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Bears suffer second loss to Lexington opponent

LEXINGTON — After winning with 3-pointers on Thursday at the Henry Clay Holiday Classic, hitting 15 in a rout of Shelby County, the Harlan County Black Bears lost to a pair of Lexington teams over the next two nights by struggling to defend the 3-pointer.

Henry Clay rolled to a 32-point win on Friday with 11 3-pointers. Lafayette hit 10, including nine in the first half, as the Generals built an early lead and then held off a second half comeback attempt to win 70-55 on Saturday.

“The first half we didn’t do a good job of sprinting to our rotations defensively and they hit nine 3-pointers,” Harlan County coach Michael Jones said. “We knew we had to give weak side help on the big kid, but when they skipped the pass we didn’t rotate with a purpose. We had it down to five late in the second quarter and six in the fourth. We just couldn’t get a shot to go down today. We got some great looks, shots we want our kids to take. Also, when we made those runs we had some key turnovers trying to do too much.”

The big kid mentioned by Jones was 6-foot-10 Lafayette center Ray Surrant, who led the 3-6 Generals, ranked third in the 11th Region in the preseason, with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Harlan County (5-4) was led by senior guard Taylor Spurlock with 14 points and sophomore guard Jackson Huff with 12.

Surratt had three baskets in the first quarter while Will Stanfield added two 3-pointers to help Lafayette build a 24-15 lead.

The Generals added five more 3-pointers in the second quarter, but the Bears stayed in the game with the help of some strong play off the bench by junior forward Josh Turner and senior center Elisha Smallwood. Each had two baskets in the period while Smallwood drew two charges on Surratt and helped limit the Lafayette big man to no baskets in the quarter. Lafayette led 45-34 at halftime.

Tyler Cole had two baskets in the third quarter while Trent Noah and Huff added 3-pointers as the Bears got within six before Lafayette scored four straight to take a 57-47 advantage into the final quarter.

Noah hit a 3-pointer to get the Bears within seven with 5:37 left in regulation. They had several chances to get closer but failed to capitalize. Devin Johnson hit a 3-pointer and Surratt followed with three straight baskets to put the game out of reach.

Harlan County returns to action in the Hyden Citizens Bank Classic on Friday against Leslie County and Jones hopes the experience gained last week will help as the season progresses.

“Playing against this kind of athleticism and size the last couple of days will only make us better in the long run. We will take this experience and turn it into a positive,” he said.

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Lafayette 70, HCHS 55

LAFAYETTE (3-6)

Kobe Blake 2-8 12- 6, Will Stanfield 2-6 0-0 6, Jayd Huynh 2-5 0-0 5, Abe Nelson 2-4 4-4 10, Ray Surratt 11-14 2-4 24, Devin Johnson 4-9 0-0 11, Iren Doneghy 2-4 1-3 6, Nick Napier 0-2 0-0 0, Omuar Toure 2-2 2. Totals: 25-53 10-15 70.

HARLAN COUNY (5-4)

Trent Noah 3-7 0-1 8, Taylor Spurlock 3-9 7-8 14, Jackson Huff 5-15 0-0 12, Tyler Cole 3-8 1-2 7, Jacob Wilson 2-3 0-0 4, Josh Turner 2-3 0-0 4, Elisha Smallwood 2-2 0-0 4, Jonah Swanner 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 20-47 10-13 55.

Lafayette 24 21 12 13 — 70

Harlan County 15 19 13 8 — 55

3-point goals: Lafayette 10-28 (Johnson 3-5, Nelson 2-4, Stanfield 2-5, Huynh 1-3, Doneghy 1-3, Blake 1-5, Napier 0-2, Surratt 0-1), Harlan County 5-18 (Noah 2-4, Huff 2-9, Spurlock 1-2, Cole 0-2, Wilson 0-1). Rebounds: Lafayette 29 (Surratt 10), Harlan County 21 (Spurlock 9, Wilson 4, Huff 3, Cole 3, Noah 1, Turner 1). Turnovers: Lafayette 15, Harlan County 19. Assists: Lafayette 19 (Blake 5), Harlan County 11 (Spurlock 4, Wilson 3, Turner 2, Huff 1, Smallwood 1), Fouled out: None.