GOODY, Ky. — The Belfry Lady Pirates held rival Pike Central to single digit scoring in three of the four quarters in the 60th District Championship game on Thursday night as thy cruised to their second consecutive district title by a final score of 58-35.
With the win Belfry will now turn their attention to the next leg of the postseason, as the 15th Region Tournament Bracket was revealed on Saturday afternoon.
BHS drew the runner-up from the 57th District in the Johnson Central Lady Eagles who enter with a 16-14 record but having won 8 of their last 10 games.
In the 60th District Championship game on Thursday, the Lady Pirates (15-14) came out hitting on all cylinders offensively as sophomore Cushi Fletcher led the way as she erupted for nine points in the opening period.
15th Region Player of the Year Katie Ball was drawing a double team nearly every time she touched the ball which led to all five Lady Pirates netting points in the opening stanza as BHS jumped out to a 17-11 lead.
The Lady Hawks 11 points in the frame was the most they would score in any quarter all game, as the Lady Pirates played a stifling zone defense throughout the contest.
In the second quarter 8th grader Kyera Thornsbury came alive and scored six pints while Fletcher added five more in the period as the Lady Pirates took a double-digit lead into the break at 28-17.
Coming out to start the second half Ball got things going on the offensive end as she scored six quick points to go along with six more from Fletcher as BHS extended their lead to 42-25 into the fourth.
The final eight minutes of play continued to go in the red-and-white’s favor as five different Lady Pirates netted points in the period and they sank 7-9 free throw to cruise to the 23-point win.
Fletcher led coach Kevin Deskins’ club in scoring with a game high 20 points, including 14 in the first half, as she was named 60th District Tournament MVP.
Ball was held to only 13 points but secured a double-double as she yanked down a game high 15 rebounds while also dishing four assists and blocking four shots.
Thornsbury added 14 points for the red-and-white as the youngster connected on 6-7 shots at the charity stripe. Linzee Phillips contributed four points while McKenna Sullivan, Kyra Justice, and Hope Coley each finished with two points, and senior Taylor Layne connected on a free throw.
Bailey Birchfield led the Lady Hawks with 16 points while leading scorer Kelsi Brinager was held to only 11 points on the night for coach Derrick Newsome’s club.
The Lady Pirates shot the ball extremely well as they hit 21-31 shots for 67.7% and hit 13-18 from the foul line. Pike Central hit only 13-50 shots for 26%, and only 3-9 at the foul line. BHS did the majority of their damage inside as they hit only 1-5 threes while PCHS connected on 6-18 attempts. Belfry dominated the glass as they grabbed 29 rebounds to 13 for Pike Central.
Belfry will now look to carry their momentum into the opening round of the 15th Region Tournament against coach Darrin Rice and the JCHS Lady Eagles. The Lady Pirates opening round game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville.
With a win, the Lady Pirates would play the winner of Lawrence County and Pikeville on Friday, March 6, at 8:15 p.m. while the championship game will be played on Saturday, March 7, at 5 p.m.