The Lady Pirates had already sealed up the top seed in the upcoming 56th District Tournament when they hosted the Lee County Lady Kats last Friday night. In fact, a come from behind 59-57 win at Lee County the Friday before sealed that spot. The game was just one to finish up the regular season district schedule, no importance in the standings.
Someone forgot to tell Lee County. The lady Kats came ready to make a point and almost did. But a strong comeback by the Lady Pirates and a never-say-die attitude helped Breanna Bush nail a game-winning three pointer late in he game. Powell once again came from behind to take an incredible 48-47 victory.
The game started out slow as Powell looked sluggish. Poor Lady Pirate passing helped Lee get a 9-5 lead after one quarter. The second period was not much better, but the home team did manage to fall into a better offensive rhythm. Lee held a 21-13 advantage at the half.
Both teams picked up the pace in the second half. Emily Branham and Macey Howell led Powell’s answers to Lee’s march through the Rodney T. Clark Gymnasium. Every time the Lady Pirates got close and tried to go to their designated three point shooter Bush, she just could not hit the shot. The week before she was 5-for-5, but on this night she missed 10 straight attempts.
The final frame started with the Lady Kats leading 39-29 and Powell needed to push hard to overcome the double digit deficit. At first it looked to be getting worse. With 6:15 to play Lee enjoyed a 43-30 lead. The Lady Pirates kicked it into high gear. Branham and Howell got hot, hitting shots, stealing the ball and grabbing rebounds. Behind the inspired play the Lady Pirates went on a 15-4 run as the clock ran down.
Trailing 47-45 with just under a minute to go, Bush missed a three pointer and Branham’s put back attempt missed. The loose ball rebound ended up being a jump ball that gave possession to Powell. With time running out and after a Lady Pirate timeout, Branham went in for a shot in he lane. The shot missed and the loose ball became the focus. Howell went to the floor and came up with the ball. Surrounded by Lady Kats, she found a wide open teammate at th top of the key.
The quick pass by Howell ended up in Bush’s hands. Wide open and with the clock ticking, Bush launched her eleventh three point attempt. She may have come up short on the other 10, but this one, the one that was needed the most, hit the mark. With :28 to play Bush sank a three to give Powell their first lead of the night, 48-47.
Lee had two chances for the win. They missed a three and contested put back. As the horn sounded, the Lady Pirates celebrated. Powell escaped with a hard fought, miraculous comeback 48-47 win.
Powell was led by Branham with a game high 20 points and three steals. Howell tossed in 17 and grabbed 13 rebounds, for another double-double on the season. Both Howell and Branham played the entire game.
Bush had five points and Ashley King scored four points while picking up five assists. Sierra McKinney came off the bench to add two points and a much needed presence to thwart Lee’s inside game.
Earlier in the week Powell played a rough and tumble game against Fleming County. How rough? The visitors were whistled for 31 fouls and Powell went to the free throw line for 43 attempts.
Powell used their speed and experience to 38-25 half time lead. The second half was no better for Fleming. By the time the final horn sounded and the foul-fest ended, Powell picked up a well deserved 71-52 victory.
Powell was led by Macey Howell with a game high 22 points and nine rebounds. Emily Branham poured in 17 points, while Ashley King chipped in 13 points and nine assists. Breanna Bush tossed in nine points, Lauren Payne added six, Samantha Watkins scored three and Sierra McKinney hit a free throw.
Powell improved to 16-5, the second best record in the 14th Region. The win over Lee gave them a 5-1 district mark.
The Lady Pirates traveled to Perry Central this past Monday and return home on Thursday (tonight) to take on Wolfe County. Powell topped the Lady Wolves 79-55 last week. On Saturday Powell sets sail to Hazard for a big region game.
The Lady Pirates return home on Monday to host Breathitt County before hitting the road to Knott
Central on Feb. 13. Powell closes out the regular season at home on Feb. 15 against Western Hills for Senior Night.