Black Bears on eight-game winning streak

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

Wins over Middlesboro and Clay County have pushed the Harlan County Black Bears’ winning streak to eight games.

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Entering the week, HCHS (15-3) defeated Bell County 88-64 on Tuesday and will travel to Letcher Central on Thursday.

Last Friday, senior guard Daniel Carmical poured in 23 points, and sophomore guard Maddox Huff scored 19 points as the visiting Bears defeated Middlesboro 79-46.

Harlan County also got 15 points from junior guard Trent Noah and 10 points from junior guard Jonah Swanner. Hunter Napier scored five, while Jeremiah Clem added three. Caleb Johnson and Reggie Cottrell each had two.

Middlesboro committed 18 of its 29 turnovers in the first half against the Bears.

Junior forward Trey King and sophomore guard Jack Smith scored 11 points each for the 3-12 Yellow Jackets. Senior guard Ashton Osborne tossed in eight points. Trent King scored seven, and Jerimah Beck added five. Richie Logan and Joseph Killion had two apiece.

Harlan County jumped out to a 19-14 advantage after eight minutes. The Black Bears outscored Middlesboro 30-10 in the second quarter to push the lead to 49-24 at halftime.

HC put the game away in the third period by using a 20-8 scoring advantage and led 69-32 after three quarters.

The Yellow Jackets outscored Harlan County 14-10 in the fourth quarter.

The Bears nailed 12 3-pointers for the game. Carmical made seven of 10. Huff hit three. Smith also nailed three for Middlesboro.

The Yellow Jackets won the battle of the boards, 30-22. King grabbed 10 for Middlesboro. Beck had six. Jaycee Carter led HC with eight. Noah pulled down five.

“You have to give Harlan County credit. They are more athletic than you think they are, plus their length bothered us,” said Middlesboro coach John Wheat

Bears beat Clay County

Noah scored 33 points while Huff, Swanner, and Carmical all added 14 points apiece as Harlan County downed Clay County 85-71

Caleb Johnson tossed in eight points for the Black Bears. Brody Napier added two points.

Junior forward Hayden Harris paced Clay County with 16 points and sophomore guard Landon Dezarn with 15. Freshman center Aiden Wagers tossed in 14.

The Tigers led 12-4 as Harris and Dezarn scored. Harlan County fought back, but the Tigers held a 24-20 lead after one quarter.

The Black Bears used a 12-2 run to take a six-point lead, but Clay County scored 11 unanswered points to take a 41-36 advantage at halftime.

Clay County extended the lead to 47-37 with 6:54 left in the third period.

Harlan County took over from there, outscoring the Tigers 30-4, with Noah, Huff and Swanner teaming for eight baskets.

The Bears built a 22 points lead, but Clay County closed the game by scoring 11 straight points.