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Black Bears advance by edging Jackets

Harlan County stayed alive in the 13th Region Freshman Tournament, rallying in the final two minutes to force overtime before winning 50-45 at Middlesboro.

Tyler Cole sparked the comeback and scored 10 of 12 points in overtime to lead the 3-1 Bears with 25 points. Kobe Burkhart and Hunter Helton added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Ethan Barton scored 15 points and Bryson Barnard added 10 to lead the Yellow Jackets.

Middlesboro raced to a 12-3 lead after one quarter led by two baskets from Barton. HCHS cut the deficit to one, at 15-14, by halftime, as Helton led the Bears with a basket and two free throws.

Cole had three baskets and Burkhart added two in the third quarter as the Bears took the lead before Middlesboro went back up by two, at 28-26, going into the final period of regulation.

Harlan County will travel to Williamsburg in the quarterfinals with the final four set for Feb. 3 at Knox Central.

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Harlan County (50) — Tyler Cole 25, Josh Turner 2, Hunter Helton 10, Kobe Burkhart 13.

Middlesboro (45) — Ethan Barton 15, Eric Helton 4, Bryson Barnard 10, Blake Stoner 2, Caleb Bogonko 6, Blaine Woody 1, Jay West 7.