Lady Bulldogs upset Lady Panthers

Published 12:05 pm Friday, February 14, 2020

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Claiborne High School welcomed Cumberland Gap into town on Feb. 13 for two rivalry games of varsity basketball. The Lady Bulldogs and the Lady Panthers were first to take the court and the underdog Lady Bulldogs got an early 8-2 advantage, but the Lady Panthers stormed back and were down 8-6 at the end of the first.

The visiting Lady Panthers tied the game at eight with 6:57 showing in the second period. With just under three minutes left in the half, the visitors led by one point at 11-10. The Lady Panthers had a four-point swing in part by a technical foul on the Claiborne bench. The game intensity was high at that point and both defenses were playing tough and hard basketball. The score at the half was 15-14 with the Lady Panthers enjoying a one-point lead.

Claiborne took the lead with a big three, and Cumberland Gap tied it at 17. The Lady Bulldogs played with a lead for the better part of the third, and the Lady Panthers stayed within striking distance. The Lady Bulldogs took a nine-point lead into the final period, 29-20.

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Players were diving all over the court during the fourth period, and Claiborne was able to hold an eight-point lead going into the final stretch. Claiborne held a 13-point lead with 1:40 remaining and were looking to close out the upset. A great defensive effort helped the home team win by the final score of 42-27.

Head coach Ariel Nickell said this about the game, “We had one practice due to flooding and sickness, and we spent the time on defense and they played well tonight. I’m so proud of the effort they put out there tonight.”

Nickell had her offense challenge the Lady Panthers in the paint and they responded. Nickell was proud of their efforts as well, “We wanted to challenge them down in the paint and we thought it would work for us and it did.”

Leading CHS in scoring was Trinity Jones with 15. Emma Beason had nine and played well on defense. Hailey Sexton had seven, four of which came in the final period. Macie Sumner and Kelsy Munsey both had four points and Skylar Cook rounded out the total with two points.

The Lady Panthers were led by Presely Cole with eight. Nevaeh Kerns had five, Kayli Hinckley and Kylie Fultz both had four, Abbie Fultz had three and Abigail Garner was held to only two points. Addie Brooks rounded out the total with a single point.