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Bears dominate in victory over Owsley

BUCKHORN — Coming off their first loss in almost a month earlier in the week at Middlesboro, the Harlan County Black Bears took two clear goals into the Scott Blank Classic at Buckhorn on Saturday afternoon. The Bears focused on controlling the boards, after giving up several crucial offensive boards in the loss to the Jackets, and they wanted to attack the basket.

The Bears accomplished both objectives in a 74-34 rout with a 33-8 advantage on the boards and 74 percent (32 of 43) shooting in a game that was never in doubt after the Bears raced to a 21-5 lead after one quarter.

“The last few days we worked on shoring up our offense and finding the gaps,” Harlan County coach Michael Jones said. “We also spent some time on rebounding after our last game, as you would expect. If we can fix some things like that it will make us a lot better team.”

Junior guard Tyler Cole scored 20 points, hitting nine of 12 shots, to lead the 16-6 Bears. Senior guard Taylor Spurlock tossed in 15 and sophomore guard Jackson Huff added 11. Junior forward Josh Turner contributed eight on four-of-four shooting as he got the start instead of eighth-grader Trent Noah, who is out with back inflammation. The Bears were also without three reserves due to the flu.

Senior guard Austin Evans scored nine and freshman guard Jacob McCoy added eight to lead the 9-10 Owls.

Harlan County hit nine of 12 shots in the first quarter and 10 of 13 in the second to push its lead to 43-12 by halftime. Cole hit five of six shots in the second period and Spurlock connected on three of five. The Bears outrebounded Owsley 9-0 in the quarter.

“I think their size intimidated us a little bit,” Owsley County assistant coach Kyle Bobrowski said. “We didn’t do a very good job of covering their shooters in the first half or blocking them out. We relaxed and did a little better the second half.”

Baskets by Turner and Huff to open the third quarter pushed the lead to 35 and started a running clock. HCHS hit seven of 11 shots in the period and extended its lead to 60-18.

Jones went to his reserves in the final period and freshmen guards Daniel Carmical and Jeremiah Clem each hit 3-pointers by Hunter Helton and Elisha Smallwood each had two baskets.

Harlan County returns to action Tuesday at home against South Laurel. Owsley County plays host to Wolfe County on Tuesday.

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Harlan County 74, Owsley County 34

HARLAN COUNTY (16-6)

Jacob Wilson 2-3 0-0 4, Taylor Spurlock 6-10 2-2 15, Jackson Huff 4-5 0-0 11, Tyler Cole 9-12 0-0 20, Josh Turner 4-4 0-0 8, Hunter Helton 3-3 0-0 6, Elisha Smallwood 2-3 0-0 4, Daniel Carmical 1-1 0-0 3, Jeremiah Clem 1-1 0-0 3, Tristan Cooper 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Nantz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 32-43 2-2 74.

OWSLEY COUNTY (9-10)

Trent Sebastian 3-15 0-0 6, Brandon Lynch 1-5 0-0 3, John Gibson 2-7 0-0 5, Jacob McCoy 3-6 0-0 8, Austin Evans 4-10 1-2 9, Seth Scott 0-1 0-0 0, Tyler Bowling 0-0 0-0 0, Trent Herald 0-0 0-0 0, Wes Cope 0-2 0-0 0, Mason Smith 0-0 1-1 1 Anthony Burns 0-0 0-0 0, Ethan Sebastian 0-0 0-0 0, Dillon Watts 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 14-48 2-3 34.

Harlan Ccunty 21 22 17 14 — 74

Owsley County 5 7 6 16 — 34

3-point goals: Harlan County 8-12 (Huff 3-4, Cole 2-3, Carmical 1-1, Clem 1-1, Spurlock 1-3), Owsley County 4-11 (McCoy 2-5, Gibson 1-2, Lynch 1-4). Rebounds: Harlan County 33 (Spurlock 8, Wilson 8, Turner 4, Huff 3, Cole 3, Helton 3, Clem 1, Cooper 1, Nantz 1), Owsley County 8 (Lynch 4, Evans 2, Gibson 1, McCoy 1). Turnovers: Harlan County 12, Owsley County 9. Fouled out: None.