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Lady Bears hang on to edge Anderson

LONDON — Blair Green’s fog lifted just in time Saturday to help keep the Harlan County Lady Bears undefeated.

Green scored 15 of her 30 points in the fourth quarter as Harlan County rallied from a six-point deficit to edge Anderson County, one of the 8th Region’s top teams, 58-57 in the Ted Cook Classic at South Laurel High School.

“She said she felt she had been in a fog since the Bell County game (on Tuesday), but she said she was starting to feel better in the second half,” said Harlan County coach Debbie Green. “I don’t know if it was the WYMT or what, but she has been battling that. I thought they all looked like they were in a little bit of a fog. We were standing flat footed too often on defense. It wasn’t because we weren’t trying or we’re slow. We just seemed like we were in a little bit of a fog.”

Most of the game was something of a struggle for both teams. Anderson County struggled to hit shots, shooting 33 percent (20 of 60) for the game. Harlan County struggled to guard the dribble as Anderson was able to get to the basket through much of the second half. The Lady Bears gave up countless second and third shots, missing all-state center Kaylea Gross on the boards more than any other game since she went down with a knee injury in the WYMT Mountain Classic.

“Coming off last night (a win over Harlan), I could tell we were tired, plus we were playing the best team down here,” Green said. “It was good for us to play a good team like this. They are long and made us do some things tonight we make other teams do. Down the stretch, we found a way to win, even though we didn’t play great.”

Senior forward Lainey Cox helped rescue the Lady Bears with the best game of her high school career. She hit seven of nine shots to finish with 15 points and six rebounds.

“I thought Lainey played really big tonight, finishing in the paint. We need that from her,” Green said. “Blair will be looking for someone if they pay too much attention to her and I’m glad Lainey was there. Lainey does a lot of the dirty work for us.”

Senior center Lauren Boblitt led Anderson County with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Anderson struggled mightily on the offensive side to star the game, missing 12 of 14 shots from the field. HCHS was unable to take control, however, due to five-of-16 shooting and led 10-6 after one period.

The Lady Bearcats pulled even at 19 as Boblitt hit a 3-pointer and Jaclynn Ruble scored off a drive. Green had a basket, hit two free throws and found Shelby McDaniel for another basket in a 6-0 run that helped the Lady Bears take a 25-21 lead into the break.

Harlan County hit seven of 11 shots in the third quarter, led by three baskets from Cox, but struggled to overcome five turnovers as Anderson pulled even at 38 going into the final period.

Anderson scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, but the Lady Bears chipped away at the lead after a timeout. Green’s basket in the paint put the Lady Bears up 56-54 with 1:07 to play. Anderson moved ahead by one when Boblitt hit a free throw and Tiffani Riley scored off a rebound with 36 seconds left. Cox broke open under the basket to put HCHS back up by one with 21 seconds to play. Ruble’s shot from 10 feet away bounced off the rim as time expired.

Harlan County is off until Dec. 27 when the Lady Bears will play Casey County in the Citizens National Bank Tournament at West Jessamine High School.

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Harlan County 58, Anderson County 57

ANDERSON COUNTY (5-2)

Sophie Smith 0-4 0-0 0, Jaclynn Ruble 3-11 2-2 8, Tiffany Riley 2-5 2-2 6, Amiah Mason 1-5 2-2 4, Lauren Boblitt 7-20 8-10 25, Taylor Hurley 2-12 1-2 5, Taylor Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Jackie Chesser 2-4 0-1 4, Rachel Satterly 3-3 0-0 6, A.G. McGregor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-60 15-19 57.

HARLAN COUNTY (8-0)

Phebe McHargue 1-4 0-0 2, K.K. Johnson 1-5 0-0 2, Blair Green 9-19 12-14 30, Lainey Cox 7-9 1-5 15, Breann Turner 1-4 0-0 2, Shelby McDaniel 2-4 0-0 5, Rebecca Middleton 0-1 0-0 0, Morgan Napier 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 22-47 13-19 58.

Anderson County 6 15 17 19 — 57

Harlan County 10 15 13 20 — 58

3-point goals: Anderson County 2-18 (Boblitt 2-5, Smith 0-2, Ruble 0-5, Riley 0-6), Harlan County 1-12 (McDaniel 1-3, Middleton 0-1, McHargue 0-2, Johnson 0-2, Green 0-4). Rebounds: Anderson County 32 (Boblitt 10, Riley 6, Ruble 3, Mason 3, Hurley 3, Chesser 3, Easterly 2, Smith 1, McGregor 1), Harlan County 35 (Green 11, Turner 7, Cox 6, McHargue 4, Johnson 3, McDaniel 3, Napier 1). Turnovers: Anderson County 10, Harlan County 22. Fouled out: Harlan County (Turner).