By James Cook, Times Editor
The Lady Pirates were hoping to get some attention in the 14th Region when they hosted the three-time defending champion Breathitt County last Friday night. For a while it looked like they were about to make some noise. But behind the steady play of arguably the best guard in the region in Kendall Noble and with a second half spurt by Tori Shouse, the Lady Kats held on to pull away with a 60-45 win.
The two teams played a close game throughout the first half. But Breathitt never relinquished the lead after Courtney Fugate hit a layup early to make it 8-6. The Lady Kats jumped out to a seven point advantage, but Powell kept it close. Senior Kendra McFarland battled inside, scoring on several tough plays and drawing fouls on the bigger Breathitt front line. But Breathitt’s larger team was also a little faster, as they held a 23-21 advantage at the half.
The game remained close as the two teams traded shots in the third quarter. But that is when Shouse began to put on a clinic. With Breathitt’s defense shutting down most of Powell’s offensive weapons, with exception to McFarland, Shouse began to hit some shots. The visitors slowly began to pull away and led after three quarters 39-32.
The final frame was all Breathitt. Behind Shouse and Noble, the Lady Kats outscored Powell 21-9 in the final eight minutes. Powell tried to keep it close, but Breathitt’s defense began to dominate taking away the passing lanes and controlling the boards. The Lady Kats hit 15-of-25 free throws which equaled 60 percent in the game. Powell was 14-of-19 for 45 percent. The end result was a Breathitt County 60-45 victory.
Breathitt was led by Shouse with 24 points, 18 of those came in the second half. Noble tossed in 20 points and Leslie Spencer chipped in 10. Powell was led by McFarland with a game high 30 points, 12 came from the charity stripe. She was the only Lady Pirate to reach double figures.
“I thought we played well enough to win the game..take away the two third quarter three’s by Shouse and get a couple of walking calls, and we would have been in position to win,” Powell coach Ken Jones said. “The girls played really hard, and I’m proud of them. If we can sustain that effort, we’ll do well come tournament time.”
In the JV game it was all Powell County. The Lady Pirates younger team used a pressure defense and a balanced scoring attack to beat Breathitt County 54-25. Powell was led by Keely Rogers with 18 points. Six other Lady Pirates made the scoring column.
The Lady Pirates will take to the road this week. This past Monday night they opened district play at Owsley County. They will host West Jessamine on Friday. Game times are 6 and 7:30 p.m.