Lady Bears down Harlan in district opener

Published 3:33 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

The Harlan Lady Dragons (11-18) started the game like coach Tiffany Hamm-Rowe planned and took a 21-9 advantage after the opening quarter, but it was not enough during the opening round of the 52nd District Tournament against Harlan County (22-8) on Monday.

The Lady Bears fought back to pull within 26-25 at halftime and opened the third quarter on a 12-3 run before defeating Harlan 59-45.

Harlan County plays Bell County for the 52nd District Tournament title on Thursday.

Junior guard Ella Karst paced HC with 25 points. Senior guard Taytum Griffin scored 19, while senior guard Jaylin Smith added eight. Taylor Lunsford had four points but grabbed 16 rebounds. Paige Phillips finished with two and Hailey Austin scored one.

Sophomore forward Kylie Noe led the Lady Dragons with 21 points. She pulled down eight rebounds.

Sophomore guard Aymanni Wynn, who had missed six straight games with a leg injury, scored 12 and added nine boards.

Senior forward Peighton Jones tossed in five, while Emma Owens had four. Addison Jackson capped the scoring with three.

The Lady Dragons played without sophomore forward Leah Davis for the last seven outings.

Harlan County rebounded the Lady Dragons 42-25.

Both teams committed eight turnovers.

Harlan missed nine of 16 free throws.

Comeback at Owsley Co.

A dominant second half led the Lady Bears past visiting Owsley County 55-49 last Tuesday.

Harlan County trailed 28-10 at halftime before Ella Karst and her teammates began to fight back.

Karst was held to one basket in the first half but finished with 21 points. Taytum Griffin followed with 12 points, and Hailey Austin scored ten.

Jaylin Smith contributed eight points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Bears. Taylor Lunsford tossed in three, while Paige Phillips added one point.

“We were tentative the first, and shots were not falling,” said Harlan County coach Anthony Nolan. “Owsley has a great team, and they were aggressive the first half. The second half, we asserted ourselves on both ends of the court.”

The Lady Owls took a 17-6 lead after eight minutes of play. Owsley’s largest lead of the night was 19.

“We dug a hole early, but the team play in the second half was impressive,” added Nolan.

Freshman forward Addison Terry paced the Lady Owls with 20 points. Carly Smith, a junior guard, tossed in 13 points. Macy Brown, an eighth-grader, added seven points and 12 rebounds.

The Lady Bears outscored Owsley County 21-8 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 36-31. Karst poured in 13 points in the period.

A fourth-quarter outburst allowed HC to have a 24-13 scoring advantage. Griffin scored 10 in the quarter for the Lady Bears.

Owsley County held a 32-30 edge on the boards. The Lady Owls committed 14 turnovers while HC made 13.

The Lady Bears game with Jenkins was dropped to allow Nolan to add the 14th Region contending Lady Owls to the schedule.

The visiting Lady Bears dropped a 64-29 decision to Southwestern last Friday.

Hailey Austin scored 11 points, and Ella Karst added 10.

Harlan County shot 19 percent (nine of 48) from the field.

Taylor Lunsford had three points and five rebounds for the Lady Bears.