Lady Bears Win Seventh Straight, Downs B’ville

Published 8:49 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Harlan County Lady Bears have won seven consecutive games, including Saturday’s 62-45 victory over visiting Barbourville.

Harlan County improved to 17-10 on the season

“I know how far this team has come throughout the course of the season. They are so hard on themselves, so you have to cautious about how you express yourselves to them,” said Harlan County coach Anthony Nolan. “I’m very pleased with their effort, and their growth from November to February has been fun to watch. The most important part of the season is ahead of us, so we hope we’ve narrowed the gap to where we can compete.”

The Lady Black Bears held a 24-20 halftime advantage and put the game away in the third quarter.

Ella Karst connected on six of seven shots in the third period as HC used a 24-12 spurt and entered the final quarter leading 48-32.

“Our passes were a little soft the first half, and a lot of that was playing an afternoon game after a district game the previous night,” said Nolan. “We also struggled at the free-throw line, and that is something we have to correct before the district tournament.”

Karst, who scored 15 points in the third quarter, finished with 39 points for the Lady Bears. Jaylin Smith tossed in nine points. Taylor Lunsford followed with eight points and 11 rebounds. Hailey Austin added six points.

Senior center Brianna Gallagher powered Barbourville with 23 points. Sophomore guard Sarah Smith added 10.

Smith hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to keep Barbourville close as Karst had three baskets to lead HCHS to an 11-8 lead.
The game was tied at 17 and 19 before baskets by Smith and Karst helped the Lady Bears take a four-point halftime lead.

Barbourville (9-11) will travel to Lincoln County on Tuesday and Clay County on Thursday.

Harlan County closes the regular season with a road game with Jenkins (7-20) on Tuesday before hosting Red Bird on Thursday in a girls/boys doubleheader.

HC take second seed in district
Harlan County used a 16-0 run in the second quarter on Friday to down host Middlesboro 53-39 and seal the second seed in next week’s 52nd District Tournament.

Karst paced the Lady Bears with 16 points. Jaylin Smith scored 10. Hailey Austin and Taytum Griffin tossed in nine points apiece for HC.
It will. mark Harlan County’s third straight season to finish second place in the district standings.
“I think our kids showed they are capable of stepping up and knocking down shots,” said Harlan County coach Anthony Nolan.

Bell County has secured the top seed with Harlan and Middlesboro standings at 1-5 in district play.
A few coin flips will be made in a 52nd District meeting slated Monday at Bell High to determine the schedule next week.

Sophomore center Halaya Brown scored nine points to lead the Lady Jackets, who lost three players to injuries during the course of the game, including standout senior forward Kailey Owens.

After a slow start, Harlan County led 10-8 after one quarter.

Middlesboro reclaimed the lead with a 9-2 run to open the second quarter before HCHS went on a 16-0 run. The Lady Bears took a 28-19 lead into the locker room.

Karst hit four of five shots in the third quarter and Austin added two baskets as Harlan County extended its lead to 43-33 after the three quarter.
Austin and Paige Phillips had two baskets each in the fourth period as HCHS outscored the Lady Jackets 10-6.

Harlan County improved to 16-10, winning six straight games.

Middlesboro suffered a 66-32 loss at Perry Central on Sunday, falling to 9-15 on the season.

The Lady Jackets are scheduled to host Williamsburg on Monday, Leslie County on Tuesday and Red Bird on Friday to close the regular season.

Harlan County 62, Barbourville 45
BARBOURVILLE (9-11)
Sarah Smith 4-7 0-0 10, Aubrey Woolum 0-3 1-2 1, Cheyenne Sizemore 0-1 0-0 0, Brianna Gallagher 8-18 5-9 23, Aimee Woolum 1-6 0-0 2, Danni Jordan 4-6 0-0 9, Lauren Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Alina James 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 17-43 6-11 45.
HARLAN COUNTY (17-10)
Ella Karst 12-21 2-3 29, Taytum Griffin 2-5 0-0 5, Hailey Austin 3-5 0-0 6, Jaylin Smith 4-10 1-2 9, Taylor Lunsford 4-5 0-6 8, Kylie Jones 0-2 2-2 2, Paige Phillips 1-3 0-0 2, Abigail Fields 0-1 0-0 0, Jayln Preston 0-0 1-1 1. Totals 26-52 6-14 62.
BHS     8 12 12 13 — 45
HCHS 11 13 24 14 — 62
3-point goals: Barbourville 5-15 (S. Smith 2-4, Gallagher 2-6, Jordan 1-1, Sizemore 0-1, James 0-1, Aubrey Woolum 0-2), Harlan Cunnty 4-10 (Karst 3-4, Griffin 1-3, Preston 0-1, Jones 0-2).
Rebounds: Barbourville 20 (Aimee Woolum 9, Gallagher 5, Aubrey Woolum 2, L. Smith 2, S. Smith 1, Jordan 1), Harlan County 29 (Lunsford 10, Karst 5, Smith 4, Griffin 3, Jones 2, Phillips 2, Fields 2, Austin 1).
Turnovers: Barbourville 20, Harlan County 15.

Harlan County 53, Middlesboro 39
HARLAN COUNTY (16-10)
Ella Karst 7-15 0-2 16, Taytum Griffin 4-7 0-0 9, Hailey Austin 4-8 0-0 9, Jaylin Smith 5-10 0-0 10, Taylor Lunsford 1-4 0-2 2, Kylie Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Paige Phillips 2-4 1-2 5, Abigail Fields 1-2 0-0 2, Jaylin Preston 0-0 0-0 0, Cheyenne Rhymer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-52 1-6 53.
MIDDLESBORO (9-14)
Gracie Gent 2-4 1-2 7, Mallory James 2-10 4-4 8, Keevi Betts 2-9 3-7 8, Kailey Owens 2-10 4-4 8, Halaya Brown 4-9 1-1 9, Trinity DeRossett 0-0 0-0 0, Trinity Partin 1-1 0-0 3, Anna Myers 1-1 0-0 2, Millie Roberts 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-39 9-11 39.
HCHS 10 18 15 10 — 53
MHS 8 11 14 6 — 39
3-point goals: Harlan County 4-11 (Karst 2-4, Austin 1-3, Griffin 1-3, Jones 0-1), Middlesboro 4-12 (Gent 2-4, Partin 1-1, Betts 1-5, James 0-1, Owens 0-1).
Rebounds: Harlan County 31 (Lunsford 9, Karst 6, Smith 5, Phillips 4, Fields 4, Griffin 2, Austin 1), Middlesboro 22 (Gent 5, Owens 5, Brown 4, Betts 3, James 2, DeRossett 1, Myers 1).
Turnovers: Harlan County 10, Middlesboro 16.

Sports contributor Paul Lunsford wrote this story for the Harlan Enterprise.