Bobcats Rout Harlan 67-45 in District Play

Published 10:17 am Saturday, January 29, 2022

LOG MOUNTAIN — It was expected to be a 52nd District showdown on Tuesday, but turned into a trouncing by Bell as the Bobcats rolled to a 67-45 over Harlan.

Bell County improved to 15-3 overall and stands at 3-1 in the district.

The Bobcats placed four players in double figures with senior forward Cameron Burnett leading the way with 19 points and six rebounds. Dawson Woolum, a junior guard, fired in 16 points. Hayden Callebs scored 15 while Dalton Stepp finished with 14 points.

Bell County coach Brad Sizemore was excited following the game.

“We have a group of seniors who have been kicked in the face enough over the last two years. I just feel like they are on a mission to do something,” said Sizemore “They are coming in every day working tremendously hard, and they have a lot of confidence they can play against these better teams.”

On the other hand, Harlan coach Derrick Akal was too pleased.

“It was a physical football game and I have basketball players trying to win at a freaking football game,” said Harlan coach Derrick Akal, who was not happy with officiating throughout the game. “It was definitely difficult, but Brad (Sizemore) does a good job.”

Bell County jumped out to a 19-8 advantage after eight minutes of play and led 29-15 at halftime.

The Green Dragons held a 17-14 scoring edge in the third period but trailed 43-32.

For the game, the Bobcats were 27 of 39 from the free throw line for 69 percent. Harlan made 12 free throws in 17 attempts.

The Dragons struggled from 3-point range, hitting only one of 11.

Senior guard Jordan Akal led Harlan with 11 points. Jaedyn Gist scored nine points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Will Austin had eight points and nine reboards. Brothers Kaleb and Kyler McLendon scored six each. Nate Montanaro came off the bench and contributed five points.

The Green Dragons outrebounded Bell High 32-17. Gist grabbed a game-high 10 boards.

Harlan committed 19 turnovers compared to just seven for the Bobcats.

Bell High will host the Pride of the Mountain Basketball Showcase beginning Friday against Leslie County at 7:30 p.m.

The Bobcats will face Garrard County on Saturday at 7.

The showcase will also feature Oneida Baptist playing Washburn (Tenn.) at 3 p.m., follower by South Laurel meeting Wolfe County at 5.

Bell County 67, Harlan 45
HARLAN (13-7)
Jordan Akal 3-10 5-8 11, Kyler McLendon 2-7 2-2 6, Kaleb McLendon 2-7 1-1 6, Jaedyn Gist 4-12 1-2 9, Will Austin 4-6 0-0 8, Johann Gist 0-1 0-0 0, John Mark Bryson 0-2 0-0 0, Nate Montanaro 1-3 3-4 5, Derek Pruitt 0-1 0-0 0, Tristan Burgan 0-0 0-0 0, Darius Akal 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-49 12-17 45.
BELL COUNTY (15-3)
Hayden Callebs 5-7 5-9 15, Dalton Stepp 4-7 3-4 14, Dawson Woolum 5-10 6-10 16, Carter McCune 1-4 0-0 3, Cameron Burnett 3-11 13-16 19, Chanse Belcher 0-1 0-0 0, Noah Brock 0-0 0-0 0, Cole Hoskins 0-1 0-0 0, Conner McGeorge 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-47 27-39 67.
Harlan 08 07 17 13 — 45
Bell County 19 10 14 24 — 67
3-point goals: Harlan 1-11 (Kaleb McLendon 1-6, Akal 0-1, Jaedyn Gist 0-2, Bryson 0-2), Bell County 4-10 (Stepp 3-3, McCune 1-3, Belcher 0-1, Hoskins 0-1, Woolum 0-2). Rebounds: Harlan 32 (Jaedyn Gist 10, Austin 9, Kaleb McLendon 5, Akal 3, Kyler McLendon 2, Pruitt 2, Burgan 1), Bell County 17 (Burnett 6, Woolum 5, Stepp 3, Hoskins 2, Callebs 1).

Sports contributor Paul Lunsford wrote this for the Harlan Enterprise.