Black Bears overcome slow start to defeat Middlesboro

Published 2:30 pm Monday, February 13, 2023

By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

Harlan County got off to a slow start on Friday against visiting Middlesboro.

In the 52nd District matchup, the Black Bears used a 23-12 scoring run in the second quarter to roll to an 87-61 victory.

Trent Noah, a junior guard, led Harlan County with 26 points. Sophomore guard Maddox Huff poured in 22. Junior Caleb Johnson and freshman Reggie Cottrell each scored 10. Jonah Swanner followed with nine. Daniel Carmical added six. Brody Napier had two, while Jaycee Carter and Hunter Napier each scored one.

Middlesboro got 15 points from sophomore guard Jerimah Beck and 14 points from junior forward Trey King. Joseph Killion came off the bench and scored nine. Brayden Barnard tossed in eight. Ashton Osborne scored four. Richie Logan and Bryson Hatfield had three points apiece, while Tyler Sturgill and Trey Kyle each added two. Mekhi Young scored one.

The Yellow Jackets led most of the opening quarter, but HCHS got baskets from Noah, Huff and Swanner to take a 20-18 lead after the period.

Barnard scored eight points in the quarter for Middlesboro.

Huff nailed a pair of 3-pointers and Cottrell tossed in five points in the second quarter as the Black Bears took a 43-30 advantage at halftime.

The game quickly got out of control in the third period as Harlan County outscored Middlesboro 31-17.

Huff and Noah each fired in nine points in the quarter. Carmical hit a pair of 3’s.

Harlan County hit ten 3-pointers, with Huff making four. Cottrell, Carmical and Noah each had two.

Middlesboro outrebounded the Black Bears 37-33. King had a game-high 12 boards. Noah had seven for HC. Swanner, Carter and Johnson each pulled down six.

Middlesboro (8-10) will host to Clay County on Tuesday.

The Yellow Jackets will welcome Red Bird on Friday.

Harlan County (23-5) will host Whitley County on Tuesday.

The Black Bears will visit Barbourville on Thursday.

Black Bears beat Boyd

Noah fired in 23 points on Saturday at Harlan County claimed a 71-63 win over Boyd County.

Huff tossed in 20 points and Carmical scored 15 points for the Black Bears. Carmical nailed five 3-pointers.

Johnson added five points for HC. Swanner had four. Carter and Brody Napier each scored two.

Cole Hicks scored 15 for Boyd County. Rhett Holbrook contributed 14 points, while Jason Ellis added 12. Jacob Spurlock finished with 10.

Harlan County took a 22-13 advantage after eight minutes. The Bears went into the locker room with a 41-29 lead.

The Lions used a 22-8 third-quarter outburst to take a 51-49 edge at the end of the period.

Harlan County held a 22-12 advantage in the final quarter to seal the victory.

Boyd County dropped to 21-5 on the season.

The Lions defeated HCHS 60-50 in the junior varsity game.

Clark Huff led Boyd with 25 points.

Brody Napier paced the Bears with a game-high 26 points. Hunter Napier tossed in 14. Brennan Blevins scored six. Gage Bailey and Aidan Reynolds added two each.

HC downs Dragons

Not only did Harlan County jump out to a 24-7 advantage after one quarter, the Black Bears nailed 14 of 28 3-pointers for the game to claim an 81-73 district win over Harlan.

The victory gave Harlan County a 5-0 district record and a top seed in next week’s 52nd District Middlesboro.

Harlan will finish second in the district, followed by Bell County and Middlesboro.

Junior guard Trent Noah powered Harlan County with 30 points. Sophomore guard Maddox Huff fired in 22 while Daniel Carmical scored 10. Jonah Swanner tossed in seven while Caleb Johnson added five. Jaycee Carter contributed four points and Reggie Cottrell scored three.

Kyler McLendon led the Green Dragons with 25 points. Jaedyn Gist poured in 23. Will Austin scored 12 and Kaleb McLendon had six. Matthew Pennington chipped in with four and Trenton Cole added three.

Huff, Johnson and Cottrell each nailed a 3-pointer in the second quarter as the Bears led 44-25 at halftime.

Harlan used a 24-15 scoring outburst in the third quarter to fight back.

Gist scored nine points and Kyler McLendon fired in eight to cut the deficit to 59-49 after the third period.

Noah poured in 15 fourth-quarter points as Harlan County escaped with the win.