Harlan County defeat Lady Patriots in opener

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, December 1, 2022

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By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

The Harlan County Lady Bears placed four players in double figures Monday in a 65-57 victory over visiting Knott Central.
The Lady Patriots are ranked among the best in the 14th Region.
Senior guard Taytum Griffin led the Lady Bears with 15 points. Jaylin Smith, a senior guard, scored 13, while junior point-guard Ella Karst followed with 12. Taylor Lunsford added 11 and eight rebounds.
Senior guard Hailey Austin finished with eight points and 10 boards for HC.
The game started and looked to be an offensive showdown as both teams scored 20 points each in the opening period
Harlan County hit eight of 14 from the field in the first eight minutes of the game.
Karst had seven points, and Smith scored five in the first quarter.
The Lady Patriots got five points from Gayheart to take a 27-22 advantage with 6:04 left in the first half.
Following a Harlan County time-out, Griffin scored five points, and Karst added a basketball as HC led for good, 29-27, with 3:14 remaining in the second quarter.
Lunsford scored two baskets to close the first half as the Lady Bears led 36-30.
Harlan County built an 11-point advantage at the 3:11 mark of the third quarter
The Lady Patriots pulled within 53-46 at the end of the third period.
Knott Central cut the deficit to four on two occasions in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bears hit eight of 13 free throws in the last period.
Karst and Austin each hit a free throw, and Austin added a basketball in the final second of the game.
“Knott is a good team with two players as good as we’ll see all year,” Nolan said. “I was proud of the way we closed. I was glad they made a run at us. I wanted to see how our kids would respond.”
Harlan County claimed a 39-26 advantage on the boards. Austin pulled down 10, and Lunsford grabbed eight for the Lady Bears. Fletcher led the Lady Patriots with eight.
Harlan County (1-0) plays host to Knox Central on Thursday, and visits Clay County on Saturday before hosting Barbourville on Monday.
Knott Central (0-1) travels to Breathitt County on Friday and will participate in the WYMT Mountain Classic next week.
Akasia Bentley scored 19 points as Knott Central edged HC 37-34 in overtime in the junior varsity game.
Whitney Noe led the Lady Bears with 11 points. Lacey Robinson scored eight. Whitley Teague tossed in seven. Maddi Middleton had three points. Peyton Lunsford and Alley Stewart contributed two each while Addi Gray added one.

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