Black Bears claim bragging rights

Published 4:24 pm Monday, February 6, 2023

By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

The Harlan County basketball coaching staff may have scheduled three of the toughest teams in a three-day span.

The Black Bears (20-5) got 31 points and 22 rebounds from junior guard Trent Noah as visiting HC downed Harlan 68-62 on Thursday.

Jonah Swanner and Maddox Huff followed with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Daniel Carmical scored seven and Jaycee Carter added four. Caleb Johnson tossed in one.

Junior guard Kyler McLendon scored 22 points for the Green Dragons. Will Austin tallied 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Jaedyn Gist added 17 points. Kaleb McLendon had three points and Matthew Pennington had one.

Both teams shot 36 percent from the field. Harlan hit 21 of 59 from the floor, while the Dragons made 24 of 67.

The Black Bears outrebounded Harlan 40-30.

HC connected on 21 of 28 free throws. Harlan made nine of 13.

The Bears committed nine turnovers, while the Dragons had eight.

Kyler McLendon scored eight points as Harlan took a 17-15 edge after the opening quarter.

Noah poured in nine points, and Swanner added seven as the Black Bears went into the locker room leading 37-29.

Harlan County had one field goal and eight of 12 free throws in the third quarter. The Dragons got seven points from Austin, but the Bears led 48-39 entering the final period.

Both teams turned up the offense in the fourth quarter. Gist poured in 13 points in the period to lead Harlan.

Noah fired in 14 points in the last quarter as the Bears escaped with the district win.

Harlan and Harlan County play again at HC on Tuesday in another girls/boys doubleheader.

The 21-4 Dragons will visit Knott Central Wednesday and celebrate Senior Night on Thursday at home against Knox Central.

Harlan travels to South Laurel on Saturday.

The Black Bears will close district play on Friday in a girls/boys doubleheader at home against Middlesboro and travel to Boyd County on Saturday.

Bears upend Pulaski

Harlan County hosted 12th Region powerhouse Pulaski County on Friday and outlasted the Maroons 76-71.

Carmical poured 25 points, including seven 3-pointers for the Black Bears. Noah scored 24 points and Huff tossed in 17

Senior guard Barek Williams powered the 21-4 Maroons with 36 points. Senior forward Cayden Lancaster finished with 15 points.

After eight minutes, Pulaski County took a 15-9 advantage, but the Black Bears fought back to tie the score at halftime, 30-30.

Noah connected on six of eight baskets as HCHS led 56-50 entering the final period.

Both teams heated up in the fourth quarter as the Maroons held a 21-20 edge, but the Bears escaped with a huge victory.

Swanner suffered an injury in the game.

Harlan County hit 29 of 61 from the floor and connected on nine of 24 3-pointers. The Bears were nine of 10 from the free throw line. HC grabbed 35 rebounds and committed ten turnovers.

Pulaski County made 29 of 58 from the field while hitting eight of 22 from behind by the arc. The Maroons were five of six from the charity stripe.

Newport stops HCHS

The three games in consecutive days ended up with a 73-58 loss against Newport on Saturday in the Ed Stepp Classic at Woodford County.

Senior forward Marquez Miller fired in 21 points to lead Newport. Freshman points guard Taylor Kinney poured in 18.

Noah led Harlan County with 22 points. Huff followed with 21. Johnson scored eight and Carmical tossed in five. Reggie Cottrell added two.

The game was tied at 16 after one period. Newport took a 32-27 lead heading into the break.

The Wildcats stretched the lead to 50-40 after three quarters. Newport outscored the Bears 23-18 in the final period.

The Wildcats shot 53 percent from the field on 34 of 64 shooting. Newport pulled down 39 rebounds for the game.