Boys’ basketball notebook: Dragons and Bears keep on rolling
Published 4:09 pm Friday, December 16, 2022
By Paul Lunsford
After knocking off three of the top 14th Region teams in the WYMT Tournament, the Harlan Green Dragons ran into the top team in the 15th Region on Monday.
The Dragons improved to 6-0 on the season with a 73-61 win at Pikeville.
Senior guard Kaleb McLendon led the way with 17 points. Junior guard Kyler McLendon scored 15. Seniors Will Austin and Jaedyn Gist each tallied 12. Dylan Cox added nine points, while Trenton Cole finished with eight.
The Pikeville size hurt the Dragons at times, with Tennessee Tech signee Rylee Samons at 6’-4” and junior forward Charlie Fitzer at 6’-6” inside.
Fitzer paced the Panthers with 16 points. Samons and Eli Johnson each scored 15. Ian Onkst tossed in seven while Heath Jarrell had six.
Johnson scored 10 points as the Panthers took a 21-15 advantage after eight points of play. Kaleb McLendon hit three 3-pointers in the quarter.
Kyler McLendon and Gist each had six points as the Dragons pulled within 31-30 at the break.
Cole nailed two treys in the third quarter, and Austin had four points as Harlan trailed 48-46 entering the final period.
The Green Dragons showed their stuff in the final eight points of the game by outscoring Pikeville 27-13. Harlan got six points each from Austin, Cox and Kaleb McLendon in the period.
Harlan hit 13 3-pointers for the game, with Kaleb McLendon knocking down five. Cox had three, while Kyler McLendon and Cole each connected for two. Gist added another.
Harlan will travel to Middlesboro on Friday for a girls-boys doubleheader against the district-rival Yellow Jackets (1-4).
The Green Dragons will face Ashland Blazer in the first round of the Pikeville Invitational on Tuesday.
Pikeville (1-2) visits East Ridge on Friday.
Bears ring Bell County 76-65
Bell County has had a tough time winning when played at Harlan County High School.
The Bobcats allowed 21 fourth-quarter points on Tuesday as the Black Bears posted a 76-65 in district basketball action.
Junior guard Trent Noah, who was recognized for breaking the school record recently in points scored, fired in 36 points to lead HCHS. MAddox Huff, a sophomore guard, scored 16.
The Black Bears got scoring from Caleb Johnson (8), Jonah Swanner (7), Jaycee Carter (6) and Reggie Cottrell (3). Senior guard Daniel Carmical was held scoreless with just five field goal attempts.
Bell County was led in scoring by Senior guard Dawson Woolum with 26 points. Cameron Hall, a sophomore, poured in 20 while freshman guard Blake Burnett added 10.
Cayden Huff scored six and Jacob Jones tossed in three for the Bobcats.
Six points by Noah and two baskets each from Huff and Swanner allowed Harlan County to take an 18-15 advantage after one quarter of play.
Noah took over in the second period firing in 15 of the Bears’ 24 second-quarter points. HC took a 42-31 lead into the break.
Woolum and Hall each knocked down three treys and finished the third quarter with 11 points apiece as Bell County cut the deficit to 55-53 entering the final period.
Noah tossed in nine points, and Huff scored six in the fourth quarter as Harlan County outscored the visitors 21-12.
Harlan County shot 54 percent from the field on 31 of 57 shooting. The Bobcats hit 21 of 50 from the field for 42 percent.
The Bears connected on eight of nine free throws while Bell High made 14 of 19.
Harlan County outrebounded the Bobcats 25-21. Noah had a game-high nine rebounds. Huff pulled down six boards for Bell County.
Bell County (1-3) will host Garrard County on Saturday in the Pride of the Mountains Basketball Showcase.
The Bobcats will participate in the Legacy Nissan Dribble Drive Challenge at South Laurel High School on Dec. 20-22. Bell County takes on Owen County in the first round on Tuesday at 4:45 p.m.
The 5-1 Black Bears will play Lyon County on Saturday at 9 p.m. in the King of the Bluegrass tournament at Fairdale High School in Louisville.