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HCHS teams sweep Hyden tourney

HYDEN — Tyler Cole and Jacob Wilson needed only six minutes to take all the mystery out of Harlan County’s game against East Ridge on Saturday in the Hyden Citizens Bank Classic, combining to hit seven of nine shots for an 18-3 lead.

Cole hit five of six shots and Wilson connected on three of four 3-pointers as the Bears built a 16-point lead after one quarter. HCHS limited East Ridge to one-of-11 shooting while hitting seven of 10 shots themselves in the period on the way to a 63-49 victory. Cole finished with 16 points and Wilson added 12.

“We started the game like we wanted, and it always helps when you shoot the ball well,” said Harlan County coach Michael Jones, who wasn’t as happy with his team’s effort after the opening period.

The Harlan County starters played less than half the game as Jones grew unhappy with the Bears’ intensity as the day progressed. He benched the starters with 5:23 left in the third quarter and they didn’t return, but the reserves maintained a double-digit advantage.

“I’m as disappointed with our effort today as I was proud of our effort yesterday (a 78-43 win over Leslie County),” Jones said. “Defensively, we didn’t guard anyone today. They could drive by us any time they wanted. They played harder than we did. The best team didn’t win today.”

Jones went to his bench in the second period and the Bears’ offense was not as crisp with seven turnovers in the quarter. East Ridge got as close as 14 before a three-point play by Cole and 3-pointer by Wilson put the Bears back in control on the way to a 33-14 halftime lead.

Harlan County was up 16 when Jones went to a freshman-dominated lineup for the remainder of the game. The Bears maintained a 16-point lead, at 46-30, going into the final period. Freshman forward Tristan Cooper, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, led the Bears in the quarter with six points and four rebounds.

Jonah Swanner had six points and Cooper added four to lead the Bears in the fourth quarter as East Ridge outscored the HCHS reserves 19-17.

“They played hard, but they made some of the same mistakes,” Jones said of his reserves, “which made me more upset with the guys on the bench. They have an excuse though since they haven’’t played very many varsity games. We have to do a better job with our intensity and guarding people on the defensive end.”

Sophomore guard Braxton Stanley scored 16 points to lead the 2-7 Warriors. Cameron Hess and Hunter Damron added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The Bears played without two starters as senior Taylor Spurlock missed his second game due to an ankle injury and sophomore Jackson Huff missed for the second night due to a bout with the flu.

Harlan County (7-4) returns to action Thursday with a 13th Region showdown at Knox Central.

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Harlan County 63, East Ridge 49

EAST RIDGE (2-7)

Isaac Woods 2-7 0-0 5, Braxton Stanley 6-10 0-1 16, Cameron Hess 4-10 2-2 12, Eli Rose 0-5 0-0 0, Hunter Damron 5-8 0-0 10, Dalton Williams 1-6 1-1 3, Jon Mills 1-1 0-0 2, Jackson Potter 0-2 0-0 0, Brad Howell 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 19-52 4-6 49.

HARLAN COUNTY (7-4)

Trent Noah 0-2 0-0 0, Jacob Wilson 4-5 0-0 12, Tyler Cole 7-9 1-1 16, Josh Turner 1-4 0-0 2, Elisha Smallwood 0-1 0-0 0, Jonah Swanner 3-5 0-4 6, Daniel Carmical 1-2 3-4 6, Jeremiah Clem 0-1 0-0 0, Hunter Helton 2-2 0-0 4, Tristan Cooper 5-6 34-1 3, James Gray 0-0 1-2 1, Josh Sergent 0-2 3-4 3, Alex Nantz 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22- 11-19 63

East Ridge 3 11 16 19 — 49

Harlan County 19 14 13 17 — 63

3-point goals: East Ridge 7-25 (Stanley 4-6, Hess 2-6, Woods 1-5, Rose 0-1, Potter 0-2, Williams 0-2, Howell 0-3), Harlan County 6-14 (Wilson 4-5, Cole 1-2, Carmical 1-2, Noah 0-1, Swanner 0-1, Clem 0-1, Sergent 0-2). Rebounds: East Ridge 17 (Hess 7, Rose 5, Howell 2, Woods 1, Stanley 1, Damron 1), Harlan County 35 (Cooper 7, Wilson 6, Turner 6, Swanner 4, Helton 3, Noah 2, Cole 2, Clem 2, Gray 1, Sergent 1, Nantz 1). Turnovers: East Ridge 17, Harlan County 35. Fouled out: None.