PINEVILLE — The Lady Mountain Lions opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to take the lead back and held on down the stretch for a 45-43 win over Middlesboro on Friday. The victory gave Pineville a second place finish in the 2012 Pine Mountain Classic.
The Lady Lions led by as many as eight points early in the third quarter but the Lady Jackets closed the period on a 9-1 run. Carissa Padgett scored the first six points and Blair Green drained a 3-pointer to put Middlesboro on top 33-31 at the end of the third.
Pineville’s Annalee Adams was fouled on a three point attempt to open the fourth quarter and hit all three free throws to put the Lady Lions on top for good. MHS turned the ball over on their first four possessions of the final period and Pineville capitalized with a putback from Stacey Washington and a layup by Devin Enix to stretch the lead to 38-33.
“That’s what has hurt us. It hurt us against Lynn Camp, it hurt us against Pineville, it hurt us against Harlan,” Middlesboro coach Elgie Green said. “We play really well for three quarters and then start turning the basketball over — and it’s not really pressure that’s doing it, it’s not moving hard to the ball or making a bad decision on a pass.”
From that point Pineville made seven of 12 free throws and forced three more turnovers as they held on for the win.
“We kind of pride ourselves on our conditioning and that really showed today. (Plus) girls like Makayla Keyes and Autumn Short, the things they do sometimes doesn’t show up in the stat sheet. But they came in and gave us a minute or two and that means so much as far as keeping girls fresh for the fourth quarter,” Lady Lion coach Matt Shafer said. “We cranked up the defense there in the fourth.”
The Lady Jackets did their best to stay within striking distance late. A short jumper from Green cut the lead to 41-38 with 1:35 to play. Pineville’s Erica Gambrell hit one free throw and missed the next, but Adams came away with a big offensive rebound. Enix then hit two free throws to push the lead back to 44-38.
Padgett stole a deep pass off an inbounds play and got the ball ahead to Taylor Moyers for a layup to cut the lead to four points with 21 seconds to to. Gambrell hit one free throw, then Bailey Hensley hit a 3-pointer with five seconds to play but time ran out before the Lady Jackets could foul and stop the clock as the Lady Lions held on for the 45-43 win.
Enix led all scorers in the game with 22 points while Gambrell added nine points and Adams five.
Green paced the Lady Jackets with 14 points while Hensley added 13 and Padgett 12.
“Devin did a great job defensively. She made Blair work for everything that she got. Her defenisive intensity is what sparked us,” added Shafer. “A lot of times leading scorers won’t get down and play, but she doesn’t care to get down there and play physical. That’s what I’m really proud of for her. The shooting and everything, that’s just Devin.”
Pineville scored the final six points of the first quarter to open up a 12-6 lead. Gambrell hit a 3 and later a free throw before Enix beat the buzzer with a driving layup.
Late in the second quarter, the Lady Jackets got baskets from Green and Hensley, plus a free throw by Padgett to cut the deficit to 19-18. The Lady Lions answered with an Autumn Short layup and a 3 from Enix just before the half to take a 24-18 lead to the locker room.
A basket from Adams put the Lady Lions up 28-20 with 6:30 to play in the third before Middlesboro battled back to take the lead.
“They played us man-to-man and finally we stuck our two post players in the paint and just let them work. That got us back in the game and kind of slowed it down a little bit,” Green said. “On our press we got after it, but we still didn’t get to the spots we need to get to, especially on the weak side. We’re getting there, we’ve just got to keep working and we’ve just got to get better.”
Both teams are off until next Friday when they’ll return to district play. Middlesboro (1-11) hosts Bell County while Pineville (9-6) travels to Knox Central.
— — —
Middlesboro…6…12…15…10 — 43
Pineville………12…12….7…14 — 45
MIDDLESBORO (43): Blair Green 14, Bailey Hensley 13, Carissa Padgett 12, Taylor Moyers 2, Amanda Biscardi 2, Kelsie Hensley 0, Taylor Prater 0, Lauren Spurlock 0.
PINEVILLE (45): Devin Enix 22, Erica Gambrell 9, Annalee Adams 5, Stacey Washington 4, Emily Mullins 2, Autumn Short 2, Rachel Barnes 1, Makayla Keyes 0, Jillian Enix 0.