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HCHS closes regular season with win

Senior guard Morgan Blakley fired in 27 points, including 12 of 13 free throws, as Harlan County closed the regular season Friday with a 64-58 win over visiting Knox Central.

The Lady Panthers kept it close most of the night with neither team getting more than an eight-point lead.

Harlan County also got 12 points from Kelly Beth Hoskins and 10 points from Jaylin Smith.

Sophomore guard Caylan Mills led Knox Central with 26 points, including 20 in the first half. Presley Partin, a junior guard, added 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Freshman eighth-grader Natalie Fisher also grabbed 10 boards as Knox Central outrebounded the Lady Bears 30-24. Blakley grabbed nine rebounds to lead Harlan County. Owens pulled down six.

Blakley scored four points and Hoskins nailed a 3-pointer as the Lady Bears took a 9-6 lead after three minutes of play. Hoskins hit two more treys as Harlan County led 19-15 after one quarter.

Mills scored 13 of the Lady Panthers’ 19 points in the second quarter. Paige Sharp nailed a 3-pointer for Knox Central at the end of the half as the Lady Panthers led 34-31.

Blakley had six points for HCHS in the second period.

Blakley hit a 3-pointer and completed a three-point play and scored eight points in the third quarter as the Lady Bears took a 43-42 edge.

Partin scored all eight of Knox Central’s points in the quarter.

Two free throws by Owens and a jumper by Hannah Wood gave HC a 47-42 with 5:41 remaining.

Knox Central fought back with a basket by Zoey Liford and a pair of free throws by Partin to make it a one-point game, but Harlan County got another 3-pointer by Hoskins — her fourth of the game — a layup by Smith and two free throws from Blakley to push the lead to 61-53.

Harlan County (15-10) returns to action Monday against Harlan in the second game of the 52nd District Tournament held at Harlan County High School. Top-seeded Bell County (22-4) takes on Middlesboro (5-22) in Monday’s opener.

The championship game is scheduled Thursday at 7.

Knox Central (10-15) will host Lynn Camp (4-25) on Monday in the first game of the 51st District Tournament at 6. Pineville (15-10) plays Barbourville at 7:30 p.m. The finals are set for Thursday at 7.

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No junior varsity game was played Friday and Harlan County ended the season with a 5-6 record.

Harlan County (3-2) split two games in the 13th Region Freshmen Tournament, defeating Williamsburg 31-23 in the quarterfinals before falling 51-9 to eventual champ South Laurel in the semifinals.

Taylor Lunsford led the Lady Bears against Williamsburg with eight points. Taytum Griffin scored seven. Emma Mulkey tossed in five, followed by Izzy Kirby with four, Hailey Austin with three and Kylie Jones and Scarlett Rowe with two each.

Lunsford and Griffin scored four points each against South Laurel. Rowe added one.

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Harlan County 64, Knox Central 58

KNOX CENTRAL (10-15)

Caylan Mills 10-19 6-8 26, Zoey Liford 2-5 0-0 4, Timberly Fredrick 2-5 0-0 6, Presley Partin 5-14 7-7 18, Natalie Fisher 0-2 0-1 0, Jaylynn Faine 0-0 1-2 1, Paige Sharp 1-2 0-0 3, Janessa Spencer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-47 13-17 58.

HARLAN COUNTY (15-10)

Hannah Wood 2-9 3-6 7, Morgan Blakley 7-13 12-13 27, Kassy Owens 1-5 2-2 4, Kelly Beth Hoskins 4-8 0-0 12, Jaylin Smith 5-6 0-0 10, Dixie Ewing 0-3 1-2 1, Jaylin Preston 0-0 0-0 0, Jayce Lewis 1-4 0-0 3. Totals: 20-47 12-17 64.

Knox Central 15 19 8 16 — 58

Harlan County 19 12 12 21 — 64

3-point goals: Knox Central 4-17 (Fredrick 2-5, Sharp 1-2, Partin 1-5, Mills 0-1, Fisher 0-1, Liford 0-3), Harlan County 6-19 (Hoskins 4-8, Lewis 1-2, Blakley 1-3, Wood 0-6). Rebounds: Knox Central 30 (Partin 10, Fisher 10, Mills 6, Liford 3, Fredrick 1), Harlan County 24 (Blakley 9, Owens 6, Wood 4, Hoskins 2, Ewing 1, Preston 1, Lewis 1). Assists: Knox Central 6 (Partin 3, Mills 3), Harlan County 9 (Wood 2, Smith 2, Preston 2). Turnovers: Knox Central 19, Harlan County 15. Fouled out: Knox Central (Partin).