Harlan holds off Middlesboro
In a game that would have potentially set Middlesboro up with No. 3 seed in the district tournament, the Yellow Jackets couldn’t put it all together on Tuesday when they hosted Harlan.
After falling behind 46-30, Middlesboro turned the final quarter into a track meet with both teams combining for 67 points in the final frame. In the end, it was Harlan who walked off the floor with a 74-69 victory.
The loss gives both the Yellow Jacket and Harlan a 1-3 district records with two games for each remaining.
Christian Hubbard paced Middlesboro shooting 66.7 percent from the field on his way to a game-high 23 points. The junior forward also connected on five of his seven shot attempts from beyond the arc.
Both Jabari Kyle and Drake Thomas finished the game in double figures. Kyle went 4-for-9 from the field for 14 points, while Thomas hit six baskets for 14 points. TJ Patterson shot the ball at a 75 percent clip to finish with 10 points and a team-high four rebounds.
For Harlan, it was Jacob Wilson and Cade Barnes that led the way. Wilson was lights out from the free-throw line going 18-for-20 for 21 points. He went an impressive 15-for-16 from the charity stripe during the fourth quarter.
Barnes also had a solid outing at the line, going 9-for-10. He finished the game with 17 points.
After drawing even in the first quarter, 12-12, Harlan began pulling away in the second after scoring 18 points. Akal’s six points helped the Dragons take a 30-23 lead into halftime.
The Harlan defense continued to step up in the third quarter, holding the Jackets to just seven points. Hubbard’s 3-pointer was the only basket from the field during the period. Middlesboro trailed 46-30 heading into the fourth.
The Jackets made a solid push for the lead in the final period. Middlesboro scored 39 points in the frame with Hubbard and Kyle combining for 23 points in the quarter.
Middlesboro may have finished the comeback in any other game, but the Dragons shot lights out from the free-throw line during the fourth, going 24-for-30 to secure the five-point victory.
Middlesboro (9-10) will host Berea (9-8) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Harlan (2-12) will travel to Pineville (4-14) at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Harlan 74, Middlesboro 69
Jordan Akal 3 4-8 11, Kilian Ledford 4 3-4 14, Cade Barnes 3 9-10 17, Jacob Wilson 1 18-20 21, Jon Eldridge 2 3-4 7, Austin Adams 1 0-0 2, Carter Barnes 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 37-46 74.
Drake Thomas 6 0-0 14, Jabari Kyle 4 5-6 14, Christian Hubbard 8 2-3 23, TJ Patterson 3 4-8 10, Mykel Griffin 1 0-3 2, Steven Poore 0 0-2 0, Jordan Davis 1 4-4 6. Totals: 23 15-26 69.
Harlan 12 18 16 28 — 74
Middlesboro 12 11 7 39 — 69
3-point goals: Harlan 7 (Ledford 3, C. Barnes 2, Akal 1, Wilson 1), Middlesboro 8 (Hubbard 5, Thomas 2, Kyle 1).
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN