Lady Bulldogs basketball (10-13) played their final home game before Feb. 20 following the Burgin homecoming court and the honoring of the 2024 Hall of Fame inductees on Saturday, Feb. 3. In a span of eight days the Lady Bulldogs played Mercer County twice and Middlesboro twice, the last meeting between Burgin and the Lady Jackets (5-16) ended as a three point loss for the Lady Bulldogs.
Both teams interchanged 3-point shots to begin the game. Isabella Mayes made the Lady Bulldogs first shot and missed her second just badly enough for the rebound to ricochet off of the backboard directly to Lauren Edwards for an easy basket. Middlesboro junior Keevi Betts swung the ball to freshman Millie Roberts for an open three, and moments later Betts made her second three of the opening quarter, giving the Lady Jackets a 10-6 lead with 1:49 remaining in the first quarter. As the first quarter wound down Betts hot streak continued and she drained a third 3-pointer despite Hannah Simpson playing intense defense. Mayes was able to get all three points back for the Lady Bulldogs by completing an and one on the other end. At the end of one, Burgin trailed Middlesboro 15-9.
Jemma Jankins cut the Lady Jackets lead to three with her own 3-pointer soon after the second quarter started. Gabi Thompson came away with a rebound and hit full speed. The junior put the ball behind her back and sent her defender flying before draining her first 3-pointer of the game and tying the game at 15 with 5:25 left in the first half.
Betts quickly earned Middlesboro the lead back, but Avery Gray and Mayes combined for back-to-back baskets. A few moments later Mayes caught the Middlesboro defense off guard and swished a three, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 22-20 lead with 2:25 left in the half. Gray drove into the lane and used the backboard for two before completing a three point play at the charity stripe. Thanks to phenomenal play from the seniors, Burgin led Middlesboro at the half, 27-23.