Lady Jackets rout Claiborne
Everything Middlesboro did wrong against Williamsburg three days earlier seemed to correct itself by the time the Lady Jackets hosted Claiborne, Tennessee on Thursday. Middlesboro moved the ball effectively to create good shots and improved their defensive play.
The Lady Jackets went on to earn a lopsided 43-14 victory over the Lady Bulldogs.
“It was a very important (win) for the girls. (It) was very important for our psyche going into our holiday break,” said Middlesboro coach Ron Edwards. “I thought the first half we executed well. We moved the basketball extremely well. Then I felt like we got comfortable.
“I’m tickled to death. I’m pleased with the girls. We just got to put — instead of two quarters together — we’ve got to put four quarters together.”
Hannah Warren and Baylee Woody paced the Lady Jackets offensively scoring a combined 21 points. Warren finished with a team-high 11 points with nine coming from three-point range. Woody ended the night with 10 points.
“(We) were hitting the gaps, hitting the open people, excellent ball movement. But, they got to understand once you got a lead you can’t give up,” said Edwards.
Defensively, the Lady Jackets stifled Claiborne not allowing the Lady Bulldogs to score double digits in any quarter. No player scored more than a single basket from the field. Jayden Thompson led Claiborne with four points.
Middlesboro opened the game with an 11-0 run that extended over half way through the first quarter. Valorie Rouse ended the run with a jumper to cut the lead to 11-2. Baskets by Woody and Grace Moles gave the Lady Jackets a 17-3 lead at the end of one.
The Middlesboro defense held Claiborne without a field goal in the second half. The Lady Bulldogs only two points came from a pair of Kelsy Munsey free throws early in the quarter.
The Lady Jackets ended the second on a 22-0 run that saw Warren hit consecutive 3-pointers and Woody tally six points from the field. Middlesboro held a 41-5 lead heading into halftime.
Claiborne had their highest scoring output in the third quarter with six points. Thompson opened the half with a free throw and a layup to cut the deficit to 41-8. Cheyenne Tolliver hit a pair of free throws after a Warren layup to cut the lead to 43-10.
Tolliver ended the third with a free throw the narrowed the Middlesboro lead to 43-11.
With the running clock in play, a 3-pointer by Marie Summer was the only basket scored in the fourth to allow the Lady Jackets to walk away with a 29-point victory.
Middlesboro (2-4) battled Knox Central on Friday before squaring off against Buckhorn (1-4) in the Chain Rock Classic on Dec. 27.
Middlesboro 43, Claiborne 14
Hannah Warren 4 0-0 11, 4 1-2 10, Jamayha Poe 2 1-2 7, Malorie Carter 2 0-0 4, Grace Moles 2 1-2 5, Lakin Burke 3 0-0 6. Totals: 17 3-6 43.
Emma Beason 0 0-5 0, Marie Sumner 1 0-0 3, Kelsy Munsey 0 2-2 2, Valorie Rouse 1 0-0 2, Cheyenne Tolliver 0 3-4 3, Jayden Thompson 1 2-4 4, Kaylee Cox 0 0-2 0. Totals: 3 7-17 14.
Middlesboro 17 24 2 0 — 43
Claiborne 3 2 6 3 — 14
3-point goals: Middlesboro 6 (Warren 3, Poe 2, Woody 1), Claiborne 1 (Summer 1).
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN