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Starters sit as Black Bears fall at Model

RICHMOND — Unhappy with his team’s lack of effort to open Saturday afternoon’s game at Model High School, Harlan County coach Michael Jones decided he’d rather watch a freshman-dominated lineup, even if meant losing.

The younger Bears wiped out a six-point deficit in the second quarter to take a five-point halftime lead, but they were unable to hang on late as Model closed with an 11-5 run to win 55-51. It was the second straight loss for the 19-9 Bears, who fell by 14 a night earlier at Madison Southern. The HCHS starters scored only eight points as they were limited to around seven minutes of action in the first half.

Harlan County struggled to close last season, getting to 19 wins before losing their regular season finale against Whitley County and then falling to Middlesboro in the 52nd District Tournament. The Bears enter the tournament later this month as the No. 1 seed for the fifth straight year but will have perhaps the toughest first-round matchup in the region against Bell County.

“We were trying to win with the group we had out there. There was not one second of thought about bringing them back in during the second half. I had no second thoughts about it,” Jones said. “It’s left up to them. If they are not going to give more effort in these last two games, they will be disappointed on Feb. 25 when we play Bell in the district tournament. It has nothing to do with execution. I can handle missed shots and turnovers. When they aren’t defending or blocking out or going to the boards, I’m just going to watch it.”

The Bears were led by freshmen guards Daniel Carmical, with 19 points, and Jonah Swanner, with 11. Junior forward Josh Turner, the Bears’ sixth man, finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds, providing the intensity that Jones wants to see from his starters.

“Those guys played their tails off. I’m proud of that group. I think they got a little gassed at the end of the game. I kept using timeouts to get them some rest, but I wasn’t going to take them out for anything,” said Jones. “You get that kind of effort out of Josh every night. I hope that rubs off on these other guys.”

Harlan County missed 11 of 13 shots in the opening quarter but cut the Model lead to 9-8 by the end of the period on four free throws by Swanner.

Jones took the HCHS starters into the dressing room for a discussion during the first quarter while the reserves played. The starters returned for the second period but went to the bench for good after falling behind 18-12.

Carmical, Swaner and Turner led the Bears back, sparking a 13-2 run that put HCHS up 25-20 at halftime.

Model hit six of eight shots in the third quarter to wipe out the Bears’ lead. A basket by Swanner and two free throws by Carmical put HCHS up 36-35 going into the final period.

The Bears took their last lead at 45-44 after five straight points by Carmical midway through the fourth quarter. Model scored six straight points on the way to the win.

Senior guard Cruse Pingleton led the 9-19 Patriots with 27 points. Junior center Nate Feese added 10 points and nine rebounds.

Harlan County closes its season with two road games next week, Tuesday at Cordia and Friday at Whitley County.

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Led by 26 points from Daniel Carmical, including eight 3-pointers, Harlan County improved to 10-5 in junior varsity action with a 44-23 win. Jonah Swanner and Tristan Cooper scored six each. James Gray chipped in with four. Bradley Halcomb added two.

Perry led Model with 11 points.

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Model 55, Harlan County 51

HARLAN COUNTY (19-9)

Trent Noah 1-4 0-0 2, Taylor Spurlock 1-5 0-0 3, Jackson Huff 0-2 0-2 0, Tyler Cole 1-2 1-2 3, Jacob Wilson 0-3 0-0 0, Josh Turner 3-10 4-6 10, Hunter Helton 0-1 0-0 0, Elisha Smallwood 0-1 0-0 0, Jeremiah Clem 1-7 0-0 3, Jonah Swanner 2-5 7-8 11, Daniel Carmical 6-15 3-4 19, James Gray 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Nantz 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 15-58 15-26 51.

MODEL (9-19)

Cruse Pingleton 10-14 7-13 27, Bryson Perry 1-9 1-2 4, Ethan Bailey 0-5 0-0 0, Josh Barrick 2-3 1-1 5, Nate Feese 3-4 4-10 10, Camden Stamm 3-6 1-2 8, Colton Collier 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-42 15-30 55.

Harlan County 8 16 12 15 — 51

Model 9 11 15 20 — 55

3-point goals: Harlan County 6-19 (Carmical 4-7, Spurlock 1-2, Clem 1-4, Swanner 0-1, Cooper 0-1, Noah 0-2, Wilson 0-2), Model 2-10 (Perry 1-3, Stamm 1-3, Bailey 0-4), Rebounds: Harlan County 43 (Turner 14, Cole 4, Swanner 4, Cooper 4, Noah 3, Carmical 3, Spurlock 2, Huff 2, Wilson 2, Clem 1, Helton 1, Smallwood 1, Gray 1, Nantz 1), Model 33 (Fease 9, Pingleton 8, Stamm 5, Perry 4, Bailey 4, Barrick 1, Collier 1). Turnovers: Harlan County 13, Model 13. Fouled out: None.

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Madison Southern 74, Harlan County 60

The host Eagles scorched the Black Bears for 17 3-pointers in a victory on Friday.

Hunter Buchanan scored all 24 of his points on eight 3-pointers. Chad Fugate and Nate Turner added 18 and 16 points, respectively.

Taylor Spurlock led the Black Bears with 16 points. Tyler Cole and Jacob Wilson added 10 points each.

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Freshman guard Daniel Carmical scored 22 points as Harlan County rolled to a 61-34 win in junior varsity action. Tristan Cooper added 11 points and was followed by Jeremiah Clem with 10, Jonah Swanner with seven, Josh Sergent with five and James Gray and Bradley Halcomb with three each.

Hudson scored seven and Holbrook added six to lead Madison Southern.

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Madison Southern (74) — Colby Sebastian 2, Chad Fugate 18, Hunter Buchanan 24, Nate Turner 16, Jonah Wooten 5, Samuel Lee 5, Walter Smith 2, Jay Rose 2.

Harlan County (60) — Trent Noah 0, Taylor Spurlock 16, Tyler Cole 10, Jackson Huff 8, Jacob Wilson 10, Josh Turner 4, Elisha Smallwood 2, Daniel Carmical 2, Jonah Swanner 6, Tristan Cooper 2.

Harlan County 16 11 14 19 — 60

Madison Southern 20 13 26 15 — 74

3-point goals: Harlan County 4 (Wilson 2, Huff 1, Cole 1), Madison Southern 17 (Buchanan 8, Fugate 4, Turner 2, Wooten 1, Smith 1, Lee 1).