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Late surge carries Lady Bears past Jenkins

The Harlan County Lady Bears have been able to count on big games from senior forward Morgan Blakley for just about every night this season, but they haven’t been able to count on a lot else.

The Lady Bears got some big games from other sources Tuesday, in addition to 29 points from Blakley, on the way to a 72-65 victory. Jaylin Preston provided a big lift off the bench, especially in the third quarter, and finished with 10 points. Senior guard Hannah Wood added 14 points, including several clutch free throws when HCHS wiped out a one-point deficit with a 14-5 run. Junior forward Kassy Owens hit two big shots in the fourth quarter and added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

“They were chasing Morgan, but I thought Kassy stepped up when we needed her. We need her to score and rebounds like that,” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “JP (Preston) came in and did a good job and gave us some energy off the bench. The tempo picked up when she got in the game.”

Jenkins (6-20) was led by junior guards Jerrica Thacker and Kristin Thacker with 19 points each. Lindsey Rose added 13 points and 13 rebounds.

“I thought we hit some big shots and got some big rebounds,” Green said. “Jenkins goes as their twins go, and they have both had good seasons, averaging over 40 points per game between them.”

Two free throws by Rose gave Jenkins a 55-54 lead with 6:11 left. Blakley started the decisive run with two straight baskets, one off her steal and the second after a steal by Preston. After Jerrica Thacker scored for the Lady Cavs, Owens hit a 3-pointer, then scored off a rebound as HCHS built a 64-56 lead. Owens, Blakley, Preston and Owens put the game away at the free throw line.

Harlan County will close its regular season schedule Friday at home against Knox Central.

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Harlan County dropped a 69-52 decision Monday at Knott Central as the host Lady Patriots broke open a close game by outscoring HCHS 24-13 in the second quarter.

Morgan Blakley scored 11 and Jaylin Smith added nine for the Lady Bears

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Knott Central (69) — Slone 13, Mullins 22, Fletcher 13, Maggard 5, Mason 13, Noble 3.

Harlan County (52) — Hannah Wood 7, Morgan Blakley 11, Kassy Owens 3, Kelly Beth Hoskins 8, Jaylin Smith 9, Jacey Lewis 6, Taytum Griffin 2, Hailey Austin 3, Taylor Lunsford 3.

Knott Central 17 24 18 10 — 69

Harlan County 15 13 6 18 — 52

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Harlan County improved to 5-6 in junior varsity action with a 39-28 win over Jenkins as Taytum Griffin and Hailey Austin led the Lady Bears with nine and eight points, respectively.

Taylor Lunsford scored six, followed by Kylie Jones and Scarlett Rowe with five each, Paige Phillips with three, Izzy Kirby with two and Jenna Wilson with one.

Lindsey Rose led Jenkins with 12 points.

Harlan County fell 50-24 to Knott Central on Monday. Jones scored seven and Austin added six for the Lady Bears. Griffin scored four. Lunsford and Wilson added three each. Philips chipped in with one.

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HCHS 72, Jenkins 65

JENKINS (6-20)

Jerrica Thacker 7-20 4-6 19, Kristin Thacker 7-16 4-4 19, Lindsey Rose 5-13 2-2 13, Skye Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Ritchie 3-4 5-6 11, Hallie Fleming 1-2 1-2 3, Cadence Firth 0-1 0-0 0, Alyssa Fields 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-56 16-20 65.

HARLAN COUNTY (13-10)

Hannah Wood 3-11 6-8 14, Kelly Beth Hoskins 0-4 0-0 0, Morgan Blakley 9-17 10-16 29, Jaylin Smith 2-4 1-2 5, Kassy Owens 6-11 1-2 14, Jaylin Preston 3-5 1-3 10, Jacey Lewis 0-4 0-0 0, Dixie Ewing 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-63 19-31 72.

Jenkins 18 16 12 19 — 65

Harlan County 20 19 11 22 — 72

3-point goals: Jenkins 3-15 (Rose 1-1, K. Thacker 1-4, J. Thacker 1-9, Firth 0-1), Harlan County 7-21 (Preston 3-4, Wood 2-7, Owens 1-1, Blakey 1-2, Lewis 0-3, Hoskins 0-4). Rebounds: Jenkins 40 (Rose 13, Richie 12, K. Thacker 10), Harlan County 35 (Owens 10, Wood 6, Blakley 6, Hoskins 5, Smith 5, Lewis 2, Preston 1). Turnovers: Jenkins 19, Harlan County 8. Fouled out: Jenkins (Brown).