Lady Bears’ 8-game winning streak ends

The Harlan County Lady Bears were unable to carry their winning streak into the postseason, falling 25-18, 15-25, 25-11, 25-17 on Tuesday at Knox Central.

The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for Harlan County, which closed its regular-season schedule with a 14-6 record. The Lady Bears will be out of action for two weeks before the district tournament begins.

“Our effort was there all night, and the girls played hard, we just didn’t serve the ball as well last night,” said Harlan County coach Stacy Noe. “When we are on serving we can be competitive with anyone and when we don’t, we won’t be. That was a great test for us heading into the district tournament though, and we have some things we can build off of. We are going back to work for the next week and a half to prepare for Middlesboro and just take it one game at a time.”

Senior Miranda Cook led the Lady Bears with eight service points, four digs and four kills. Sophomore Emily Long once again was huge around the net with two blocks, four deflections, five kills and six digs. Krista Burke had six service points, eight digs, seven assists and two kills. Chelsey Noe had five service points with four digs and eight assists. Kimber Collins also had a big night at the net with a block, seven assists and four digs. Olivia Minor added nine digs, three assists and four service points.

“We have to stay focused every play of every game and if we do that we can compete with anyone,” Noe said. “When the girls are talking and refusing to lose it will make us a very hard out for anyone we play.”

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Harlan had a seven-game winning streak of its own earlier in the season, winning the 13th Region All “A” Classic and clinching the top seed in the district tournament in the process, but the Lady Dragons have struggled of late against a tough schedule, losing six straight. The Lady Dragons fell 25-18, 25-21, 25-15 on Tuesday at Leslie County. Harlan lost 25-10, 25-14, 25-6 on Monday at Letcher Central.

The 12-18 Lady Dragons play host to Williamsburg on Thursday. Harlan will be at home against Knox Central on Monday, then travel to Lynn Camp on Tuesday and play Lynn Camp at home on Thursday to close the regular season.