• 30°

Defense again sparks HCHS in rout at Pike

Harlan County coach Debbie Green knows it’s no coincidence that an improving defense is making the Lady Bears’ offense look even better during a five-game winning streak when they have averaged over 75 points a game.

The Lady Bears overpowered Pike Central, the third-ranked team in the 15th Region, by a score of 85-56 on Saturday afternoon in the Lady Hawks Shootout at Pike Central.

“I thought we really looked ready to play today, and once again our defense turned our offense,” Green said. “The girls really played hard and it’s contagious. No one wants to be a weak link, and they’re holding each other accountable for effort and playing smart. It was a good road win for us.”

Senior guard Blair Green again led the Harlan County offense with a 34-point effort. Senior forward Lainey Cox also had a huge game with 17 points and 17 rebounds.

Green had five baskets in the first quarter as HCHS outscored Pike Central 22-12. Cox had six points in the second quarter, while Green, Shelby McDaniel and Phebe McHargue added four each as the lead grew to 43-30 by halftime.

Harlan County outscored the Lady Hawks 22-11 in the third quarter as Cox and Green each scored nine points for a 63-41 lead heading into the final period. Green added nine points in the fourth quarter as HCHS outscored Pike Central 20-15.

The 15-2 Lady Bears travel to Knox Central on Tuesday. Pike Central plays host to Piarist on Thursday.

———

Harlan County 85, Pike Central 56

HARLAN COUNTY (15-2)

Phebe McHargue 2-6 4-4 8, K.K. Johnson 2-7 4-4 9. Blair Green 14-22 6-8 34, Lainey Cox 7-12 3-3 17, Breann Turner 0-6 1-2 1, Shelby McDaniel 3-6 1-2 8, Morgan Napier 1-3 2-4 4, Reanna Middleton 0-0 1-2 1, Hannah Wood 1-1 0-0 3, Morgan Blakley 0-1 0-0 0, Macie Napier 0-0 0-0 0, Kelly Beth Hoskins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-64 22-29 85.

Cassidy Mullins 5 0-3 11, Hailey Boyd 3 0-0 6, Lexi Newsome 5 1-1 14, Kylea Stanley 4 2-3 10, Kelsi Bewinger 3 3-4 9, Shelby Thacker 1 2-2 4, Alicea May 0 2-2 2, Rebecca Diamond 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 10-15 56.

PIKE CENTRAL (15-4)

Cassidy Mullins 5 0-3 11, Hailey Boyd 3 0-0 6, Lexi Newsome 5 1-1 14, Kylea Stanley 4 2-3 10, Kelsi Bewinger 3 3-4 9, Shelby Thacker 1 2-2 4, Alicea May 0 2-2 2, Rebecca Diamond 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 10-15 56.

Harlan County 22 21 22 20 — 85

Pike Central 12 18 11 15 — 56

3-point goals: Harlan County 3-10 (Wood 1-1, McDaniel 1-2, Johnson 1-3, Green 0-1, Blakley 0-1, McHargue 0-2), Pike Central 4 (Newsome 3, Mullins 1). Rebounds: Harlan County 46 (Cox 17, Johnson 9, Green 6, Turner 6, McDaniel 3, Blakley 2, Morgan Napier 2, McHargue 1)