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Harlan teams open play in Florida tournament

With star guard Jordan Akal sidelined by an ankle injury, the Harlan Green Dragons dropped five of six games. Akal returned on Friday in the Innisfree Hotels Pensacola Beach Classic and scored 31 points in the Dragons’ 66-48 win over Van Buren, Alabama.

Akal hit three 3-pointers in the opening period and scored 15 as the Dragons took an 18-14 lead. Harlan extended its advantage to 33-24 by halftime and 48-35 after three quarters.

Sophomore guard Kaleb McLendon scored 13 and senior center Jon Eldridge chipped in with 10 for the 2-6 Dragons, who will play Pleasant Grove, Alab., on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The Dragons will play Rosehill Christian, Texas, on Monday at 3 p.m.

The Harlan Lady Dragons fell 66-28 to Clarkrange, Tenn., in their opening game of tournament action. The Lady Dragons will play Gulf Breeze, Fla., on Saturday and Washburn, Tenn., on Monday.

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Harlan (66) — Jordan Akal 31, Kaleb McLendon 13, Johann Gist 3, Jaedyn Gist 9, Jon Eldridge 10.

Van Buren, Alab. (48) — Brad Burke 7, Jacob Guy 19, Austin Hodges 11, Steven England 2, John Allen 2, Jason Stevens 7.

Harlan 18 15 15 18 — 66

Van Buren 14 10 11 12 — 47