Green leads Lady Bears in rout of Lee
With four games against state top 25 teams in the season’s opening month, coach Debbie Green and the Harlan County Lady Bears didn’t have a lot of opportunities to experiment and try different combinations. As a big favorite in a 39-point win Monday over Jenkins and in a 32-point win Thursday at home against Lee, Va., the Lady Bears were able to focus more on the process instead of just surviving.
“We’re just looking for consistency, no matter who we play, and giving the same kind of effort,” Green said. “We want good energy and to get everyone focused. It was good to get everyone involved tonight. All 12 of them are playing hard. We’re able to work on some things and happy to be playing.”
Senior guard Blair Green again led the HCHS offense with 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting despite being the focus of a box-and-chaser by the Lady Generals.
“As long as she moves pretty well she’s OK,” Green said. “It’s good for her to see that.”
Junior guards Shelby McDaniel and Reanna Middleton and senior forward Morgan Napier had big games off the bench as McDaniel scored 10 while Napier added nine points and Middleton contributed seven as she continues to work back from a knee injury suffered last year.
“I think several of our girls are gaining confidence,” Green said. “Morgan was a real bright spot for us tonight, and Ree played well. She just has to keep working on her lateral movement.”
Arielle Tritt caught fire in the second half and led Lee (0-11) with 22 points.
Green had four early baskets to help HCHS race to a 12-0 lead as the Lady Bears turned several turnovers into points. Alexis Tabor broke the scoring drought for Lee with a basket at the 3:15 mark, and then had another a few seconds later, but HCHS took a comfortable 20-6 lead into the second period after hitting eight of 14 shots.
Green added three more baskets in the second quarter, to cap a seven-for-seven shooting performance in the first half, as the lead grew to 25. Two baskets by McDaniel and one by Middleton extended the HCHS advantage to 45-14 at halftime.
HCHS spent most of the third quarter flirting with a 35-point lead to start a running clock. Tritt hit four straight shots, including two 3-pointers, to answer each Harlan County basket until McDaniel sparked a 7-0 run with a basket and assist to Green before Middleton’s 3-pointer with 40 seconds in the period pushed the lead to 36 and started the running clock. Another basket by Tritt cut the deficit to 64-30 after three quarters.
Tritt had three baskets in the fourth quarter to help Lee outscore Harlan County 14-12 in the period. Napier, Blakley, Middleton and McDaniel had field goals for the Lady Bears.
Harlan County (12-2) returns to action Monday at Clay County. A game set for Saturday at Knox Central was rescheduled for Jan. 23.
Led by sophomore guards Morgan Blakley and Hannah Wood, with 12 and 11 points, respectively, Harlan County rolled to a 53-11 win in junior varsity action to improve to 5-0.
Hannah Johnson added eight points for the Lady Bears, followed by Kassy Owens with six, Kelly Beth Hoskins with five, Haley Middleton with four, Abby Vitatoe with three and Jacey Lewis and Dixie Ewing with two each.
Gracie Sage scored six points to lead Lee. Bronwen Fischer added three. Olivia Baker scored two.
Harlan County 76, Lee, Va., 44
LEE, VA. (0-11)
Jaycee Medley 0-1 0-0 0, Shelbie Fannon 0-0 0-0 0, Baylee Robinette 1-8 0-0 2, Arielle Tritt 10-20 0-1 22, Sheridan Herron 3-6 2-2 8, Alexis Tabor 4-12 0-0 9, Kandace Quillen 0-3 0-0 0, Baylee Cox 1-1 1-2 3, Pauline Tolentino 0-0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Brown 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-51 3-5 44.
HARLAN COUNTY (12-2)
Phebe McHargue 3-6 0-0 6, K.K. Johnson 2-9 1-1 6, Blair Green 10-13 5-6 25, Lainey Cox 0-0 0-0 0, Breann Turner 2-4 1-2 5, Shelby McDaniel 4-4 2-2 10, Morgan Napier 4-6 1-2 9, Hannah Wood 1-2 0-0 2, Morgan Blakley 1-4 3-4 5, Reanna Middleton 3-5 0-0 7, Kelly Beth Hoskins 0-1 1-2 1, Macie Napier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-54 14-19 76.
Lee, Va. 6 8 16 14 — 44
Harlan County 20 25 19 12 — 76
3-point goals: Lee 3-10 (Tritt 2-3, Tabor 1-6, Robinette 0-1), Harlan County 2-13 (Middleton 1-3, Johnson 1-5, Green 0-1, Wood 0-1, Hoskins 0-1, McHargue 0-2). Rebounds: Lee 27 (Tritt 11, Herron 6, Tabor 3, Quillen 2, Medley 2, Cox 2, Brown 1), Harlan County 29 (Turner 7, Green 5, Johnson 3, Wood 3, Middleton 3, McDaniel 2, Napier 2, McHargue 1, Cox 1, Blakley 1, Cox 1). Turnovers: Lee 18, Harlan County 7. Fouled out: None.