Lady Cougars place 5th in Kesslers Holiday Classic

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By Dwane Wilder

For a team that holds down the  top spot in District 3-AAA this year with a perfect 4-0 record, the Campbell County High School girl’s basketball team looked rather average last week while playing in the Kesslers Holiday Classic at Webb School of Knoxville.
The Lady Cougars dropped their opening game, 45-41, to Loudon before rebounding with consecutive victories over Fulton, 54-39; and Alcoa, 44-42, for 5th place.
“I hope people were scouting us, because I don’t think we played very well,” said Campbell County coach Ryan Browning.
“We got two wins, but we didn’t play anywhere near our capability. The first game we missed a lot of easy looks.”
The Lady Cougars had no scorer in double figures against Loudon. Junior point guard Courtney Morris led Campbell County with 9 points, followed by post players Shayla Goins and Amber Young with 7 each, Kristin Chapman and Courtney Miller 6 each, Maria Foust and Hannah Owens 2 each.
The Lady Cougars regrouped and came back the following day with a win over Fulton. Young powered in 11 points, followed by Miller with 9, Chapman 8, Morris and Goins 6 each, Foust 5, Owens 4, Niki Ward 3 and Kristy Owens 2.
Campbell County closed out the tournament with a big comeback victory in the 5th place game against Alcoa.
Trailing by 13 points late in the third quarter, the Lady Cougars finally caught the Lady Tornadoes at 40-40 on a steal and breakaway layup by Hannah Owens with 1:32 left in the fourth.
Owens had two clutch baskets in the final minute and a half. Goins hit the game-winning jump shot from just inside the foul line with 4 seconds remaining.
Chapman scored 7 of her game-high 11 points during the second half for Campbell County. Goins chipped in 7 points, followed by Owens with 6, Foust 5, Young and Morris 4 each, Miller and Samantha Leach 3 each and Ward 1.
“Courtney (Morris) didn’t shoot the ball real well, but she had 5 or 6 assists (16 in 3 games). We finally found the right rotation at the end of the game,” said Browning.
Both teams had the lead twice during the opening quarter, but Alcoa soon took control and held a 13-8 advantage at the first rest stop and 21-12 at halftime.
Kylee Haynes led the Lady Tornadoes with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
The Lady Cougars helped their cause by making 7 of 10 free throw attempts.
“It seems like, in some games, we’re playing down to our competition,” said Browning.
“We had 13 turnovers in the first half against Alcoa. We still had our fair share in the second half, but we scored 20 points in the fourth quarter after scoring 24 in the first three.”
Chapman had a productive tournament with 28 rebounds and 10 steals in three games. She also blocked half a dozen shots against Alcoa.
The Lady Cougars will head into the heart of their district schedule this week with games against Clinton (Tues. at home) and Anderson County (Fri. at AC).