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Bears coast past Lee for Jones’ 100th win

Following two hard-fought district wins over the past three days, the Harlan County Black Bears had a more relaxing evening Tuesday in rolling past visiting Lee, Va., 66-30, sending Michael Jones to his 100th win as coach.

“That’s a credit to all the kids who have played here,” Jones said. “I’ve been blessed to have had good kids and talent in these five years.”

One of those good players the past four seasons has been senior guard Alex Pace, who hit seven of eight shots in a 20-point performance.

“When Alex is shooting the ball well like he has the last few games, he makes us a lot better,” Jones said. “The thing about Alex is how hard he works. Alex and Gabe (Price) were in the gym before the game shooting.”

The Bears scored the game’s first 12 points and limited Lee to one-of-10 shooting in the first quarter in building a 22-3 lead on the way to their seventh win in nine games. The Bears have won four straight, including district victories over Harlan and Middlesboro.

“We’ve been on an emotional roller coaster the past few days. It’s good to have a game like this where you get to play everyone,” Jones said.Juanio

Pace dominated the first quarter, beginning with a free throw after a Lee player was assessed a technical for dunking during warmups. Pace scored 12 of the Bears’ 22 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. James Smith also hit a 3-pointer, while Tyler Cole, Patrick Bynum and Elisha Smallwood added baskets.

Another 3 by Pace and a three-point play by Cole pushed the lead to 30-6. Freshman guard Jackson Huff provided instant offense off the bench with a pair of 3-pointers as the lead grew to 42-12 by halftime.

Junior forward Jacob Whitaker, who led the 1-5 Generals with 12 points, hit three shots during a 9-2 run in the third quarter as Lee pulled within 25. HCHS responded with a 13-2 run, led by Pace, Price, Bynum and Huff, to start a running clock on the way to building a 59-23 lead going into the final period. Baskets by Josh Turner and James Gray stretched the Bears’ advantage to 37 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Harlan County (7-2) will play Meade County on Thursday in the first round of the Smoky Mountain Classic in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

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Led by 28 points from freshman guard Jackson Huff, the Harlan County junior varsity team improved to 5-2 on the season with a 54-20 win. Caleb Reynolds added six points for the Bears. Adam Boggs added five. Jayden Ward and Brayden Cox scored four each. Alex Nantz chipped in with three. James Gray and Hunter Crain contributed two each.

Chaz Chasteen led the 1-5 Generals with six points. Chandler Mullins scored four, followed by Brayden Hammonds and Peyton Woodard with three each, and Caleb Leonard and Parker Chance with two each.

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Harlan County 66, Lee, Va. 60

LEE, VA. (1-5)

Jaxon Colllier 2-10 0-0 5, Brayden Bundy 2-6 0-1 4, Jacob Stewart 2-6 0-0 4, Justice Fannon 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Whitaker 3-8 5-6 12, Logan Grace 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Fleenor 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Yeary 0-0 1-2 1, Dylan Fannon 0-3 0-0 0, Eric Hornsby 0-4 3-4 3, Tyler Fannon 0-0 1-2 1, Alex Lowery 0-1 0-0 0, Jayden Spain 0-0 0-2 0. Totals: 9-38 10-17 30.

HARLAN COUNTY (7-2)

James Smith 1-5 0-0 3, Taylor Spurlock 0-1 1-2 1, Alex Pace 7-8 2-3 20, Tyler Cole 2-5 2-3 6, Gabe Price 3-8 0-2 6, Patrick Bynum 3-5 1-1 7, Elisha Smallwood 2-2 1-4 5, Josh Turner 2-8 0-0 4, Jackson Huff 3-4 0-0 9, Jayden Ward 0-0 1-2 1, Alex Nantz 1-1 0-0 2, James Gray 1-2 0-0 2, Adam Boggs 0-1 0-0 0, Braden Cox 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-51 8-17 66.

Lee, Va. 3 9 11 7 — 30

Harlan County 22 20 17 7 — 66

3-point goals: Lee 2-12 (Whitaker 1-2, Collier 1-5, D. Fannon 0-1, Stewart 0-2, Hornsby 0-2), Harlan County 8-18 (Pace 4-5, Huff 3-4, Smith 1-4, Price 0-1, Turner 0-1, Cole 0-3). Rebounds: Lee 21 (Whitaker 6, J. Fannon 4, Stewart 3, Colier 2, Bundy 2, Spain 2, Grace 1, T. Fannon 1), Harlan County 37 (Pace 6, Smallwood 6, Price 5, Huff 4, Nantz 4, Spurlock 3, Cole 3, Smith 2, Turner 2, Bynum 1, Boggs 1). Turnovers: Lee 15, Harlan County 9. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: Lee (Grace).