After trailing by 13 points at the half, Corbin Coach Jennifer Parsons asked her team if “this was how we wanted to go out.”
Parsons was looking for someone to step up. Her wish came true as senior Calli Hendrickson came up with two big steals in the last twenty seconds of the third quarter to ignite a come-from-behind victory over Harlan, 40-37.
The Lady Redhounds trailed 31-21 with a minute left in the third period when Hayley Smith scored from close range. Miranda Wilson knocked down two free throws with 19.8 to cut the lead to six when Hendrickson stole the ball twice in a row off the Corbin press. She took both steals to the basket for her only four points of the game, but it was those baskets that had Corbin (20-10) within a basket by the close of the third quarter.
Rachael Massengill tied the game with the first basket of the fourth quarter and it was her basket with 4:10 left in the game that gave the Lady Redhounds their first lead of the game, 34-33.
Harlan (18-13) tied the game on a free throw by Gabriella Rehnborg, but when Kayla Wilson hit a 3-pointer from the left side of the floor, Corbin owned the lead for good.
“Calli gave us the spark we needed,” said Parsons. “Harlan jumped out on us, they were ready and we backed down. It was like a flash back from last Thursday. Just being in that slow motion sets and not taking it to them.”
Parsons was referring to the final game of the regular season when the Lady Redhounds had to fought off the Lady Dragons for a 54-47 win at Harlan.
“I felt we were playing that way until Calli made that little run,” said Parsons.
Harlan did jump out on the Lady Redhounds for a 10-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 24-11 lead at the half.
Corbin turned the ball over eight times compared to three times for the Lady Dragons. Once Corbin turned up the pressure both teams ended the night with 15 turnovers.
Rebounding also concerned Parsons. “They were killing on us the boards. That was the biggest factor in the first half.
Harlan had out-rebounded the Lady Hounds 17-9 in the first 16 minutes. Ten of those were on the offensive boards. Corbin limited the Lady Dragons to three offensive boards in the second half and 11 total. Harlan won the battle of the boards, 28-21.
Hayley Smith led the Lady Redhounds with 10 points in the game while Kelly Cox had 19 points for the Lady Dragons.
Corbin will take on Clay County Friday at 8 p.m. in the tournament semifinals.
Corbin 40, Harlan 37
Corbin 5 6 18 11- 40
Harlan 10 14 7 6- 37
Corbin (40) – Smith 10, Roaden 9, Cleary 2, M. Wilson 5, K. Wilson 5, Hendrickson 4, Massengill 5.
Harlan (37) – Mullins 10, Rehnborg 6, Cox 19, Henson 2.