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Lady Bears rally again, this time edging Knox

BARBOURVILLE — After rallying from 19 down two days earlier to defeat Perry Central, the Harlan County Lady Bears didn’t let a six-point halftime deficit Monday at Knox Central bother them.

Harlan County closed strong again, scoring the final seven points in a 53-48 victory over the Lady Panthers. Senior forward Morgan Blakley again led the 10-8 Lady Bears with 25 points.

“I thought we played a solid game,” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “We rebounded really well and were more patient on offense.”

Kassy Owens and Hannah Wood each added 10 points for the Lady Bears with Owens also pulling down 10 rebounds.

“Kassy played really well and so did Hannah. We always know what we’ll get from Morgan,” Green said. “We also got some good performances off the bench, especially Dixie (Ewing with five rebounds).”

Knox had a two-point lead with after a 3-pointer by Timberly Frederick with 4:20 left. The Lady Panthers didn’t score again, missing the final seven shots, including six 3-point attempts. A 3-pointer by Wood put HCHS up by one. Wood and Blakley each hit two free throws to put the game away after Knox missed several chances to reclaim the lead.

“We’ve been shooting the 3 pretty well this year, but when you live by it you can die by it and tonight we struggled,” Knox Central coach Jamie Sowders said. “We didn’t shoot very well tonight. They also hurt us on the boards and foul trouble was a problem.”

Knox hit seven of 14 shots in the second quarter to turn a two-point deficit early in the period to a 29-23 lead at halftime.

“We lost their shooters too many times in the first half but did a much better job the second half,” Green said. “We also threw the ball away too much the first half and got beat down the floor a couple of times. We played better the second half.”

Owens had four baskets in the third quarter as HCHS took a 44-41 lead into the final period. The lead changed hands four times in the fourth quarter until Wood’s trey put HCHS ahead to stay.

Frederick scored 13 to lead the 6-9 Lady Panthers. Zoey Liford and Presley Partin added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Harlan County returns to action Tuesday at Middlesboro in a girls/boys district doubleheader.

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Freshman guard Hailey Austin scored 16 points to lead Harlan County to a 31-28 win in junior varsity action.

Paige Phillips added four points for the 4-4 Lady Bears. Taytum Griffin, Izzy Kirby and Jenna Wilson scored three each. Emma Mulkey adde two.

Paige Sharp and Isabelle Frost, both eighth graders, led Knox Central with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

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HCHS 53, Knox Central 48

HARLAN COUNTY (9-8)

Hannah Wood 3-9 3-4 10, Kelly Beth Hoskins 0-3 0-2 0, Jaylin Smith 2-4 0-0 4, Morgan Blakley 8-19 9-9 25, Kassy Owens 5-11 0-0 10, Jaylin Preston 1-4 0-0 2, Dixie Ewing 1-3 0-1 2. Totals: 20-53 12-16 53.

KNOX CENTRAL (6-9)

Caylan Mills 1-12 5-6 7, Zoey Liford 4-11 3-4 12, Timberly Frederick 5-14 0-0 13, Presley Partin 3-12 1-3 10, Katie Broughton 1-4 0-0 2, Natalie Fisher 2-3 0-3 4, Paige Sharp 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-56 9-16 48.

Harlan County 8 15 21 9 — 53

Knox Central 10 19 12 7 — 48

3-point goals: Harlan County 1-15 (Wood 1-5, Blakley 0-2, Owens 0-2, Hoskins 0-3, Preston 0-3), Knox Central 7-25 (Partin 3-8, Frederick 3-10, Liford 1-3, Mills 0-4). Rebounds: Harlan County 39 (Blakley 10, Owens 10, Wood 6, Hoskins 6, Ewing 5, Smith 1, Preston 1), Knox Central 30 (Mills 10, Liford 5, Partin 5, Fisher 5, Frederick 4, Broughton 1). Turnovers: Harlan County 16, Knox Central 12. Fouled out: Knox Central (Partin).