By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
Right place, right time.
That's where the Somerset Lady Jumpers found themselves on Saturday afternoon, facing an angry Harlan County team in the annual Cancer Awareness Classic at The PC Gym.
Harlan County already owned two wins over Erin Walker's club this season, with both coming in the Candy Cane Classic over the Christmas break at South Laurel.
The Lady Black Bears brought an impressive 22-4 mark into Saturday's game against Somerset, tied with Bell County for the top record in the 13th Region.
However, Harlan County was in a foul mood, coming off a tough, 40-39 loss at Corbin the night before.
After facing Somerset on Saturday night, the Lady Black Bears are probably in a real foul mood.
The third time was indeed the charm for Walker and company.
Erica Ford hit a big-time three-pointer with just over two minutes left in regulation with her club down four points, and Virginia Scott followed that up with a pair of free throws, helping the Lady Jumpers end the game on a 5-0 run, coming back for a hard-fought, 43-42 victory.
"That's third time that we've played Harlan County this year, and it's always been a close game," stated Walker, after Somerset moved to 11-14 with the win.
"To pull that out, gives us two wins in a row with our win at McCreary Central last night going down the stretch before district, which is a huge deal for us," added the Lady Jumper coach.
Early on, Somerset was able to hang with the Lady Black Bears, with Scott helping to keep her club close.
The SHS junior scored 12 of her game-high 24 points in the opening half of play in a very low-scoring affair.
Harlan County led Somerset 19-18 at the intermission and had stretched that lead out to 35-32 through three quarters of play.
In the fourth frame, the Lady Black Bears led most of the way, leading Somerset very late at 42-38, before Ford hit her only shot of the contest.
That three cut the deficit to 42-41, and that's when Somerset got it done at the defensive end of the floor.
The Lady Black Bears went scoreless over the final three minutes of the game, and it cost them.
Scott made a pair of free throws with :39 remaining, putting Somerset in the lead at 43-42.
Harlan County then held the ball for the final shot, and got a good look when Kaitlyn Stittums made a strong drive to the basket.
However, her shot was too hard and bounced off the glass, Somerset got the rebound, and the horn sounded giving Walker's club its second impressive win in a row in as many nights.
"We've been working all year long to get to that corner and turn it and do it at the right time," pointed out the Lady Jumper coach.
"We had a little setback after the PC win last week and we were feeling pretty good about that, and then our next game at Wayne County we really didn't play well at all," stated Walker. "We worked this week at practice really hard and was able to get some things done. We've now won two games in a row, and we got three games next week, so hopefully we can keep our momentum going."
Somerset will return to action tonight on the road at Russell County, before returning home on Friday night to host the Monticello Lady Trojans in the regular season finale.
HC - 10 9 16 7 - 42
SHS - 11 7 14 11 - 43
HARLAN CO. - Massingill 14, Cornett 10, Lee 9, Noe 4, Mimes 4, Stittums 1.
SOMERSET - Scott 24, Mills 9, Edwards 4, Brooks 3, Ford 3.