Lady Cougar defense holds Powell to single-digit points in all but one quarter

By Clayton Carroll

POWELL, TN (WLAF) The Lady Cougars traveled to Jeff Hunter Gymnasium at Powell High School to tussle the Lady Panthers in a very critical district contest. Campbell came into this match up 2 and 2 in district play, and fresh off a tough loss to Oak Ridge on Saturday. Powell entered 8 and 9 all season, 3 and 2 in district play and defeated Knox Central 59-46 on Monday.

It took exactly two minutes for either team to score, and fortunately for Campbell, Lacey Pemberton knocked home a free throw for the first points of the ball game. Powell hit a couple threes in the first quarter, but that is all they would need to gain the lead. After the end of a very defensive quarter, it was 6-5 Panthers.

Jayden Kitts and Preslee Chapman, the freshmen duo for the Orange-and-Blue, drilled some long shots of their own to spark Campbell’s offense in the second quarter. The defensive was the story of the second. The Lady Cougars’ defensive held Powell to only 4 points. Campbell outscored Powell in the second quarter 9-4, to take a 15-9 lead into the mid-game break. 

Bella Lester owned the first few minutes of the third, as she scored the first five points of the frame. The freshman phenoms connected for a highlight-reel worthy play like they did in their days at Jacksboro Middle School with a no-look find from Kitts to Chapman who rolled it off the glass. Campbell maintained a comfortable lead at the end of the third quarter, 29-13.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Lady Cougars build up a 20 point lead at one point. Even though the game was essentially all but over, Saylor Hutcheson sunk a deep ball just to make sure. When the final horn sounded, the Lady Cougars left Powell with their third district win of the year 44-26.

Campbell improves to 18 and 3 on the year and 3 and 2 in district 3 region 2 (4-A) play. As for the Lady Panthers, they drop to 8 and 10 on the year and 3-3 in district play.

Lacey led in scoring (Pemberton, that is). The junior racked up 13 points on the night. Preslee Chapman, your Local Realtor Gage Dople Player of the Game, tallied nine points, and Jayden Kitts finished right behind her with eight points. Saylor Hutcheson and Bella Lester had five points a piece. Destiny hit a three-pointer for her lone points of the night, and Carley Kitts rounded out the scoring with one point.

Head Coach Jason Kitts was incredibly proud of the team’s performance, especially on the defensive side of the basketball. He mentioned that Hunter Gymnasium is incredibly difficult for opposing teams to shoot in, yet Powell “shoots the lights out”. He was glad that his team could break that stereotype and hit shots when they needed to, while keeping Powell’s offensive at bay.

Up next for the Lady Cougars is an opponent who they have played quite recently…Powell. The Lady Panthers make the return trip to John Brown Gym on Thursday. Josh Parker sends you all of the live coverage beginning at 6pm over the WLAF Doyle’s Tire Sports Network which consists of AM 1450, FM 100.9 radio, TV-1089, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, and Twitch.

Thu., Feb. 1 HOME Powell

Fri., Feb. 2 AWAY Oak Ridge

Mon., Feb. 5 AWAY Halls

Tue., Feb. 6 AWAY Central

Fri., Feb. 9 HOME Karns (Senior Night)

Mon., Feb. 12 AWAY District Tourney

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(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/30/2024-7:30 PM)