play. Crawford finished with five points.
Breathitt County, now 4-2, was led in nearly every category by center Carissa Hatton, a 6’2” center. Hatton finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals. Hatton managed to shut down LCCHS’s inside game, holding seniors Kristina Bentley and Kim Meade to just four points each. Defensively, Bentley added 10 rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals and Meade chipped in with six rebounds.
LCCHS outrebounded Breathitt County 38- 36 while making 31/69 field goal attempts for 45 percent. The Lady Cougars made 8/19 from behind the arc. LCCHS’s defensive pressure limited Breathitt County to just 12/36 field goal attempts for 33 percent.
Sophomore guard Shelby Hall, who came off the bench and played half the game, finished with four points, two rebounds and two steals. Paige Caudill and Kelly Adams scored two points each.