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Black Bears coast past Rye Cove

Sleepwalking through a Saturday afternoon game against an out-of-state opponent, the Harlan County turned around a one-point deficit with a 13-0 blitzkrieg over the next 65 seconds that all but settled any doubt about the eventual winner.

Taylor Spurlock, Trent Noah and Jackson Huff each hit 3-pointers in the run that brought the HCHS offense to life on the way to an 82-37 victory over visiting Rye Cove, Va.

“I told them during a timeout that I realized we didn’t have a very big crowd today but they weren’t giving the effort they had to give,” Harlan County coach Michael Jones said. “We started playing with a little more energy and looked a lot better. If this team will give that kind of effort and be more aggressive on the offensive end we can be a good team by the end of the year.”

Eighth-grade guard Trent Noah and junior guard Tyler Cole each scored 16 points to lead the Bears, who improved to 8-5 on the season. Jacob Wilson, Jackson Huff and Taylor Spurlock contributed nine, eight and seven points, respectively, during a game in which 13 of 14 Bears in uniform reached the scoring column.

“It’s good to have everyone contribute. All those guys did a good job,” Jones said.

Sophomore forward Ethan Chavez led the 5-5 Eagles with 13 points. Matthew Rhoton, a sophomore guard, added 10 points.

Rhoton hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Eagles stayed close until the Bears reeled off 13 straight points and took a 21-12 lead by the end of the period.

Noah dominated around the basket in the second quarter as he hit four straight shots. Wilson hit two 3-pointers and Cole and Huff added one each as the lead grew to 52-23 by halftime.

Cole had three baskets in the third quarter as the Bears started a running clock late in the period on a basket by Elisha Smallwood, pushing the lead to 66-31.

Several freshmen had baskets for the Bears in the fourth quarter, led by Jonah Swanner and Daniel Carmical with four points each. Tristan Cooper and Alex Nantz also had baskets as the Bears outscored Rye Cove 26-6 in the final period.

Harlan County (8-5) returns to action Monday at home against Letcher Central.

———

Harlan County 82, Rye Cove 37

RYE COVE (5-5)

Matthew Rhoton 4-10 2-2 10 Mason Hardin 3-9 1-2 7, Matt Hardin 0-0 2-2 2, Roscoe Haines 1-3 0-0 2, Ethan Chavez 4-11 5-8 13, Jesse Burnette 0-1 0-0 0, Isiah Bishop 1-1 0-0 3, Ethan Chapman 0-0 0-0 0, Shawn Stanley 0-1 0-0 0, Austin Dockery 0-0 0-1 0. Totals: 13-36 8-13 37.

HARLAN COUNTY (8-5)

Trent Noah 7-10 1-2 16, Taylor Spurlock 2-5 2-2 7, Jackson Huff 3-6 0-0 8, Tyler Cole 6-10 3-4 16, Jacob Wilson 3-9 1-2 9, Josh Turner 2-3 0-0 4, Elisha Smallwood 2-4 0-0 4, Hunter Helton 1-2 0-0 4, Jonah Swanner 2-3 1-2 5, Daniel Carmical 1-2 2-2 5, James Gray 0-0 2-2 2, Tristan Cooper 1-1 0-0 2, Jeremiah Clem 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Nantz 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 31-57 12-16 82.

Rye Cove 12 11 8 6 — 37

Harlan County 21 31 12 26 — 82

3-point goals: Rye Cove 3-17 (Rhoton 2-7, Bishop 1-1, Haines 0-1, Chavez 0-1, Burnette 0-1, Stanley 0-1, Mason Hardin 0-5), Harlan County 8-23 (Huff 2-5, Wilson 2-6, Carmical 1-2, Noah 1-3, Spurlock 1-3, Cole 1-3, Turner 0-1). Rebounds: Rye Cove 20 (Chavez 12, Matt Hardin 4, Mason Hardin 2, Rhoton 1), Harlan County 31 (Noah 5, Wilson 5, Spurlock 4, Smallwood 4, Cole 3, Turner 2, Helton 2, Cooper 2, Huff 1, Swanner 1, Carmical 1, Clem 1). Turnovers: Rye Cove 19, Harlan County 4. Fouled out: None.