Emotions spilled over for Tina Winn, who recorded her first victory as girls' basketball coach at Tates Creek.
Before Tuesday's 65-56 win over visiting Lexington Christian, Tates Creek had a ceremony to dedicate its season to Brittinee Winn and Ashton Goble.
Brittinee, the coach's daughter, died at 22 on Nov. 27 of last year — the same night Tates Creek played LCA. Ashton, whose sister Krissy played for Tina Winn when she was coaching the Tates Creek freshmen, died earlier this year.
Tina Winn said the night was "very" emotional, but she was able to focus.
"Because I did it for my daughter," Winn said. "This team and my daughter. Because she loved this team."
The Commodores (1-1) rode double-doubles by Oney Harrison and Katie Pippen.
Harrison, a 5-foot-6 St. Bonaventure signee, totaled 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Pippen, a 5-9 Eastern Kentucky recruit, had 11 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
LCA, playing its season opener, got 24 points from Katelin Bundy. Kristen Rinehart and Savannah Compton scored 12 each, with Compton grabbing 12 rebounds and Rinehart snaring eight.
Tates Creek led by as many as eight in the first half and was up 34-29 at intermission.
Bundy scored eight points in an 11-4 run that rallied the Eagles to ties at 42 and 44.
Harrison's three-pointer to end the third-quarter scoring made it 47-44, a lead Tates Creek never lost.
"I thought toughness," was the key, Winn said. "Mental toughness. When they made a run, we hung in there. We didn't give up. And we fought and stayed together.
"I told them that we had to be lamina — that's a DNA cell that holds your body together. And I said 'we're that lamina cell that will hold us together.' So they fought."
LCA's starting five played all but 3:54. The Eagles will get help later in the week, when 6-1 transfer Holley Huellemeier becomes eligible.
"I'm not discouraged. ... We had three girls that have never played in a varsity game before starting tonight," Coach Jason Seamands said. "I thought we battled. The sky's not falling. I'm proud of our girls for battling."
Neither team shot very well — Tates Creek was 25-for-78 (32.1 percent), LCA 21-for-63 (33.3 percent). But the Eagles struggled mightily from three-point range (2-for-18) and the free-throw line (12-for-33).
Leading 60-54 with 1:40 left, Tates Creek went to the free-throw line three times in a row as it grabbed back-to-back rebounds off of misses. The Commodores made three of six free throws during the stretch to lead 63-54 with 1:05 left, and Pippen would get another rebound off a free-throw miss in the final minute.
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN (0-1) — Burdette 7, Bundy 24, Brooks 1, Rinehart 12, Compton 12. Totals 21-63 12-33 56.
TATES CREEK (1-1) — Blackburn 4, Whaley 8, Harrison 24, Etling-Turner 9, Pippen 11, Lang 2, Hammill 2, Middleton 3, Brown 2. Totals 25-78 12-18 65.
Lexington Christian 16 13 15 12—56
Tates Creek 16 18 13 18—65
Three-point goals — LCA 2-18 (Bundy 2-8, Brooks 0-7, Rinehart 0-3), TC 3-13 (Harrison 1-6, Etling-Turner 1-4, Pippen 0-1, Middleton 1-2).
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com