Campbell County’s girls survived a poor shooting performance Monday afternoon to post an opening day victory in the Pilot Food Mart Winter Classic at Knoxville Catholic.
The Lady Cougars defeated Southeast Whitfield (Ga.), 54-50, with little more than hustle and determination.
Wing player Lindsay Evans and post player Candice Seiber, both juniors, scored 10 points each as Campbell County improved its record to 5-4 overall. Jessica Moore and Megan Chapman chipped in eight and six points, respectively.
Briana Stoger and Shelby McFerrin tallied 12 points apiece to share game scoring honors for Southeast Whitfield, which dropped to 3-6 this season.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well as a team,” said Campbell County coach Ryan Browning.
“I hope I can put that off on the (Christmas) break. We were making 70 percent of our free throws coming in, so we need to do a better job.
“I thought our post play was good, but it was like there was a lid on the bucket.”
Campbell County made less than half its free throws (8 of 19) while Southeast Whitfield converted 11 of 18 foul shots.
The Lady Cougars overcame a four-point deficit in the second quarter. Evans scored seven of her points in the first half, including a three-pointer that put Campbell County in the lead, 24-23. The Georgians made a late free throw to tie the game, 24-24, headed to intermission.
By the end of the third period, the Lady Cougars had the lead again, 41-40.
Much of Campbell County’s success this season can be attributed to a talented freshman class, which generated 19 points Monday afternoon. Shayla Goins led the Class of 2012 with eight points followed by Kristin Chapman with five, Maria Foust and Courtney Morris three each.
Junior point guard Kellie Bolton, a transfer from Jellico, scored one point and helped take some of the load off Morris, who played through an injury.
“I think those freshmen see that we can step it up a little bit if they can pick it up,” said Browning.
“Hopefully our shots will fall a little better tomorrow (vs. Seymour).”
The Campbell County boys also had a sub par offensive performance in their tournament opener, a 64-58 loss to Carter.
Senior guards Troy Arnold and Chris Poteet paced the Cougars with 18 and 15 points, respectively, and combined for 15 points in the fourth quarter. However, missed free throws doomed Campbell County’s comeback bid. The Cougars made just 7 of 15 charity tosses.
By contrast, the Green Hornets hit 23 of 39 foul shots, including 14 of 21 in the fourth quarter.
Carter’s Lester Wilson shared game scoring honors with Arnold.
In a game featuring big players, the Green Hornets boasted the tallest: 6-foot-9 senior Joe Meady.
Both teams had five point leads in the first half, but Carter was ahead, 27-22, at halftime.
Campbell County grabbed the lead once more in the third quarter but couldn’t hold it. The Green Hornets led by double digits several times in the second half, but each time the Cougars found a way to pull within striking distance.
Campbell County’s last rally began with around two minutes left when Poteet hit a three-pointer from the right wing to chip away at Carter’s 11-point lead. Arnold’s trey at the buzzer--his fourth of the game--cut the final margin to six.
Meady finished with 13 points for the Green Hornets, who improved their record to 6-8 overall. Campbell County, which slipped to 6-4, got nine points from Zach Norman, five from Justin Young, four each from Sean Ward and Cody Suttles, and three from Cody Malicoat.