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HCHS frosh open with rout of Letcher

Harlan County scored the game’s first nine points and coasted from there to a 62-39 win Monday over visiting Letcher Central in the season opener for the HCHS freshman team.

Tyler Cole led a balanced Harlan County offense with 21 points. James Smith added 14 points while leading the team in assists. Hunter Helton and Kobe Burkhart added 10 and seven points, respectively, while controlling the boards.

Burkhart got the Bears off to a strong with baskets on their first two possessions, including a three-point play. Cole hit a free throw, then a 3-pointer for the 9-0 lead.

Helton found Josh Turner for a layup, then scored himself for a 15-5 lead. Letcher cut the deficit to 16-8 by the end of the opening quarter.

Cole opened the second quarter with six straight points to start a 12-0 run that also included a basket and two free throws by Smith. A Helton outback and Smith steal and layup gave the Bears their biggest lead of the half at 32-11. Letcher closed the half with an 8-0 run to pull within 13.

Turner and Cole ignited a 9-0 run to open the second half. Smith found Helton for a layup, then scored himself off a steal as the Bears built a 42-25 advantage going into the final period.

Cole, Helton and Smith scored early in the fourth quarter, then Burkhart went coast to coast for a layup off a steal as HCHS built a 26-point advantage before reserves closed out the game. Jordan Harris and Justin Adams had baskets for the Bears to close out the game.

Harlan County will return to action Thursday at Knox Central.

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HARLAN COUNTY (62) — Tyler Cole 21, James Smith 14, Josh Turner 4, Kobe Burkhart 7, Hunter Helton 10, Justin Adams 2, Jordan Harris 4.

LETCHER CENTRAL (39) — Joby Johnson 13, Luke Goins 6, Ethan Baker 3, Isaac Lucas 9, Zach Crase 3, Luke Halcomb 3, Matt Craft 2.