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Green Dragons knock off North Laurel

Even with 17 wins coming into the week, the Harlan Green Dragons were something of an unknown commodity for most 13th Region basketball observers.

You can be sure their 84-74 win Monday over visiting North Laurel caught many by surprise and gained the Green Dragons some respect. Harlan earned its biggest win this season by taking control with a 21-7 run in the third quarter. The Dragons hit seven 3-pointers in a 30-point explosion in the quarter.

“We tried to tell the kids for two days about their personnel and how good they were, but we don’t play them very often and our kids didn’t know them very well,” North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore said. “I was disappointed in the way we played tonight, especially the second half. We had some guys in foul trouble and that took us out of some things we wanted to do. They beat us to the 50-50 balls and played harder than us. They have a good team and will be a hard out.”

Senior guard Kilian Ledford hit six 3-pointers in a 32-point performance to lead the 18-10 Dragons. Jordan Akal and Cade Barnes added 16 and 13 points, respectively.

“This is a good win for us going into the tournament,” Harlan coach Derrick Akal said. “We’ve shot the ball pretty well the last few games and that was a factor for us tonight. If we shoot the ball well, we feel we can play with just about anyone in our region. I also thought we were more aggressive on defense and did a real good job in the second half.”

The 18-10 Jaguars were led by Cole Kelly with 24 points and Landon Young with 19. Eighth-grade standout Reed Sheppard picked up his second and third fouls, including a technical, midway through the second quarter and was limited to six points.

After playing to a 16-16 tie after one quarter, North took a 31-29 lead at halftime by hitting four of seven shots in the second quarter.

Ledford led the Dragons in the decisive third quarter as he hit five of nine shots, including three 3-pointers. Jared Hawkins added two 3-pointers in the period as Harlan took a 59-47 lead into the final period.

North was out rebounded 34-28 and turned the ball over 17 times.

“We have to put this behind us and get ready for Knox Central,” Sizemore said.

Harlan will travel to Lynn Camp on Tuesday and close the regular season Friday at Clay County.

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Harlan 84, North Laurel 74

NORTH LAUREL (18-10)

Adam Sizemore 1-6 5-6 8, Reed Sheppard 2-10 2-4 6, Cole Kelly 7-12 7-10 24, Isaiah Alexander 3-7 2-3 10, Landon Young 7-8 4-4 18, Isaiah Elmore 0-2 2-2 2, Nathan Bruner 2-3 0-0 6. Totals: 22-48 22-29 74.

HARLAN (18-10)

Cade Barnes 3-6 6-6 13, Jared Hawkins 4-7 0-0 11, Caleb Adkins 1-1 0-0 2, Kilian Ledford 10-24 6-9 32, Tate Bryson 0-1 0-0 0, Carter Barnes 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Akal 5-11 4-5 16, Jon Eldridge 3-7 2-3 8, Jaeden Gist 0-0 0-2 0, Kaleb McLendon 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 27-60 18-25 84.

North Laurel 16 15 16 27 — 74

Harlan 16 13 30 25 — 84

3-point goals: North Laurel 8-19 (Kelly 3-4, Brunerr 2-2, Alexander 2-6, Sizemore 1-4, Sheppard 0-3), Harlan 12-30 (Ledford 6-17, Hawkins 3-4, Akal 2-3, Cade Barnes 1-3, McLendon 0-1, Eldridge 0-2). Rebounds: North Laurel 28 (Kelly 8, Young 7, Sizemore 4, Sheppard 4, Elmore 3, Alexander 1, Bruner 1), Harlan 33 (Eldridge 10, Ledford 7, Cade Barnes 5, Akal 3, Hawkins 2, Bryson 2, McLendon 2, Carter Barnes 1, Gist 1). Turnovers: North Laurel 17, Harlan 10. Technical fouls: North Laurel (Sheppard). Fouled out: North Laurel (Sheppard, Young), Harlan (Hawkins).