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HCHS bounces back from first loss with rout of Lady Indians

RICHMOND — Coming off their first loss of the season a night earlier, the Harlan County Lady Bears had something to prove in the final round of the Jack Burford Classic at Madison Central and they played like it in a 75-45 rout of the tournament’s host team. The Lady Bears were strong defensively for much of the game, limiting Madison Central to single-digit scoring in three of the four quarters, including 17 percent shooting in the opening period and 18 percent in the fourth quarter.

“We had a lot of energy and were really active. We wanted to make a better showing than we did yesterday against Rockcastle County,” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “As good as were were Thursday night (a win over Johnson Central), we were that bad on Friday night (a loss to Rockcastle County). We were lethargic and dead, even though Rockcastle County is a good team and well coached. We wanted to redeem ourselves, and I was pleased with the girls. They played really hard, and they always play hard to me.”

K.K. Johnson was a matchup problem for the Lady Indians, who had trouble staying in front of the HCHS senior guard. Johnson hit 15 of 18 at the line in a 27-point performance.

“She is playing really hard and playing with no fear getting to the basket,” Green said. “She is worried about her outside shot, but I’m not.”

Phebe McHargue and Reanna Middleton also played well in the HCHS backcourt with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Junior forward Morgan Blakley added 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds in a gritty effort around the basket.

Madison Central (2-7) was led by Jekauri McKeithen with 15 points and Taleya Todd with 11.

HCHS forced Madison Central into nine turnovers in the first quarter, building a 27-8 lead with the help of three baskets by Johnson and two each from McHargue, Middleton, Blakley and Turner.

Madison Central fought back in the second quarter, hitting nine of 11 shots to claw back to within 15 points, at 47-32, by halftime. Todd and Lacie Parks each had three baskets in the quarter for Madison Central.

The Lady Indians closed to within eight on two straight baskets by McKeithen midway through the third quarter. Johnson came to the rescue at the point, driving for a three-point play and then adding two free throws after the Lady Bears went to their spread offense. McHargue hit a 3-pointer and Hannah Wood added a free throw to close a 9-0 run that put the Lady Bears up 57-40 going into the fourth period.

“Phebe is doing a good job running the offense and handling the ball,” Green said. “Bree (Turner) makes us a lot better team when she is active and talking like she was today. Blakley and Wood are getting better every game.”

Middleton hit a pair of 3-pointers to spark another HCHS run in the final period. Freshman guard Jaylin Preston came off the bench to contribute the final five points as the Lady Bears outscored Madison Central 18-5 in the fourth quarter.

“Reanna is shooting it real well. She has thrown some daggers lately with some big 3-pointers. She hasn’t played a lot the last couple of years due to injuries, so she is continuing to get better also.”

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Harlan County shot only 27 percent from the field and was outscored 30-10 in the paint in falling 56-40 to Rockcastle County on Friday.

Casey Coleman and Hallie Brown each scored 12 to lead the 7-2 Lady Rockets.

Johnson led the Lady Bears with 10 points.

Harlan County will return to action Thursday in the Hyden Citizens Bank Classic at Leslie County High School.

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Harlan County 75, Madison Central 45

HARLAN COUNTY (7-1)

Phebe McHargue 4-8 2-2 12, K.K. Johnson 6-12 15-18 27, Reanna Middleton 4-10 0-0 11, Morgan Blakley 5-10 0-0 10, Breann Turner 2-6 1-2 5, Hannah Wood 2-5 1-2 5, Jacey Lewis 0-1 0-0 0, Kelly Beth Hoskins 0-1 0-0 0, Jaylin Preston 1-1 2-3 5, Jaylin Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Branson 0-0 0-0 0, Haley Middleton 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 24-55 21-27 75.

MADISON CENTRAL (2-7)

Madison Barnard 1-1 0-0 2, Taleya Todd 5-12 0-1 11, Kelsey Powell 0-2 2-2 2, Jekauri McKeithen 6-12 3-4 15, Logan Hudson 0-0 0-0 0, Lacie Parks 3-6 2-2 9, Bri Bierbaum 0-2 0-0 0, Raelynn Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Zahrea Gill 1-2 0-0 2, Chloe Freeman 1-3 1-2 4, Hannah Ashcroft 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Dewey 0-1 0-0 0, Lexi Daniel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-43 8-11 45.

Harlan County 27 20 10 18 — 75

Madison Central 8 24 8 5 — 45

3-point goals: Harlan County 6-13 (Reanna Middleton 3-5, McHargue 2-4, Preston 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Blakley 0-1, Haley Middleton 0-1), Madison Central 3-13 (Parks 1-3, Freeman 1-3, Todd 1-4, McKeithen 0-1, Bierbaum 0-1, Ashcraft 0-1). Rebounds: Harlan County 32 (Blakley 9, Turner 6, Reanna Middleton 4, Johnson 3, McHargue 2, Wood 2, Haley Middleton 1, Team 5), Madison Central 32 (McKeithen 7, Gill 4, Freeman 4, Bierbaum 3, Barnard 2, Todd 2, Powell 2, Parks 2, Miller 1, Dewey 1, Daniel 1, Team 3). Turnovers: Harlan County 10, Madison Central 23. Fouled out: None.

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Rockcastle County 56, Harlan County 40

ROCKCASTLE COUNTY (7-2)

Emma Bullens 1-3 0-0 2, Kassi Lay 1-3 0-0 2, Shelby Newland 3-8 3-3 9, Casey Coleman 4-8 4-6 12, Mackenzie Times 3-5 0-2 6, Hallie Brown 5-7 1-2 12, Madison McIntosh 0-1 1-2 1, Keelee King 2-5 0-0 4, Lindsey Jones 1-3 1-2 3, Zoe Burdette 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Harper 0-0 0-0 0, Brooke Castle 0-0 0-0 0, Aliyah Lopez 0-0 0-0 0, Savannah Neeley 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 21-45 11-21 56.

HARLAN COUNTY (6-1)

Phebe McHargue 2-7 2-2 7, K.K. Johnson 2-11 6-8 7, Reanna Middleton 2-3 0-0 4, Morgan Blakley 1-3 6-8 8, Breann Turner 1-6 2-2 4, Hannah Wood 1-5 2-2 4, Jacey Lewis 1-1 0-0 3, Kassy Owens 0-0 0-0 0, Kelly Beth Hoskins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 10-37 18-20 40.

Rockcastle County 19 14 16 7 — 56

Harlan County 10 10 9 11 — 40

3-point goals: Rockcastle County 3-10 (Lay 1-1, Brown 1-1, Jones 1-2, Bullens 0-1, Newland 0-1, Coleman 0-2, King 0-2), Harlan County 2-16 (Lewis 1-1, McHargue 1-5, Middleton 0-1, Turner 0-1, Wood 0-1, Hoskins 0-1, Blakley 0-2, Johnson 0-4). Rebounds: Rockcastle County 31 (Brown 6), Harlan County 26 (Turner 8, Johnson 7, Wood 5, Blakley 4, McHargue 1, Team 1). Turnovers: Rockcastle County 9, Harlan County 14. Fouled out: Harlan County (Turner).