Harlan County Basketball notebook: Bears and Lady Bears pickup tourney wins

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2023

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By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

Harlan County defeated Soddy Daisy (Tenn.), Sardis (Ala.), and host Gatlinburg-Pittman during a three-day tournament in the Smoky Mountain Winter Classic last week.

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The Black Bears won the championship of the Blue Bracket in the tournament.

HCHS opened the classic with a 61-45 win last Wednesday over Soddy Daisy.

Junior guard Trent Noah scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Bears. Senior guard Daniel Carmical, who nailed six 3-pointers, finished with 18 points. Jonah Swanner tossed in nine, and Maddox Huff added six. Reggie Cottrell contributed five points, while Jaycee Carter had three.

Swanner, a junior guard, poured in 19 points on Thursday to lead Harlan County over Sardis 60-26.

Noah collected 17 points and 19 rebounds for the Bears. Huff had 12 points and six boards. Carmical scored five, while Caleb Johnson added three points. Cottrell and Brody Naper each tallied two.

Harlan County shot 49 percent from the field on 22 of 45. The team grabbed 34 rebounds.

In the finals, Gatlinburg-Pittman took a 38-32 advantage at halftime, but HC used a 24-14 fourth-quarter scoring outburst to claim a 77-69 victory.

Huff, a sophomore guard, fired in 26 points for the Black Bears. Carmical scored 21 points, as he hit seven 3s. Noah followed with 20 points.

Swanner tossed in six points, while Carter and Johnson added two apiece.

Harlan County (10-3) plays host to South Laurel on Thursday and travels to London to take on St. Henry in the Raymond Reed Classic at South Laurel High School on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Lady Bears take two at Chain Rock Classic

Junior guard Ella Karst scored 15 of her game-high 26 points in the first quarter as the Harlan County Lady Bears rolled to a 59-26 win over Middlesboro in the Chain Rock Classic last Wednesday.

HC outscored the Lady Jackets 25-4 after eight minutes of play.

Jaylin Smith scored six points, and Karst added five as the Lady Bears led 42-8.

Karst hit two 3-pointers, and Maddi Middleton hit one as the third-quarter lead swelled to 53-15 entering the fourth period.

Smith contributed eight points for the Lady Bears. Faith Hoskins followed with six. Taytum Griffin, Paige Phillips, and Cheyenne Rhymer all scored four apiece.

Middleton scored three, while Kylie Jones and Lacey Robinson added two each.

Sophomore guard Keevi Betts and freshman guard Addyson Larew each scored eight for the Lady Jackets. Morgan Martin, an eighth grader, tossed in six points. Halaya Brown and Jenna Baker each added two.

Karst became the fourth member of the Harlan County High School 1,000-point club. She scored over 500 points during two years at Harlan.

HCHS outrebounded the Lady Jackets 23-15. Betts had five for Middlesboro, while Smith and Taylor Lunsford each grabbed six.

The Lady Bears were without the services of senior guard Haley Austin for all three games of the tournament.

According to HC coach Anthony Nolan, she’ll be back on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Harlan County needed a strong fourth quarter to defeat the host Lady Lions, 51-46.

The Lady Bears outscored Pineville 17-6 in the last period. The Lady Lions took a 40-34 lead into the fourth quarter.

Smith opened the period with a short jumper, followed by a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 40-39 at the 6:16 mark.

Following a Pineville timeout, Rachel Howard hit a pair of free throws, and Ava Arnett connected on one of two to put the Lady Lions ahead by four with 4:48 to play.

Smith hit two jumpers, tying the game at 43-all with 3:42 remaining.

Harlan County had possession, holding the ball two minutes and three seconds until Nolan called timeout at the 1:38 mark.

A basketball by Karst gave HC a two-point lead until Arnett nailed a 3-pointer with 1:03 left in the game.

Karst hit four of four free throws, and Griffin nailed two as Harlan sealed the win.

Smith led the Lady Bears with 20 points. Karst scored 12. Griffin finished the game with 10 points.

“Jaylin Smith hit some big shots in the fourth quarter for them,” said Pineville coach Elgie Green. “We executed our game plan. I thought we played well defensively until the fourth quarter. We didn’t make free throws.”

Hoskins collected four points while Jones added three, and Phillips had two.

Lunsford was held scoreless despite foul trouble. She did grab six rebounds, as did Griffin and Smith.

Howard, a freshman forward, powered Pineville with 17 points and eight rebounds. Arnett tossed in 12 points, while Johnson added 10 points and six boards. Abby Jackson scored four, and Kameryn Biliter sunk three points.

HC took a 10-8 edge after eight minutes but trailed 23-20 at the break.

The Lady Lions missed nine of 16 free throws and shot 35 percent (18 of 52) from the field.

Pineville dropped to 10-4 on the season.

The Lady Lions will return to action this week in the 13th Region All “A” Classic at Harlan.

In the finals on Friday, John Hardin held off the Lady Bears 49-46.

HC got two 3-pointers by Karst in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Bears struggled from the field the entire game.

“We struggled to score,” said Nolan. “We let one get away from us.”

Junior forward Sharon Tidwell powered John Hardin with 17 points. Destini McAlister, a junior guard, scored 16.

Karst paced Harlan County with 22 points. Smith followed with 11. Griffin scored seven. Kylie Jones, Taylor Lunsford, and Paige Phillips each added two.

John Hardin took a 15-12 edge after eight minutes of play.

The game was tied at 26-all at halftime before the Bulldogs used a 13-7 scoring run in the third quarter to lead 39-33.

The Lady Bears held a 30-29 rebounding edge. Lunsford grabbed 13 boards for HC. Tidwell and Xaviera Smalley pulled down eight apiece for John Hardin, who improved to 7-5 on the season.

Harlan County (10-3) plays host to South Laurel on Tuesday.

The Lady Bears are scheduled to play five straight games on the road, beginning Thursday at Hazard and Monday at Lynn Camp.