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Lady Bears rally from 19 down to defeat Perry

Down 13 going into the fourth quarter and in danger of their sixth loss in seven games, the Harlan County Lady Bears’ season appeared to be at a crossroads Saturday against visiting Perry Central.

The Lady Bears used a 10-1 run to get back into the game and then closed with an 8-1 run to rally for a 70-67 win a game they trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter.

“This is a big win for us. We kept making runs and would then make a mistake,” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “We finally got our defense right and started pulling some rebounds. We kept trying to pound it inside to Morgan (Blakley), and Hannah (Wood) had a big game. We really need her to play like that and hit some shots. I also thought she handled it well and had eight assists.”

Blakley scored 34 points and Wood added 17 to lead the 9-8 Lady Bears.

Freshman guard Courtney Hoskins paced the 6-11 Lady Commodores with 18 points. Sydnee Minks and Katie Dunnigan added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

“Perry Central is a much better team than their record shows,” Green said. “They have two good big kids inside and a really good point guard with some good complementary players.”

HCHS trailed by 12 when Jaylin Smith started the 10-1 run with two free throws and a basket. Blakley had two baskets and two free throws as the Lady Bears pulled within three.

The Lady Commodores moved back out to a six-point lead when when Napier hit a free throw with 65 seconds left. A Wood trey cut the deficit to two. Blakley hit four straight free throws, the second two coming after she stole a pass, to put HCHS up by one with 10.2 seconds left. Perry’s Hoskins drew a foul with 4.1 seconds to play, but she missed both shots. Two free throws by Harlan County’s Hoskins with 2.6 seconds to play closed the scoring.

Harlan County returns to action Monday at Knox Central. Perry Central travels to Knott Central on Thursday.

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Harlan County and Perry Central split the freshman and junior varsity games with the Lady Bears winning 29-17 in the freshman game and the Lady Commodores winning 39-26 in junior varsity action.

Taylor Lunsford and Taytum Griffin each scored seven to lead HCHS (2-1) in the freshman game. Izzy Kirby added four. Emma Mullkey contributed three. Kylie Jones, Paige Phillips, Hailey Austin and Scarlett Rowe added two each.

Kyra McAlarnis led Perry Central with eight points.

Aliyah Fannin scored 11 to lead the Lady Commodores in junior varsity action.

Austin and Mulkey paced the 3-4 Lady Bears with five points each. Jones and Rowe scored four each. Griffin added three. Lunsford and Kirby chipped in with two each. Jenna Wilson scored one.

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Harlan County 70, Perry Central 67

PERRY CENTRAL (6-11)

Courtney Hoskins 8-25 2-5 18, Emmalee Neace 3-5 0-0 7, Katie Dunnagin 4-10 2-5 11, Chelsey Napier 2-10 3-6 7, Annie Harris 1-5 3-6 5, Sydnee Minks 5-7 2-3 12, Aaliyah Gibson 3-4 0-0 7, Kendra Lawson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 26-68 12-25 67.

HARLAN COUNTY (9-8)

Hannah Wood 6-9 0-0 17, Kelly Beth Hoskins 2-5 2-2 8, Jaylin Smith 2-4 4-6 8, Morgan Blakley 9-24 15-18 34, Kassy Owens 0-5 0-0 0, Jaylin Preston 1-4 0-1 3, Dixie Ewing 0-1 0-1 0, Haley Middleton 0-0 0-0 0, Hailey Austin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-51 21-28 70.

Perry Central 19 22 17 9 — 67

Harlan County 15 12 18 25 — 70

3-point goals: Perry Central 3-9 (Neace 1-2, Gibson 1-2, Dunnigan 1-5), Harlan County 9-19 (Wood 5-6, Hoskins 2-4, Blakley 1-3, Preston 1-3, Owens 0-3). Rebounds: Perry Central 42 (Harris 12, Napier 8, Dunnigan 7, Hoskins 6, Neace 5, Lawson 2, Minks 1, Gibson 1), Harlan County 32 (Owens 12, Hoskins 7, Wood 4, Smith 3, Preston 3, Blakley 2, Ewing 1). Turnovers: Perry Central 7, Harlan County 11.