With the snow gone and temperatures more reasonable, the girls basketball season got back into action last weekend. The Powell County Lady Pirates had to step it up quickly, going from not able to practice much due to the weather to facing two district foes in 48 hours. The battle for the district’s top seed was definitely on the line.
First the Lady Pirates had to take on the Lee County Lady Kats last Friday in Stanton. The friendly confines of the Rodney T. Clark Gymnasium and the familiar William Orme Court, did not seem to help the home team. Despite Powell keeping it close early, the visitor opened it up in the second half thanks to some big treys. The 14 Region’s All-A Champions topped Powell 62-47.
Powell kept the game close against Lee, who has a big presence in the paint in Morgan Hinkle. Hinkle dominated inside early, altering or blocking shots and rebounding. But the Lady Pirates did not back down, as Dakota Brown, Alisha Elam and Macey Howell led the attack. All district and region player, Hannah Kash and her teammates battled to hold on to a 29-24 halftime lead.
The second half opened with Lee’s Abby Hogan getting the hot hand. Following baseline layups by Kash and Hinkle, Hogan found her spot near the baseline behind the arc. The result was quite a run for Lee.
Powell, behind aggressive play by Ashley King and Emily Branham, Powell scrapped back to take a 38-37 lead late the third quarter. But Hogan’s barrage began and Kash put back an errant shot to give Lee a 42-38 lead entering the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Pirates still battling and the game getting more physical, including a little extracurricular activity which resulted in a technical foul on Powell, Lee kept increasing their lead. Kash led the Lady Kats down the stretch as they won going away, 62-47.
Kash led all scorers with 30 points, 19 rebounds and played every minute of the game. Hogan poured in 12 points, all of three pointers and all of her scoring was in the second half. She was 4-for-7 from three point range. Hinkle added 10 rebounds. Lee out rebounded Powell 43-27 in the game.
Powell was led by Branham, who had he hot hand in the second half, with 14 points. Brown, who had the touch in the first half and hit all four of her charity tosses, chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds. King added eight points and Howell tossed in seven points. Gracie Hall scored five, while Alisha Elam provided a key spark on defense a times, added three points.
Lee improved to 10-8 overall and 1-2 in district play. Powell went to 8-8 overall and 1-2 in the district. The two teams split their meeting this season, as Powell won in Beattyville last month, 46-45.
The Lady Pirates then took to the road for a rare Sunday matinee game at Estill County. The two district rivals were hoping to gain control of the top seed in the 56th District. The Lady Engineers entered the game with a 1-0 record in district play.
The two teams seemed to be evenly matched. That was quite evident as the game went into double overtime with the Lady Pirates pulling out the 73-69 victory.
Just how evenly matched were the two squads?
Both teams battled back-and-forth with Estill holding the edge at the end of the first quarter, 13-10. Powell took control in the second period, outscoring the home team 15-10. The halftime score was tied at 25-25.
The second half was like a classic prize-fight between two super heavyweights. Both teams played well, but neither could quite get the edge. After the third quarter the game was tied at 40-40. The final frame was a fast and furious game of keeping up with each other. When the end of regulation horn sounded, once again the score was tied, 59-59.
Nothing would be settled in the first overtime, as both teams tied to take advantage where they could and not make a critical mistake. After the first four minute overtime, once again the teams were tied, 64-64.
The second OT would finally see some wear-and-tear on the teams. But Powell managed to grab an advantage and hang on. When the horn sound to end the second overtime the Lady Pirates pulled out an exciting 73-69 victory.
The Lady Pirates Dakota Brown scored a game high 33 points and 14 rebounds in what was her best performance this year. Brown was 12-of-20 rom the field and 9-of-13 from the charity stripe. Gracie Hall tossed in 13 points in the win. Ashley King scored eight, Emily Branham added seven and Alisha Elam scored six points. Macey Howell and Bree Bush each score three points.
Estill was led by Megan Bellamy with 19 points. Mia Hale, an eighth grader, chipped in 15. Savannah Brewer added 11 and Amy Brewer scored 10 points.
The win over Estill was quite a boost for the Lady Pirates as they improved to 9-8 and 2-2 in the district. For the moment Powell seems to be in good shape in the fight for the top seed. Owsley holds the edge with a district record of 2-1 and a 64-55 win over Powell in December. The two teams will meet this Friday in Booneville.
Powell will first play Breathitt in a game which was scheduled for this past Monday evening before traveling to to play the Lady Owls. Then they will set sails and lift anchor to take on Buckhorn on the road next Monday, before traveling to Nicholas County on Jan. 31.
The match with Estill is slated for Feb. 2 in Stanton.