Shaky start dooms Lee in loss to HCHS

Published 11:35 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2018

JONESVILLE, VA. — While Harlan County all-state guard Blair Green will never be accused of being a mean or dirty player, she brought quite a reputation with her over the mountain into Virginia on Wednesday.

Lee coach Angela Thomas credited Green, the 6-foot-1 University of Kentucky signee, with intimidating her squad at the front of the Harlan County press. Lee turned the ball over 12 times in the first quarter and fell behind 20-0 on the way to a 73-47 loss.

“She changes the dynamics of the game, being that tall with long arms and that athletic. She is intimidating,” Thomas said. “We did better after we calmed down, but you tend to look at her a lot, and I think our girls took a while to adjust. We follow her and love playing against her and that team because they are so good and so well coached.”

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The Lady Bears brought a familiar formula for success to Virginia in a game played at the former Jonesville High School gym due to water problems at Lee High School. Harlan County didn’t shoot especially well early, missing 14 of 23 shots in the first quarter, but took 15 more shots than the Lady Generals due to the success of its press.

“Our defense was good again. They are playing hard and doing good things,” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “I’d like to see us shoot better from the outside though. I think they are a little tired with three games in five days. We struggled a little at times.”

Green led the 17-2 Lady Bears with 15 points before going to the bench midway through the third quarter with an ankle sprain. Green walked off the court without help but was in pain and did not return. Her return for the next couple of games is questionable.

Junior guard Phebe McHargue was the only other Lady Bear in double figures with 11 points. Lainey Cox, Breann Turner and Reanna Middleton added nine points each.

Lee’s Alexis Tabor hit five 3-pointers and finished with 15 points, tying Arielle Tritt for the team high .

Green had four baskets and Turner added three as Harlan County took control early, building a 20-point lead before Whitney Ely broke the drought with a basket with 57 seconds left. Tritt also scored as Lee cut the deficit to 20-4 after one period.

McHargue hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter, while Green and Shelby McDaniel added two baskets each as the lead grew to 39-13 at halftime.

Tritt hit four shots in the third quarter as Lee was much more competitive in the second half. Tabor hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as Lee (0-14) outscored HCHS 18-15 in the final period. Middleton led the Harlan County offense in the second half with three baskets, including a 3-pointer.

Harlan County (17-2) will close out a busy week Friday at Whitley County, likely the toughest challenge left on the HCHS schedule in the regular season.


Harlan County 73, Lee, Va., 47


Phebe McHargue 4-7 0-0 11, K.K. Johnson 1-10 3-4 5, Blair Green 7-15 1-2 15, Lainey Cox 3-7 3-4 9, Breann Turner 4-6 1-4 9, Shelby McDaniel 2-9 0-0 4, Morgan Napier 1-2 2-6 4, Reanna Middleton 3-8 2-2 9, Hannah Wood 1-3 2-2 4, Morgan Blakley 0-0 3-4 3, Macie Napier 0-0 0-0 0, Dixie Ewing 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-67 17-28 73.

LEE, VA. (0-14)

Alexis Tabor 5-12 0-0 15, Jacey Medley 1-2 0-0 2, Arielle Tritt 6-15 1-2 15, Sheridan Herron 1-5 1-2 3, Whitney Ely 1-4 1-4 3, Baylee Cox 0-3 1-2 1, Kandace Quillen 2-4 0-0 6, Baylee Robinette 0-0 0-0 0, Shelbie Fannon 0-2 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Brown 1-1 0-0 2, Scottie Lawson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-48 4-10 47.

Harlan County 20 19 19 15 — 73

Lee, Va. 4 9 16 18 — 47

3-point goals: Harlan County 4-17 (McHargue 3-4, Middleton 1-2, Green 0-3, McDaniel 0-3, Johnson 0-5), Lee 9-17 (Tabor 5-6, Quillen 2-2, Tritt 2-6, Ely 0-1, Cox 0-1, Fannon 0-1). Rebounds: Harlan County 38 (Cox 10, Middleton 7, Johnson 6, Green 4, Turner 4, McDaniel 2, Morgan Napier 2, Wood 2, Macie Napier 1), Lee 27 (Herron 10, Tritt 5, Medley 3, Ely 2, Brown 2, Tabor 1, Quillen 1, Fannon 1, Lawson 1, Robinette 1). Turnovers: Harlan County 4, Lee 21. Fouled out: None.