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HCHS overcomes shooting woes to defeat Owsley

HYDEN — During an evening when a layup was a challenge and a wide-open 5-foot jumper was a struggle, the Harlan County Lady Bears turned to defense to help them avoid a second straight loss in the Hyden Citizens Bank Classic. The Lady Bears fought back from an eight-point deficit in the second quarter by limiting Owsley County to only one field goal and 11 points in the second half on the way to a 47-32 victory.

Harlan County (8-2) shot only 21 percent (16 of 60) for the game by limiting Owsley County to 29 percent (eight of 28) shooting while forcing 29 turnovers that led to 32 more shots for the Lady Bears than their opponents.

“We have struggled the last two days offensively, but you have to give credit to Scott yesterday (a 79-60 loss),” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “We didn’t play with the confidence we needed. Our defense has to do that for us. Our defense has to turn our offense.”

Senior guards Phebe McHargue and K.K. Johnson fought through their own offensive struggles to lead the Lady Bears with 13 and 12 points, respectively. The duo hit only one of 11 shots in the first half before slowly heating up during the second half. The Lady Bears trailed 16-8 midway through the second quarter when Reanna Middleton, Breann Turner and Morgan Blakley scored in a 6-0 run. A 3-pointer by Middleton helped cut the deficit to one before Owsley hit three of four free throws to go up 21-17 at halftime.

Owsley missed all six of its shots from the field in the third quarter as the momentum slowly shifted to HCHS. McHargue and Johnson teamed for nine straight points as the Lady Bears took the lead. HCHS hit only four of 17 shots in the period but built a 29-24 advantage with the help of eight Owsley turnovers.

Johnson, McHargue and Blakley each had two baskets in the fourth quarter as Harlan County pulled away. The Lady Bears ran long stretches off the clock out of their spread offense while Owsley continued to struggle offensively. The Lady Owls were held without a basket in the half until Kenzie Herald scored with 11 seconds to play.

Herald led the 3-7 Lady Owls with 19 points.

Harlan County will close tournament play on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Hazard.

Johnson scored 17, while McHargue and Middleton added 11 and 10, respectively, in the loss to Scott on Thursday.

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Scott (79) — Ava Coleman 6, Summer Secrist 19, Mya Meredith 29, Malayia Lewis 2, Emma Proffitt 4, Sofia Allen 15, Gabby Kallmeyer 4.

Harlan County (60) — K.K. Johnson 17, Phebe McHargue 11, Reanna Middleton 10, Morgan Blakley 12, Breann Turner 3, Hannah Wood 3, Kassy Owens 4.

Harlan County 11 19 15 15 — 60

Scott 22 25 20 12 — 79

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Harlan County 47, Owsley County 32

HARLAN COUNTY (8-2)

Phebe McHargue 4-11 4-4 13, K.K. Johnson 4-13 3-6 12, Reanna Middleton 2-11 1-3 6, Morgan Blakley 2-11 2-2 6, Breann Turner 2-10 2-5 6, Hannah Wood 1-2 0-0 2, Kassy Owens 1-1 0-0 2, Jacey Lewis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 16-60 12-20 47.s

OWSLEY COUNTY (3-7)

Lexi Lynch 1-3 3-4 5, Kenzie Herald 5-13 8-12 19, Mic Johnson 0-4 2-3 2, Emliee McQueen 0-0 0-0 0, Amelia Murray 2-7 1-2 5, Carly Smith 0-1 1-2 1, Kerissa Shouse 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 8-28 15-23 32.

Harlan County 6 11 12 18 — 47

Owsley County 8 13 3 8 — 32

3-point goals: Harlan County 3-18 (McHargue 1-5, Johnson 1-5, Middleton 1-5, Lewis 0-1, Blakley 0-2), Owsley County 1-3 (Herald 1-1, Johnson 0-1, Lewis 0-1). Rebounds: Harlan County 32 (Blakley 11), Owsley County 29 (Johnson 10). Turnovers: Harlan County 12, Owsley County 29. Fouled out: Owsley County (Herald).