CORBIN — Tournament MVP Maci Morris scored 39 points and grabbed 12 rebound on Saturday as the Bell County Lady Cats held off a late rally from Corbin to win the championship game of the Cumberland Falls Invitational, 83-82.
With their half-court trap creating turnovers, the Lady Cats surged out to a 28-18 lead by the end of the first quarter with Morris leading the way.
However, the junior guard picked up two fouls and headed to bench before the end of the period and sat out most of the second quarter as well. Corbin cut the Bell lead to 45-40 by halftime.
The third quarter was all Bell County as the Lady Cats outscored the Lady Redhounds 21-10 in the period. Defensive pressure was again a big key. Bell led by as many as 21 points and appeared to have the game well in hand. It was 66-50 going into the fourth.
Corbin didn’t go down without a fight as Kayla Wilson and Jaclyn Jewell both hit 3s to cut the deficit to nine points with under six minutes to play. The lead was still nine points nearing the 3:00 mark, but the Lady Hounds managed to get it down to one. They even had a shot to take the lead late but Melanie Wilson’s layup was off the mark and Bell County held on.
Miranda Wilson led Corbin with 17 points, Sarah Ashley finished with 14, while Kayla Wilson and Jewell added 12 each and Melanie Wilson chipped in with 10.
Joining Morris in double figures for the Lady Cats was junior guard Jess Sanders with 18 points while senior Morgan Garnett finished with 11. Sarah Collins added seven points off the bench and Katrina Johnson scored six.
The win completes an impressive opening week for Bell County. Along with Saturday’s victory in what a rematch of last season’s 13th Region championship game, the Lady Cats knocked off Whitley County (another of the region’s top teams) and South Laurel. It’s the second straight year the Lady Cats have won the Cumberland Falls Invitational.
Bell County (3-0) visits Harlan on Tuesday in the first game of a girls-boys double-header. Corbin (2-1) plays at Casey County on Tuesday.
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BELL COUNTY (83) — Maci Morris 39, Jess Sanders 18, Morgan Garnett 11, Katrina Johnson 6, Kelli Smith 2, Sarah Collins 7, Kaitlyn Taylor 0, Caleigh Collett 0, Allison Howard 0, Alex Brock 0, Bethany Miracle 0.
CORBIN (82) — Miranda Wilson 17, Sarah Ashley 14, Kayla Wilson 12, Jaclyn Jewell 12, Melanie Wilson 10, Natalye Gallagher 8, Brooklyn Ashurst 4, Kaitlyn Waddle 3, Meghan Blackburn 2.