BARBOURVILLE — The Lady Tigers’ Erlsan sisters, Kara and Kelsey, combined for 45 points and helped Barbourville dominate the glass Thursday as they withstood a furious second half rally from Pineville to pull out a 71-64 win.
“We just couldn’t stop their big girls in the post,” said Lady Lion coach Matt Shafer. “You live and you learn. But we’ll be better for playing this one. We got out of our shooting slump and I’m still excited for this team.”
Kelsey Erslan finished with 23 points and Kara added 22 while the Lady Tigers also got ten points from Amber Mills and nine from K.K. Liford.
The Lady Mountain Lions were led by junior Devin Enix with 23 points while senior Annalee Adams added 21 and freshman guard Erica Gambrell 14 in the 51st District opener for both teams.
Pineville trailed 39-27 at the half, but came out strong in the third quarter. Using a full-court press, the Lady Lions forced seven turnovers as they erased the deficit. Adams, who scored seven points during the 17-5 spurt, started it with a 3-pointer and finished it by coming out of scrum in the lane after a Barbourville miss and beating everyone down the court for a layup. That basket tied the game at 46 with 50 seconds to play in the third.
“This is a fun team to coach, they never quit. I’m proud of them for that,” Shafer said.
Mills hit a pair of free throws and Liford came up with a steal and layup to give the Lady Tigers a four-point cushion. Kara Erslan added one free throw after Shafer was called for a technical with 2.8 seconds left in the period and it was 51-46 going into the fourth quarter.
Kara Erslan and Liford hit 3s early in the final quarter to extend the lead to 61-51 by the 4:47 mark. Enix answered with a 3 for Pineville and Adams turned a steal into a layup, but the Lady Lions wouldn’t get closer than five the rest of the way.
Kelsey Erslan converted three-point plays on consecutive possessions with under two minutes to play to push the lead back to 11.
“Barbourville is a veteran team and they came to play,” Shafer added. “We can’t have some of the mistakes that we had early on when you play good teams. We’re figuring it out. It’s early yet and we’ll get better.”
Enix hit a 3-pointer ahead of the buzzer to set the final score at 71-64.
Pineville (3-3, 0-1) hosts North Laurel Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. while Barbourville (4-0, 1-0) hosts Model Saturday.
— — —
Pineville……….. 9…18…19…18 — 64
Barbourville…18…21…12…20 — 71
PINEVILLE (64): Devin Enix 23, Annalee Adams 21, Erica Gambrell 14, Emily Mullins 4, Rachel Barnes 2, Stacey Washington 0, Tiffany Sutton 0, Jillian Enix 0.
BARBOURVILLE (71): Kelsey Erslan 23, Kara Erslan 22, Amber Mills 10, K.K. Liford 9, Briana Tate 5, Tyra Bunch 2, Madison Hicks 0, Brandi Hembree 0.