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Tigers win rematch against Harlan

BARBOURVILLE — The Barbourville Tigers might have been a little short-handed, but they were also still fuming after losing to Harlan 42-40 in the All “A” Classic last week at Pineville. The Tigers came out focused and were able to avenge that loss with a 63-55 victory on Friday.

“We’re battling a lot of injuries right now and sickness has really hit us hard,” Barbourville coach Cody Messer said. “With the loss of Dylan Bingham, we’ve had to revamp our rotation and it’s taken us a little bit to see what will work with our style of play.”

Barbourville came out strong, but Harlan was ready for the challenge. The Tigers managed to hold a 15-14 edge at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers poured in 19 points during the second quarter and their defense buckled down and held the Dragons to 12 to take a 34-26 advantage at the half. Connor Bain and Jacob Helton impressed their coach on the defensive side of the ball.

“I feel like our defense is getting better each game and we controlled the boards tonight thanks to Connor and Jacob,” Messer said. “I believe limiting Harlan to one shot really helped give us the edge. Matthew Gray and J.D. McVey did an outstanding job on containing (Jordan) Akal and (Kilian) Ledford tonight, which was a key to our success.”

Helton led the Tigers with 16 points, while Gray added 13 points. McVey and Shawn Vaughn added 11 points each.

“Harlan has a very nice team and (coach) Derrick (Akal) does a great job with them,” Messer said. “My four seniors played with a chip on their shoulders after last week’s defeat in the All ‘A’ Tournament,” Messer added. “I was very proud of our effort tonight.”

Harlan outscored Barbourville 12-8 in the third quarter, but the Tigers held a 42-38 edge with one quarter remaining to play. Barbourville closed the game strong by outscoring the Dragons 21-17 to improve to 12-5 on the year.

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Sophomore guard Jordan Collins poured in 27 points to lead Barbourville to a 69-68 overtime in junior varsity action.

Jaeden Gist led the 1-8 Dragons with 21 points. Charles David Morton tossed in.15. Johann Gist and Kaleb McLendon each scored 11. Trey Barnes added seven. Carl Pacholewski contributed three.

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HARLAN (13-8)

Jordan Akal 6 2-2 17, Cade Barnes 1 0-0 3, Jared Hawkins 5 0-0 14, Kilian Ledford 3 1-3 7, Jon Eldridge 4 3-5 12, Kaleb McLendon 0 0-2 0, Jaeden Gist 1 0-0 2, Caleb Adkins 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 6-12 55.

BARBOURVILLE (12-5)

J.D. McVey 3 4-6 11, Matthew Gray 5 1-2 13, Shawn Vaughn 5 1-1 11, Jacob Helton 4 7-9 16, Conner Bain 4 1-1 9, Dakota Tye 1 0-0 3, Jordan Collins 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 14-19 63.

Harlan 14 12 12 17 — 55

Barbourville 15 19 8 21 — 63

3-point goals: Harlan 9 (Hawkins 4, Akal 3, Barnes 1, Eldridge 1), Barbourville 5 (Gray 2, McVey 1, Helton 1, Tye 1).