Pineville wins opener, 46-34
Jill Enix and Raigan King provided Pineville will a great one-two punch on Friday when the Lady Lions hosted Jackson County in the season opener. The duo combined for 26 points and 28 rebounds to help Pineville earn a 46-34 victory over the Lady Generals.
The Lady Lions had a rough night shooting the basketball early tallying only four points in the first quarter. A strong offensive outing in the second and solid defense in the fourth allowed Pineville to walk away with a 12-point victory.
“I told them when we weren’t making shots to keep shooting them. They (were) good shots,” said Pineville coach Jamie Mills. “The shots weren’t going and we had some turnovers. It was the first game of the year against a solid team.
“I told them I was pleased with the offense. Defense we buckled down. When the shots don’t go we have to turn the defense up, and that’s what we tried to do.”
Enix and King filled up the stat sheet with impressive showings on both sides of the ball. Both players finished the night with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Enix added a team-high five steals, while King tallied two steals before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
“Raigan (King) gives us a big presence inside that gives us that good inside-out game. Jill is a college-level player. She was getting the ball and we were telling her to get to the bucket with it,” said Mills. “The other girls, I said you have to keep shooting it. You’ve got to make the shots.”
Sarah Combs turned in an impressive showing in all facets of the game as well. The senior point guard tallied 10 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals. She also shot 75 percent from the charity stripe.
On the opposite side of the court, the Lady Generals were paced by Taya Davis’ 14-point performance. Raelon Creech ended the game with six points.
After entering halftime with a 23-21 lead, a layup by Enix gave Pineville a 29-25 lead with 4:54 remaining in the third. A 3-pointer by Creech and a jumper by Davis narrowed the deficit to 29-28.
Enix ended the third with a floater to give the Lady Lions a 33-31 lead heading into the fourth.
Pineville opened the final quarter with a putback by Enix and a 3-pointer by Whitney Caldwell to increase the lead to 38-31. Creech responded with a 3-pointer of her own to narrow the lead to 38-34. It was the last time Jackson County scored.
The Lady Lions ended the game on an 8-0 run down the stretch with all eight points coming from the free-throw line.
Pineville (1-0) will travel to Lee, Virginia at 6 p.m. on Monday.
Jackson County (1-2) returns to action on Monday against Barbourville (1-1).
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN