Chris Jones | Daily Enterprise

Harlan County guard Blair Green headed down the court after a rebound in action earlier this season. Green scored 37 points in the Lady Bears’ 83-70 win Wednesday over Casey County in the Citizens National Bank Tournament at West Jessamine High School.

Green powers Lady Bears past Casey

Only a few miles from her future basketball home, Harlan County’s Blair Green showed University of Kentucky basketball fans just how good she can be with a 37-point performance Wednesday as the Lady Bears knocked off 12th Region contender Casey County 83-70 in the first round of the Citizens National Bank Tournament at West Jessamine High School.

Senior forward Lainey Cox tossed in 13 points and junior point guard Phebe McHargue added 12 as the Lady Bears improved to 9-0 and advanced to a semifinal matchup on Thursday against Anderson County, a team HCHS beat by one point last week at South Laurel.

Casey County (11-2) was led by Natalie Duggins with 20 points. Gena Cravens and Lauren Lee added 17 and 16 points, respectively. The Lady Rebels hit 12 3-pointers.

Harlan County started strong, scoring the game’s first 10 points. Green scored 11 points in the opening period, while McHargue and Shelby McDaniel added five each as HCHS built a 27-18 lead.

Both offenses slowed down in the second quarter as Casey cut the deficit to 38-32 at halftime. Lee and Shaula Wilkey each had three baskets, including one 3-pointer each, to lead the Lady Rebels.

HCHS started strong again as the second half opened and soon built a 15-point advantage as Green scored nine points in the period while Johnson and McHargue added five each. The Lady Bears took a 60-49 lead into the final period.

Green scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, including all eight free throw attempts, as HCHS pulled away for the win.

“I thought we really had a great start to the game. Everyone really looked like they had rested legs,” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “Our full court press really turned the offense. Our girls had great communication and took care of the ball. It was really a great overall effort from this team.”

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Harlan County 83, Casey County 70

HARLAN COUNTY (9-0)

Phebe McHargue 4 3-4 12, K.K. Johnson 2 2-2 7, Blair Green 13 11-11 37, Lainey Cox 6 1-3 13, Breann Turner 2 0-0 4, Shelby McDaniel 2 1-2 6, Morgan Napier 2 0-0 4. Totals: 31 18-22 83.

CASEY COUNTY (11-2)

Gena Cravens 6 2-2 17, Lauren Lee 7 0-2 16, Natalie Duggins 6 2-2 20, Jody Shepherd 0 0-0 0, Myla McGowan 2 0-0 5, Shaulah Wilkey 4 0-0 9, Haley Brock 1 0-0 3, McKenzie Cunditt 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27 4-6 70.

Harlan County 27 11 22 23 — 83

Casey County 18 14 17 21 — 70

3-point goals: Harlan County 3 (McHargue 1, Johnson 1, McDaniel 1), Casey County 12 (Duggins 4, Cravens 3, Lee 2, McGowan 1, Wilkey 1, Brock 1).