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Bears coast past Buckhorn in scrimmage

BUCKHORN — Showing the ability to score from the perimeter and through penetration, the Harlan County Black Bears led from start to finish Saturday in a 67-48 scrimmage win at Buckhorn in a matchup of two teams ranked in the top six in their respective regions

Senior guard Taylor Spurlock scored 25 points to lead the Bears, picking up where he left off during a strong summer. Eighth-grade point guard Trent Noah added 14 points in his first scrimmage with Harlan County, hitting four of the Bears’ eight 3-pointers. Junior guard Tyler Cole added 11 points and sophomore Jackson Huff added 10.

Junior guard Kobe Bowling, ranked among the 14th Region’s top players by the Cats Pause, led the Wildcats with 21 points. Sophomore forward Christian Collins added 13 points.

HCHS came out hot early, building a 12-0 lead on baskets by Cole and Spurlock followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Huff. The Wildcats fought back to within six before Spurlock and Noah each drained 3s for a 21-12 lead after one period.

Bowling brought Buckhorn back to within six twice early in the second quarter before Spurlock took over, hitting two 3-pointers in a 9-2 run that also featured a a basket by Huff. A basket by Josh Turner pushed the HCHS lead to 13 late in the half before Bowling closed the period with a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 34-24 at the break.

Noah hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second half, then Huff and Spurlock scored on consecutive trips as the Bears’ lead grew to 18. Collins and Bowling brought Buckhorn back late in the period, trimming the lead to 46-35.

The Harlan County lead expanded to 18 midway through the fourth quarter as Spurlock had two baskets and Cole hit four free throws. Harlan County built its biggest advantage at 20 on a basket by Elisha Smallwood and a free throw from freshman Jeremiah Clem.

Harlan County will play its second scrimmage on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at South Laurel against 2nd Region power Christian County. Harlan will play Garrard County after the HCHS scrimmage.

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Harlan County raced to a 15-1 lead after one quarter on the way to a 63-49 victory in junior varsity action.

Freshmen guards Daniel Carmical and Jonah Swanner scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the Bears. Freshman forward Tristan Cooper added 11 points. Dalton Hicks and James Gray chipped in with nine points each, followed by Jeremiah Clem with five and Chase Sizemore with three.

Nick Whitaker scored 14 and Hayden Neace added 13 to lead the Wildcats. Colton Southwood added eight, followed by Austin Riley with seven, Izaah Miller with three and Cameron Caudill and Jaron Knight with two each.

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Harlan County (67) — Trent Noah 14, Tyler Cole 11, Jackson Huff 10, Taylor Spurlock 25, Josh Turner 2, Elisha Smallwood 4, Jeremiah Clem 1.

Buckhorn (48) — Jacob Blank 3, Cameron Caudill 3, Dalton Baker 3, Christian Collins 13, Kobe Bowling 21, Dylan Knight 2, Izaah Miller 3.