After a disappointing end to their previous season, the Campbell County High School varsity girls are making up for it with a great start to the 2010-11 basketball campaign.
The Lady Cougars, who were eliminated during the quarterfinals of the 2010 regional tournament back in February, have won 6 of their last 7 games this year for a share of the District 3-AAA lead.
Junior point guard Courtney Morris scored 19 points Friday night to carry the Lady Cougars (4-0 district, 7-3 overall) to a 64-52 victory over visiting league foe Knoxville Central.
Niki Ward chipped in 9 points for Campbell County, all during the first half, while Hannah Owens and Courtney Miller had 8 points each, Maria Foust 6, Samantha Leach and Shayla Goins 5 each, and Amber Young 4.
The Lady Cougars shot well from the charity stripe, where they made good on 14 of 22 attempts. Campbell County, which led 36-25 at halftime, also hit eight 3-pointers during the game.
Central’s Makayla Graham led all scorers with 25 points, including a trio of 3-pointers and 6 of 8 free throws.
Just as they did the previous week against Oak Ridge, the Campbell County boys had an early 9-point lead against Knoxville Central but failed to hold it. The Bobcats escaped, 72-70, behind a 28-point performance by all-district guard Dre Mathieu.
Cougars’ point man Lucas Nelson led all scorers with 29 points before fouling out with 1:36 left and his team trailing by one, 66-65. That seemed to seal Campbell County’s fate.
Sophomore Corey Poteet scored all 12 of his points from 3-point range for the Cougars (0-4 district, 5-6 overall). Ethan Simpson added 10 points for Campbell County, followed by Gunner St. John and Nick Litton with 6 each, Dylan Stanfield 4 and Matt Bolton 3.
The Cougars hit 7 of their 9 treys during the first half, when they built a double-digit lead.
With a 28-26 advantage at the end of the first quarter, both teams were on pace to reach 100 points. Campbell County led by 12 with 3:27 remaining in the second quarter and enjoyed a 48-43 edge at halftime.
Nelson had 19 of his points by intermission.
The Bobcats pulled in front early in the third quarter, but Nelson scored 6 straight points to get the lead back for the Cougars.
The game was tied 50-50, 52-52 and 54-54 before Matt Bolton nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner to give Campbell County a 59-56 advantage going to the fourth quarter.
The Cougars fell behind early in the final period, but Simpson got the lead back, 63-62, with a driving layup. Central regained the upper hand on the following possession and never trailed again.
Free throw shooting was a huge factor in the game. The Bobcats (17-of-30) made over three times as many foul shots as the Cougars (5-of-13). Central hit 10 free throws in the fourth quarter alone.