It’s safe to say that Harlan County junior guard Trey Sanders has adjusted to his role as the Bears’ sixth man.
Sanders had a pair of clutch 10-point performances in district wins earlier this month over Harlan and Bell County. He went from good to historical in the Bears’ 68-59 win Saturday over Oneida Baptist, exploding for 25 points as he tied a school record with eight 3-pointers in 12 attempts.
“Trey has grown up a lot, and I’m so proud of him,” Harlan County assistant coach Michael Jones said. “He can be one of our best players, and I’m proud of the way he has carried himself coming off the bench. Tonight was his night.”
Sanders delivered when the Bears needed him most after OBI raced to a 19-10 lead behind senior guard Samuel Robinson, who hit five of his first seven shots. Sanders close the first quarter with his first trey to cut the deficit to four, then went bonkers in the second quarter with four straight from long range as HCHS built a 35-31 lead at the break. Juniors Cody Bumgardner and Zach Caldwell, who finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively, added two baskets each as Harlan County hit eight of 13 shots in the period.
“We didn’t match up well at all with him out of our 2-3,” Oneida Baptist coach David Robinson said. “He really drained it on us. He killed us. I thought we did a good job on the baseline and on their inside game, but we let him go bonkers out there. That beat us.”
Harlan County hit eight of 13 shots again in the third quarter, led by three baskets from freshman Treyce Spurlock and two more 3-pointers by Sanders to stretch its advantage to 13. HCHS closed the period with an 8-0 run on two baskets by Spurlock, one by Brewer and a pair of free throws by Bumgardner.
“We started out zone, but we had to go man and our kids played hard,” Jones said. “They have two very good players (Robinson and D.K. Kiawa).Cody did a good job on Robinson. We’re just taking it one day at a time to try and get better.”
Robinson, who poured in 31 points, had three baskets in the fourth quarter as OBI made a late run, getting as close as seven down the stretch.
Harlan County played most of the game without freshman guard Cameron Carmical, who was slowed by an ankle injury.
The Bears honored their only senior, forward Scotty Bailey, before the game. Bailey, a baseball and football standout who hadn’t played basketball since the eighth grade, proved to be valuable for the basketball Bears, especially on the boards and on defense.
“Scotty has been a blessing for us,” Jones said. “He works his butt off every day and never says a word. He isn’t worried about stats. He just does his job and has been a great addition to our team.”
Harlan County (13-12) travels to Breathitt County on Tuesday. OBI (5-19) plays host to Harlan on Tuesday.
The Harlan County junior varsity team improved to 11-2 on the season with a 68-25 win, led by sophomore guard Malik Simmons with 15 points, sophomore forward Cody Brewer with 14 points and freshman guard Jared SIzemore with 11. David Turner and William Bowling contributed eight each. Joey Swanner tossed in six. Hunter Holland added five. Josh Hunting scored one.
Sophomore forward Simon Robinson led OBI with 10 points. Trevor Dodson scored five. Noble Zika added three. A.J. Shackleford, Alex Quarshire and Zach Fleming scored two each. Isaac Waslewski added one.
ONEIDA BAPTIST (5-19)
Deryn Tague 0-0 0-0 0, Daniel Decker 2-5 0-0 4, Samuel Robinson 13-20 2-2 31, Jonathan Osom 3-6 0-0 6, D.K. Kiawa 4-13 1-2 10, Zach Fleming 2-7 0-0 4, Samuel Elendu 2-3 0-0 4, Alex Quarshie 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-54 3-4 59.
HARLAN COUNTY (13-12)
Cody Bumgardner 5-11 5-6 15, Cameron Carmical 0-3 0-0 0, Treyce Spurlock 5-11 2-2 12, Zach Caldwell 3-5 4-4 10, Scotty Bailey 2-3 0-0 4, Trey Sanders 8-12 1-2 25, Cody Brewer 1-1 0-0 2, David Turner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-46 12-14 68.
Oneida Baptist 19 12 12 16 — 59
Harlan County 15 20 21 12 — 68
3-point goals: Oneida Baptist 4-14 (Robinson 3-6, Kiawa 1-3, Decker 0-1, Elendu 0-1, Fleming 0-4), Harlan County 8-14 (Sanders 8-12 , Bumgardner 0-1, Carmical 0-1). Rebounds: Oneida Baptist 20 (Kiawa 6, Robinson 5, Osom 5, Decker 2, Fleming 1, Elendu 1), Harlan County 24 (Bumgardner 8, Caldwell 7, Bailey 3, Spurlock 2, Carmical 1, Sanders 1, Brewer 1, Turner 1). Turnovers: Oneida Baptist 9, Harlan County 7. Fouled out: None.