• 81°

Harlan overcomes slow start in win over Lady Jackets

With their best player, senior forward Natalee King, out serving a two-game suspension, the Harlan Lady Dragons appeared headed for a long night after scoring only two points in the first quarter Friday against visiting Middlesboro.

Harlan bounced back with 20 points in the second quarter and never looked back in rolling to a 48-35 victory. Eighth-grade forward Aymanni Wynn, making her first varsity start in place of King, scored 12 points to tie junior guard Angel Wynn for the team lead. Point guard Ella Karst added 11 points.

“I couldn’t be more proud of their effort. We were very balanced offensively and very disciplined defensively,” Harlan coach Tiffany Hamm said. :We didn’t win any district games last year, so any time you can start the district schedule with a win it’s a plus.”

Grace Moles, a senior forward, led the 1-2 Lady Jackets with eight points.

Middlesboro led 2-0 over five minutes into the game as the teams combined to miss 17 of 18 shots from the field. Harlan missed its first 13 shots before Owens broke the drought with a steal and layup to cut the Middlesboro lead to 5-2.

A Kailey Owens basket early in the second period extended the lead back to five, but it was the last basket for the Lady Jackets over the next six minutes. Angel Wynn started and ended a 10-0 Harlan run with 3-pointers. Owens also provided a big spark off the bench, especially on the defensive end. Harlan built a 22-10 lead by halftime as Abbi Fields, Aymanni Wynn and Kaylee Leslie had baskets in an 8-2 run to close the half.

“I told them I wasn’t worried about (the early shooting problems) and was trying to keep them positive,” Hamm said. “I thought that was the best half of defense we’ve played since I’ve been here. We struggled on offense, but we had good looks.”

Harlan extended its lead to 35-19 going into the fourth quarter as Aymanni Wynn sparked the Lady Dragons with a couple of baskets.

“I thought Aymanni Wynn came in and did a great job,” Hamm said. “She gave us a big lift on defense and on the boards.”

Harlan returns to action Saturday at home against Thomas Walker, Va.

———

Harlan 48, Middlesboro 35

MIDDLESBORO (1-2)

Grace Gent 1-6 1-2 3, Kirsten Keith 2-4 1-4 5, Macy Mink 1-12 0-1 2, Gracie Moles 3-7 0-1 8, Kailey Owens 1-6 0-0 2, Brynlee Foster 2-5 1-2 7, Emry Glover 2-9 1-2 5, Grace Temple 1-2 1-2 3, Priscilla Mahler 0-2 0-0 0, Macy Green 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-53 5-13 35.

HARLAN (1-1)

Ella Karst 4-9 2-2 11, Angel Wynn 4-17 1-2 12, Aymanni Wynn 4-10 4-9 12, Alli Thompson 0-2 0-1 0, Kaylee Leslie 1-3 1-3 3, Emma Owens 2-7 2-2 6, Peighton Jones 1-2 0-0 2, Abbi Fields 1-1 0-1 2. Totals: 17-51 10-21 48

Middlesboro 5 5 9 16 — 35

Harlan 2 20 13 13 — 48

3-point goals: Middlesboro 4-19 (Foster 2-4, Moles 2-5, Keith 0-1, Gent 0-2, Glover 0-2, Mink 0-5), Harlan 4-17 (Angel Wynn 3-9, Karst 1-4, Aymanni Wynn 0-3, Owens 0-1). Rebounds: Middlesboro 36 (), Harlan 39 (). Turnovers: Middlesboro 23, Harlan 20. Fouled out: Harlan (Karst).