JELLICO – With leading scorer Braelyn Coffey on the bench with foul trouble, Washburn High School Lady Pirates basketball head coach Daniel Bishop turned to his reserves to take up the slack.
They responded in a big way, especially freshmen Abigail Epperson, Ebany Hill and Hannah Williams. The Lady Pirates went on to a 66-31 victory over the Jellico High School Lady Blue Devils Friday, February 10. The result was that the Lady Pirates are co-champions of District 2A with Cosby High School and have their first 20-win season since 2017-18.
Saylor Clay led the scoring with 18 points. Epperson followed with 13 points and also grabbed four rebounds. Bishop said it was her best game of the season. Callie Nicley had nine points and six rebounds. Williams had six points and five rebounds, Hill had five points and three rebounds and Megan Beeler had seven points and four rebounds. Coffey, who averages 18 points a game was held to eight points in limited playing time.
The Lady Pirates open district tournament play against Hancock County High School Friday, February 17. They are the second seed. Cosby is the top seed as the result of winning the tiebreaker in a preseason draw. Washburn is hosting the tournament this year.
The Lady Pirates moved into a first-place tie with the Cosby High School Lady Eagles Tuesday, February 7 with a scintillating 53-52 victory to cap off senior night.
It was the Lady Pirates’ first win over Cosby in school history, head coach Daniel Bishop said.
The two teams went back and forth for three quarters and Washburn led by a single point going into the fourth quarter. Washburn took a four-point lead with about two minutes left. Cosby got a steal and scored to go ahead 52-51 with 25 seconds left. Braelyn Coffey brought the ball down the court and she nailed the shot with four seconds remaining to regain the lead.
Cosby came back down the floor and took a timeout with 1.9 seconds left.
Each team took timeouts to plot their final strategy.
Cosby took the ball in at side court, but a desperation shot never reached the basket. The celebration began.
“It was an exciting quarter. There were a lot of plays by each team. Some of the key plays were two big three-pointers by Megan Beeler, a huge assist by Ebany Hill and Braelyn and Saylor making some key free throws down the stretch,” Bishop said.
Coffey was six for six and Saylor Clay hit all four of her free-throws in the fourth quarter.
Coffey led the scoring with 29 points, her best game of the year. She also had five rebounds. Clay chipped in with 11 points. Beeler had six points, Hill had four points and Hannah Williams added three points. Rylie Nicely pulled down seven rebounds.