Harlan overpowers outmanned Cardinals, 100-35

Published 10:01 am Sunday, January 9, 2022

The weather hasn’t allowed the doom students to return to Red Bird Mission as of Saturday.
The Cardinals were missing seven players, including three starters and a starting lineup that including a senior, a junior and three eighth-graders.
Harlan scored 44 points in the first quarter of Saturday’s 13th Region All “A” Classic against Red Bird and rolled to a 100-35 victory.
“It is what it is,” said Red Bird coach Jared Jones. 
The Green Dragons starters played one quarter and that was more than enough.
Senior guard Jordan Akal scored 25 in the opening period while Will Austin and Kaleb McLendon added six apiece.
Harlan coach Derrick Akal went to his reserves the rest of the game.
“Everyone got a chance to play and shoot and everyone had a chance to get their names in the newspaper,” Akal added.
Senior guard Johann Gist and junior guard Tristan Burgan tossed in 11 points apiece. John Mark Bryson finished with 10 points, all in the second quarter.
Junior guard Austin Osborne led the 2-9 Cardinals with 19 points. Juan Bynum, a senior guard, scored 16. No other Red Bird player scored.
Harlan, which hit 18 of 28 from the field, led 44-10 after eight minutes of play.
Johann Gist knocked down 11 second-quarter points and Bryson scored 10 as the Dragons went ahead 69-16 at halftime.
Harlan’s Cameron Maples scored eight points in the third quarter as the lead swelled to 87-30 after three quarters.
Kelan Napier contributed five points while Burgan and Nate Montanaro scored four each in the Dragons’ final period.
The Green Dragons pulled down 65 rebounds. Darius Akal had a game-high 13. Montanaro grabbed eight. McLendon and Matthew Pennington each had seven.
Red Bird, which had 17 boards, were eight of 38 from behind the arc. The Dragons were 16 of 37 from 3-point range.
The surprising statistic of the game was Red Bird hit 1-1 at the free throw line while HHS never got to the attempt any.  
The last time the Dragons scored 100 points was Jan. 25, 2019 at Cordia, a 107-86 win. Red Bird fell to North Laurel 104-31 in the 49th District Tournament last season.
Harlan (10-5) advances to play Lynn Camp in Monday’s second semifinals around 7:30 p.m. Middlesboro will take on the Barbourville Tigers at 6.
The championship game is slated for Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The Dragons are attempted to three-peat.
• • • •
In other All “A” Classic games from Saturday, the Middlesboro Yellow Jackets outscored Pineville 19-10 in the fourth quarter to claim a 55-49 win.
Sophomore guard Cayden Grigsby and senior forward Jay Tyler West scored 20 points apiece to lead the 6-8 Yellow Jackets.
Freshman guard Sawyer Thompson once again led the Mountain Lions with 22 points. Evan Biliter, a junior forward, tossed in 10. Eli Thompson had six points.
Pineville missed 11 of 12 shots in the final quarter, but did hit eight of eight free throws in the period.
The 9-8 Lions will return to action Friday at home against Harlan County.
Williamsburg missed two shots in the closing seconds as Barbourville edged the Yellow Jackets 65-64.
A 3-pointer by Jordan Collins put the Tigers ahead for good with 29 seconds to play.
Collins, a senior guard, fired in 25 points to lead Barbourville. Matthew Warren, a junior guard, scored 18. Ethan Smith added six. 
The Jackets, who have lost three straight, were led by junior forward Conner Lay and junior guard Martin Shannon with 17 points each. Micah Steely scored eight.
Williamsburg (9-5) will play host to South Laurel on Friday and Powell County on Saturday.
Senior guard Micah Engle poured in 28 points as Lynn Camp down Jackson County 73-64.
The Wildcats also got 19 points from senior center Gavin Allen. Duane Sparks collected 14 points.
Luke Adkins, a senior guard, paced the Generals with 17 points. Jude Lakes, a junior guard, followed with 15 points. Colby Bales scored 11 and Trent Hammons added 10 points.
Jackson County (7-4) travels to Powell County on Tuesday, plays host to Red Bird on Friday and meets Buckhorn in the Big Lou Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Perry Central on Saturday.
Contributing sports writer Paul Lunsford wrote this for the Harlan Enterprise.