Emily Branham plays through the contact as she attempts a field goal against the Lady Engineers on January 11.
The Powell County Lady Pirates had a tough 24 hours. They started Friday hoping to ensure the top seed in the district and then top off the weekend with a win over a Lexington team. Well, one out of two is not bad.
Powell dropped a heartbreaker to Estill last Friday night in Irvine. But they did bounce back Saturday evening to beat Lexington Bryan Station and former beloved Pirates head coach Brian Hall.
The short trip to Estill County last Friday started with high hopes. After all Powell had no problem with the Lady Engineers on Dec. 14 in Stanton. Powell ran away with that win, 52-30. But the rematch was a quite different game.
Estill jumped out to take the lead early and held it throughout the first quarter. The home team enjoyed a very slim 11-10 lead. In the second period Powell used their speed to grab a short lived advantage. But the Lady Engineers fought back to tie the game and regain a lead. However, by time the halftime horn sounded the score was 19-19, with both sides looking to figure out how to pull away.
Powell did just that in the third quarter, but the game was being played at a slow pace. That actually helped Estill. Powell was able to grab a lead on a trey by Breanna Bush. The Lady Pirates held a 28-27 lead entering the final frame.
Another three by Bush about midway in the fourth quarter gave Powell a 32-31 lead. It would be the last lead the Lady Pirates would enjoy. Foul trouble began to take a toll. Estill was able to connect on their charity tosses. Despite a good effort the Lady Pirates fell in a heart breaking outcome. Estill won in a low scoring affair, 43-38.
Powell’s free throw woes were center stage in this game. The Lady Pirates only connected on 9-of-23 attempts for a very cool 39 percent, not much warmer than the temperature outside at game time. Estill, however, used the charity line as a catalyst. The Lady Engineers hit 17-of-22 for a blistering 77 percent. The home team scored 10 of their 16 points in the final quarter from the free throw line.
Powell was led by Macey Howell with 15 points and seven rebounds. Bush tossed in 10 points, while Lauren Payne chipped in seven. Emily Branham had three points, while Elizabeth Scott added three and picked up 10 rebounds. Ashley King had six assists in the game.
Powell dropped to 10-5 overall and 2-1 in the district race. Estill improved to 7-10 and 2-2 in the district.
The Lady Pirates returned to their home port last Saturday evening to take on Brian Hall and the Bryan Station Lady Defenders. The suspense for tis game ended early. Powell jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the first quarter. The visitors did make it a little interesting just before the half with a run. But Powell still led at intermission, 36-28.
Powell extended the lead in the third quarter. The Lady Pirates pushes out to a 52-40 advantage entering the fourth and final frame. The Lady Pirates held off a late push by Bryan Station to pick up the 69-58 win.
Powell was led by Macey Howell with a game high 29 points and she picked up 16 rebounds. Ashley King poured in 13 points and nine assists. Samantha Watkins added seven points and seven rebounds while Elizabeth Scott scored six points. Emily Branham, Lauren Payne and Kenna Neal each scored four points. Breanna Bush chipped in two points.
Powell improved to 11-5, while Bryan Station fell to 6-10.
The Lady Pirates was scheduled to play Owsley County in another 56th District boys/girls
varsity doubleheader this past Tuesday. Then tonight (Jan. 15) the Lady Pirates set sail for Wolfe County in a tough 14th Region matchup. Powell will return home on Saturday to host Leslie County before sailing into Knott Central on Monday for a 4:30 p.m. game.