PIKEVILLE - Betsy Layne was within two points of 57th District champion Johnson Central in the final minute of the third quarter but couldn’t get any closer on Wednesday night. Johnson Central decided to finish strong. The Lady Eagles, under the direction of head coach Darrin Rice, outscored 58th District runner-up Betsy Layne 17-4 in the fourth quarter to defeat the Ladycats 57-38 in the opening game of the 15th Region Girls’ Basketball Tournament.
Betsy Layne ended its season 10-20 after suffering the loss.
With the win, Johnson Central improved to 20-11 and advanced to the semifinals of the regional tournament.
Sophomore guard Lauren Delong and freshman forward Lauryn Salyer led a balanced Johnson Central scoring attack with 13 points apiece.
Joining Delong and Salyer in double figures, sophomore guard/forward Jayla Spurlock added 10 points for the Lady Eagles.
Johnson Central owned single-digit leads over Betsy Layne throughout the first three quarters. After edging Betsy Layne 10-9 in the opening quarter, Johnson Central stretched its lead in the second period, outscoring the Ladycats 15-7 to lead 25-16 at halftime.
But Betsy Layne wouldn’t go away. The Ladycats outscored Johnson Central 18-15 in the third quarter. Betsy Layne, however, fell victim to a 12-0 Johnson Central run that started late in the third quarter and carried over into the final period.
Bailey Daniel scored eight points and Rachel Hall added six for Johnson Central in the win.
Defensively, Johnson Central registered 26 steals.
Sophomore forward Emily Kidd and junior guard Chloe Johnson led Betsy Layne with seven points apiece. Contributing offensively, Kelsi Tackett, Eddie Akers and Megan Frazier added six point apiece for the Ladycats.
Betsy Layne, under the direction of first-year head coach Randy Coleman, shot 40.0 percent (14-of-35) from the field.
The Ladycats struggled to take care of the basketball, committing 24 turnovers.
Betsy Layne managed to outrebound Johnson Central 30-21.
In the nightcap, 59th District runner-up Pikeville beat 60th District champion Belfry 47-31.
15th Region Girls’ Basketball Tournament
at East Kentucky Expo Center
Johnson Central 57, Betsy Layne 38
Betsy Layne (38): Morrow 4, Johnson 7, Ka.Tackett 2, Kidd 7, Ke.Tackett 6, Akers 6, Frazier 6.
Johnson Central (57): Daniel 8, Pierce 3, DeLong 13, Spurlock 10, Hall 6, Preston 2, McPeek 2, Salyer 13.
Betsy Layne………….9 7 184-38
Johnson Central…..10 15 15 17-57