CCHS girls jump back into district title race

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By Dwane Wilder

 Campbell County’s girls jumped back into the race Friday night for a regular season district basketball championship.

The Lady Cougars edged homecoming foe Hardin Valley, 40-37, in overtime to avenge a 7-point loss a week earlier to the Lady Hawks (7-2 district, 12-7 overall), who also have designs on the district title.

Kristin Chapman scored half of her game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Lady Cougars (6-2 district, 11-6 overall), who rallied back from a 24-13 halftime deficit. Chapman also grabbed 13 rebounds, made 2 steals, and blocked a shot.

Courtney Morris contributed 7 points to Campbell County’s cause, while Shayla Goins had 6, Courtney Miller and Hannah Owens 4 each, and Amber Young 3.

“At halftime, I said all I wanted (our players) to do is compete,” said Lady Cougars coach Ryan Browning.

“We didn’t shoot very well in the first half (6-of-20 from the field), and we had a lot of turnovers. There weren’t many Xs and Os we could do differently, just play better defense and rebound. I think we really ramped up our defense in the second half and showed what we could do.”

Campbell County shut down the Lady Hawks during the final 12 minutes of the game. The Lady Cougars held Hardin Valley to one field goal in the fourth quarter and one field goal in overtime.

“We did a good job of pressing their guards up top. We battled and got after it. Hardin Valley didn’t get a lot of second chances.”

The Lady Hawks scored 16 fewer points than they did during a 53-46 victory over Campbell County on Jan. 13 at Knoxville. Chapman nearly fouled out of that game and finished with only 6 points.

The second time around, it was a different story. Chapman’s slashing putback of a teammate’s missed free throw late in the fourth quarter was just the spark that Campbell County needed.

Morris also came up big at crunch time. The junior point guard scored 5 of her 7 points, including a trey, during the fourth quarter.

“She didn’t score a lot of points, but had one of her better defensive games,” Browning said of Morris.

Goins, who scored all 6 of her points in the second half, also made an impact down the stretch. The Lady Cougars did not shoot well from the charity stripe, but hit free throws when they had to.

“I didn’t sub much in the fourth quarter, and I don’t think I subbed any in overtime,” said Browning.

“When we played them (at Knoxville), we started fouling them with about two minutes left and they ended up making 13 out of 20 free throws.”

Campbell County and Hardin Valley are currently tied for 3rd place in the District 3-AAA standings behind Oak Ridge and Knox Halls, which are tied for 1st place.

With a home game against Powell (Tues.) and road games at Anderson County (Thurs.) and Oak Ridge (Fri.), the Lady Cougars stand to gain a lot of ground this week.