Bell County gets one-point win over upset minded Lady Dragons

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023

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By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

Harlan scored 23 consecutive points in the opening quarter and raced to a 26-5 lead before the Lady Cats of Bell County fought back for a 69-68 win over the Lady Dragons on Log Mountain Tuesday.

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Bell High led by five entering the fourth quarter.

Aymanni Wynn scored five points, and Kylie Noe added three as Harlan tied the game at 57-57 with 5:35 remaining in the game.

Lauren McGeorge had a 3-pointer and a layup. Gracie Jo Wilder followed with a layup as the Lady Cats took a 64-58 lead at the 3:35 mark.

Bell pushed the lead to seven after a trey McGeorge with 2:15 to play.

Harlan fought back as Noe, Wynn and Peighton Jones each had baskets to cut the deficit to 67-66 with one minute left.

McGeorge made two free throws with 16 seconds remaining, and Wynn added two for Harlan seven seconds later.

Mataya Ausmus missed the front end of a bonus with 4.1 seconds remaining. Leah Davis grabbed the rebound and passed the ball to Emma Owens, but the junior point guard was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer.

We had some kids step up and make some big shots and some big free throws,” said Bell County coach David Teague. “It was a battle, and good to get a district win.”

Bell County improved to 5-0 in the district, while the Lady Dragons are 2-2 with two games remaining with Harlan County.

McGeorge, a sophomore guard, powered the Lady Cats with 23 points. Ausmus, a senior guard, followed with 16 points. Wilder tossed in 14.

Kairi Lamb tossed in six points and Kylee Greer-Gann added five. Hallee Jones scored three, while Mikayla Gambrel had two.

Gambrel and Ausmus were honored before the game with senior festivities.

Wynn poured in 32 points for the Lady Dragons but failed to score in the third quarter. She managed to hit 14 of 16 free throws. Noe fired in 14 points.

Harlan also got eight points from Owens. Six each from David and Addison Campbell. Jones scored two.

Harlan coach Tiffany Rowe had to play six reserves due to due foul trouble early.

Wynn scored 18 points in the first period as Harlan led 26-10 after eight minutes.

The Lady Cats had eight turnovers and got into foul trouble in the first quarter. As the game progressed, the Lady Dragons were also in foul trouble.

Ausmus nailed a 3-pointer, Kairi Lamb and Lauren McGeorge each had baskets as the Lady Cats opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run to pull within 26-18 at the 6:15 mark.

Wynn scored five points, but Bell County used a 12-1 run to even the score at 32-32 with 2:11 remaining in the first half.

The game was tied at 39-all at intermission.

Wynn put up 24 first-half points for the Lady Dragons. Ausmus and McGeorge each scored 11 in the half for Bell.

Lamb and Gracie Jo Wilder each had a basket to start the third quarter, but Kylie Noe tossed in four points and Owens added a jumper as Harlan led 45-43 with 3:58 to play in the period.

Wilder scored seven of the Lady Cats’ 12 points the rest of the quarter as Bell County took a 55-50 advantage at the end of the frame.

“I was proud of the way our kids battled,” said Teague. “We obviously dug ourselves a huge hole, but give credit to Harlan for that, they played very well.

“I thought our kids stayed the course and kept their composure and allowed us to get back into the game.”

Bell County (16-7) travels to Middlesboro on Friday to complete district play.

The Lady Cats will visit Corbin on Feb. 7.

Harlan (8-12) plays host to Harlan County on Thursday, Barbourville on Friday and Lynn Camp on Saturday.

Rockcastle County tames Lady Dragons

Harlan dropped a close game Saturday at Rockcastle County in the Rocket Classic on Saturday, 62-56.

The Lady Dragons (8-12) played well enough to win, but a couple of mental lapses, missed free throws (seven of 20), and losing Leah Davis to fouls didn’t help.

Talynne Shearer, a junior guard, paced Rockcastle County (16-6) with 23 points and ten rebounds. Camryn Cash, also a junior guard, added 11 points, while Keelee King scored nine.

The Lady Dragons got 22 points from junior guard Emma Owens and 21 points from sophomore guard Aymanni Wynn. Kylie Noe tossed in 13 points.

No other Harlan player scored, including two starters and five reserves.

Rockcastle County raced to a 20-15 lead after one quarter and led 31-23 at halftime.

The Lady Dragons trailed 53-44 entering the fourth quarter and got as close as one point — 55-54 — with four minutes remaining.

Harlan used a 12-7 scoring run in the final period but dropped to 9-12 on the season.

The Lady Dragons hit nine of 17 3-pointers as Owens nailed six and Wynn made three.

Noe, Davis, and Peighton Jones each had five rebounds for the Lady Dragons.

Rockcastle County committed 15 turnovers to Harlan’s eight.