Lady Jackets defeat Pineville 51-50 to advance to All ‘A’ Finals

Within the span of one week, the Lady Jackets have won three games and find themselves in the finals of the 13th Region All “A” Classic tournament after defeating Pineville in a 51-50 thriller in Red Bird on Thursday. Scoring 51 points in two straight games, Middlesboro (6-11) earned a trip to the championship game against Williamsburg (10-5) on Friday.

On their way to the finals, Middlesboro handed Barbourville (2-13) a 51-41 defeat on Tuesday.

Against Pineville, the Lady Jackets had a balanced scoring attack led by Brittany Davis with 15 points and Baylee Woody with 12 points. Kailey Owens and Kirsten Keith scored 10 points each.

Pineville was led by Whitney Caldwell with a career-high 42 points, including 21-of-27 from the charity stripe. Although Caldwell had a career night, it was the Lady Jackets that escaped with a victory on a free throw from Woody with 3.4 seconds remaining in the game.

“Whitney (Caldwell) played one heck of a game,” said Pineville coach Jamie Mills. “Right there at the end of the first half, I thought the team did a good job of moving the ball around. Whitney made a few shots close to the half, and that’s what allowed us to go up 11 right before intermission. This is a team sport, and we know that, but Whitney (Caldwell) was just on fire. She played a remarkable game.”

The first half was tilted in Pineville’s favor, due to a 28-point first half from Caldwell. Scoring 11 of the Lady Lion’s 13 first-quarter points, Caldwell led the charge for Pineville. However, the Lady Jackets outscored the Lady Lions 16-13 in the first quarter, including two 3-pointers from Davis, one from Woody and one from Keith.

The Lady Jackets’ offense went cold in the second half, scoring only six total points. Caldwell again exploded on offense, scoring 17 of Pineville’s 20 points in the quarter. The Lady Lions held an 11-point advantage at the half, 33-22.

“Pineville went on a run there at the end of the second quarter, led by Caldwell,” said Middlesboro coach Scott Overbay. “We went into the locker room, regained our composure and went out and did what we needed to do to get back in the game.”

After the half, the Lady Jackets’ offense began to find their footing, outscoring the Lady Lions 15-8 in the third. Pineville held onto a slim 41-37 lead heading into the final quarter. In the final period of the game, the Lady Jackets outscored the Lady Lions 14-9, including 8-of11 from the free-throw line.

No shot was bigger than when Woody stepped to the line for Middlesboro, hitting the go-ahead free throw with 3.4 seconds remaining in the game to give the Lady Jackets the one-point victory.

“I thought we played a good game, especially after the half,” said Overbay. “I’m proud of the way we fought, especially the way we started the second half. (Pineville) had just went on a run there before the end of the half and gave themselves an 11-point lead heading into the locker room. I thought we responded well, we hit shots when we needed to and we got the win.”

Middlesboro played Williamsburg in the All “A” Championship Friday night.

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Middlesboro (51) — Brittany Davis 15, Grace Gent 3, Baylee Woody 12, Kailey Owens 10, Kirsten Keith 10, Brynlee Foster 1.

Pineville (50) — Whitney Caldwell 42, Summer Partin 4, Raigan King 3, Alyssa Edmonson 1.

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Middlesboro 16 6 15 14 — 51

Pineville 13 20 8 9 — 50