Spurlock’s 3 sends Bears to victory

Published 12:15 pm Friday, June 8, 2018

Facing tough opponents from Tennessee, the Harlan County Black Bears split two games and the Harlan Green Dragons lost their two opening scrimmages of the summer on Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial University Team Camp.

Harlan County spent much of the afternoon battling from behind before edging Morristown East 65-64 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from junior guard Taylor Spurlock. The Bears were no match for a powerful Bearden team in their second scrimmage, falling 72-41.

Harlan fell 97-65 to Morristown East and 67-29 to Science Hill.

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Senior guard Alex Pace scored 18 points and Spurlock added 15 to lead the Bears in the win over Morristown East. Tyler Cole contributed 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Gabe Price scored nine, Jacob Wilson tossed in five and Josh Turner added four. James Smith and Patrick Bynum chipped in with two each.

Harlan County trailed by five going into the fourth quarter but fought back as Price had two baskets as he battled on the boards and Cole, Pace and Spurlock each hit 3-pointers. The game was tied in the final minute before Morristown East took the lead off a turnover, leaving just enough time for Spurlock to get off his game-winning 3-pointer.

Harlan County trailed by only three after one quarter against Bearden, but a 14-0 run in the second period put the Knoxville team in control.

Spurlock led the Bears with 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Cole scored nine, followed by Price with seven and Wilson and Pace with six each.

Harlan raced to a 5-0 lead in its opening scrimmage of the summer against Morristown East, but East fought back to tie the game at 16-all by the end of the period and used a 14-0 run in the second quarter to build a 43-30 halftime advantage. East had an 8-0 run in the third quarter to go up 70-49 heading into the final period.

Junior forwards Dakota Shepherd and Jon Eldridge led the Dragons with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Senior Cade Barnes scored 13. Jordan Akal tossed in eight, followed by Tate Bryson with six and Jared Hawkins with four.

Science Hill broke open a close game with a 20-0 run to start the second quarter and held the Dragons to only two points in the period to build a 39-16 lead.

Shepherd scored 11 and Eldridge added eight to lead the Dragons. Barnes and Caleb Adkins each scored three. Akal and Hawkins added two each.

Harlan splits its two junior varsity scrimmages, rolling past Middlesboro and falling to Bearden, Tenn.

Both local teams will play both Friday and Saturday at LMU before both go to Barbourville on Monday for a three-day camp.