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Lady Bears use 25-0 run to down Bell

Down 6-4 midway through the first quarter against visiting Bell County, the Harlan County Lady Bears were having a hard time hitting shots and struggling to find a rhythm.

As has been the case several times this year on their way to a 14-2 start, Harlan County turned the game with its defense. The Lady Bears forced eight turnovers in each of the first two periods, providing a spark midway through the first quarter to ignite a 25-0 run that sent HCHS to a 75-34 victory.

“We struggled out of the gate. We were a little sluggish and needed a few baskets to get us going,” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “We played hard on the defensive end and I think that gave us a lift. We got a little more time in for some of our older kids tonight because I thought they needed it with some big games coming up.”

“We told them coming over here that we had to take care of the ball and we had to limit second shots. We didn’t do a very good job of either tonight,” Bell County coach David Teague said. “Their pressure gave us a lot of trouble. They have some kids who are really long and several who are really quick. They kind of force you into some things you don’t want to do.”

Senior guard Blair Green scored 22 points to lead the Lady Bears, who improved to 4-0 in district action. Junior guard Reanna Middleton, a starter part of her freshman season who missed most of last year with a knee injury, had her best game this year with an 11-point performance that included two 3-pointers on four-of-five shooting.

“It was good to see Ree play like that. She just has to get stronger and gain some confidence,” Green said. “We’re hoping for a big February and March and then a big senior season from her.”

Senior forward Lainey Cox added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Phebe McHargue and Shelby McDaniel contributed nine points each.

Bell County (10-8) was led by sophomore guard Abby Harris with 12 points and senior center Brittney Cupp with nine points and six rebounds.

Harlan County returns to action Saturday at Pike Central in a 2 p.m. game.

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Harlan County 75, Bell County 34

BELL COUNTY (10-8)

Brittany Davis 2-7 0-0 5, Lindsay Bryant 0-1 0-0 0, Abby Harris 5-11 1-4 12, Karlee Cox 1-4 0-0 2, Brittney Cupp 4-9 1-1 9, Brea Browning 0-1 0-0 0, Abby Cornett 0-1 0-0 0, Harly Parnell 0-1 0-0 0, Mackenzie Griffin 0-0 0-0 0, Lakyn King 2-2 0-0 4, Mary Kate Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Courtney Bryant 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-38 2-7 34.

HARLAN COUNTY (14-2)

Phebe McHargue 4-7 0-0 9, K.K. Johnson 2-5 1-2 6, Blair Green 10-17 1-1 22, Lainey Cox 3-4 4-6 10, Breann Turner 2-4 2-2 6, Shelby McDaniel 4-9 0-0 9, Morgan Napier 1-2 0-0 2, Reanna Middleton 4-5 1-1 11, Hannah Wood 0-1 0-0 0, Morgan Blakley 0-3 0-0 0, Kelly Beth Hoskins 0-0 0-0 0, Macie Napier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-57 9-12 75.

Bell County 6 7 10 11 — 34

Harlan County 11 23 19 22 — 75

3-point goals: Bell County 4-13 (King 2-2, Davis 1-2, Harris 1-3, Bryant 0-1, Cornett 0-1, Smith 0-1, Cox 0-3), Harlan County 6-14 (Middleton 2-2, Green 1-1, McDaniel 1-2, McHargue 1-3, Johnson 1-3, Wood 0-1, Blakley 0-2). Rebounds: Bell County 22 (Cupp 6, Davis 5, Bryant 3, Cox 3, Browning 2, Cornett 2, Bryant 1), Harlan County 25 (Cox 8, Green 6, Morgan Napier 3, McHargue 2, Johnson 2, Macie Napier 2, McDaniel 1, Middleton 1). Turnovers: Bell County 26, Harlan County 8. Fouled out: None.