Bears Overpower South Laurel On The Road
Published 10:36 am Saturday, January 29, 2022
The Harlan County Black Bears jumped out to a quick lead to claim a 76-72 win at South Laurel last Tuesday.
The Bears, who swept both games over the Cardinals during the regular season, took a 21-12 advantage after eight minutes of play.
Sophomore guard Trent Noah powered Harlan County with 40 points and 17 rebounds.
Daniel Carmical scored 11 points. Jonah Swanner finished with eight points. Jackson Huff tossed in eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
The Black Bears also got six points from Maddox Huff. Tristan Cooper added two points.
South Laurel was led in scoring by junior guard Parker Payne with 28 points. Ayden Smith, also a junior guard, scored 11 points. Rhys England and Ashton Garland contributed 10 points apiece. Brayden Reed added eight points.
“We did some things differently in the first quarter than we normally do, and it was my fault,” said South Laurel coach Jeff Davis. “We did some different stuff and it didn’t pay off.”
The Black Bears went into the locker room with a 37-30 halftime advantage.
Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter, but Harlan County led 55-50 entering the final period.
The Cardinals got as close as three points. The Black Bears escaped with the road victory.
“We kept fighting back. We didn’t quit,” said Davis “We fought hard.”
Harlan coach coach Michael Jones was proud of his team.
“We competed on both the defensive and offensive boards. Both Trent and Jackson had over 10 apiece. Overall, I thought us winning the rebounding battle was the difference in the game.”
The Black Bears improved to 16-5 on the season while South Laurel dropped to 16-5.
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Freshman center Jaycee Carter scored 10 points as Harlan County defeated the Cardinals 38-32 in the junior varsity contest.
Hunter Napier and Caleb Johnson tallied eight points apiece for the 6-3 Black Bears. Brody Napier added seven points while Ethan Simpson tossed in five.
Josh Steele and Wes Dowell paced South with 11 points each.
Redhounds wins showdown
Who would score the most points and lead their team to a win Thursday?
Corbin junior guard Hayden Llewelyn finished with 32 points while Harlan County’s sophomore guard Trent Noah fired in 48 points.
It was a strong offensive effort from Corbin’s Brody Wells and Carter Stewart that allowed the Redhounds to win the 13th Region showdown by a score of 83-78.
Wells, a junior forward, poured in 17 points for the Redhounds while Stewart, sophomore guard, contributed 11 points.
“Brody is a tough matchup and a dynamic talent. Kids like Carter, Trey (Worley), Eli (Pietrowski), Zander (Curry), and Kade (Elam) are doing a lot of little things that make the difference for this team,” said Corbin coach Tony Pietrowski.
“This is a high-quality win over a very good and well-coached basketball team. Noah is certainly a special talent,” said Pietrowski. “I’m proud of my team. I thought that was the best we have looked offensively this season. We showed patience, shared the basketball, and continued to have balance.”
Corbin took a 24-19 lead after one quarter of play, but only led 46-45 at halftime.
Harlan County took a 52-50 lead midway before the Redhounds went into the fourth quarter leading 66-60.
The Black Bears cut the lead to 75-74 with just over three minutes remaining in the game, but couldn’t get any closer. A 3-pointer from Zander Curry extended Corbin’s lead to 82-76.
Eli Pietrowski tossed in nine points for the Redhounds. Curry had eight points.
Jonah Swanner scored eight for the Bears. Daniel Carmical and Maddox Huff each scored six. Tristan Cooper finished with five points while Jackson Huff added two.
With the win, coach Pietrowski tied the school record for coaching wins with 441. Harry Taylor coached the Hounds to 441 wins from 1943 to 1963.
Corbin claimed a 79-63 victory over Whitley County on Friday as Pietrowski moved to first on the coaching list with No. 442. A big ‘congratulations’ to coach Pietrowski!
The 14-6 Redhounds are not scheduled to play again until Saturday, when they travel to Clay County. Corbin will host the Tim Short Auto Mall Classic beginning Monday with Jackson County before Middlesboro visits on Tuesday.
Harlan County (16-6) travels to Breathitt County on Thursday. The Black Bears will participate in the Jock Sutherland Classic at Lafayette on Saturday, playing West Jessamine at 4:15 p.m.
Other games scheduled for the Classic includes North Laurel playing Henry Clay at 6, followed by the host Generals taking on Shelby County around 7:45 p.m.
Harlan County will visit Harlan on Tuesday in a girls/boys 52nd District doubleheader. The Bears are 3-1 in district play while the Dragons sit at 1-2.
Sports contributor Paul Lunsford wrote this story for the Harlan Enterprise.