Bears upend Bell County

Published 2:37 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2022

BY PAUL LUNSFORD

Contributing writer

Bell County has had a tough time winning when played at Harlan County High School.

The Bobcats (1-3) allowed 21 fourth-quarter points on Tuesday as the Black Bears posted a 76-65 victory in district basketball action.

Junior guard Trent Noah, who was recognized for breaking the school record recently in points scored, fired in 36 points to lead HCHS. Maddox Huff, a sophomore guard, scored 16.

The Black Bears (5-1) got scoring from Caleb Johnson (8), Jonah Swanner (7), Jaycee Carter (6) and Reggie Cottrell (3). Senior guard Daniel Carmical was held scoreless with just five field goal attempts.

Bell County was led in scoring by Senior guard Dawson Woolum with 26 points. Cameron Hall, a sophomore, poured in 20 while freshman guard Blake Burnett added 10.

Cayden Huff scored six and Jacob Jones tossed in three for the Bobcats.

Six points by Noah and two baskets each from Huff and Swanner allowed Harlan County to take an 18-15 advantage after one quarter of play.

Noah took over in the second period firing in 15 of the Bears’ 24 second-quarter points. HC took a 42-31 lead into the break.

Woolum and Hall each knocked down three treys and finished the third quarter with 11 points apiece as Bell County cut the deficit to 55-53 entering the final period.

Noah tossed in nine points and Huff scored six in the fourth quarter as Harlan County outscored the visitors 21-12.

Harlan County shot 54 percent from the field on 31 of 57 shooting. The Bobcats hit 21 of 50 from the field for 42 percent.

The Bears connected on eight of nine free throws while Bell High made 14 of 19.

Harlan County outrebounded the Bobcats 25-21. Noah had a game-high nine rebounds. Huff pulled down six boards for Bell County. Woolum grabbed five.

“I was really proud of them. I thought they played tremendously,” said Bell County coach Brad Sizemore. “I think Blake Burnett did an awesome job handling their pressure and Dawson took the game over at times. Cameron Hall played great. They all battled.”

Bell County will host Garrard County on Saturday in the Pride of the Mountains Basketball Showcase.

The Bobcats will participate in the Legacy Nissan Dribble Drive Challenge at South Laurel High School Dec. 20-22. Bell County takes on Owen County in the first round on Tuesday at 4:45 p.m.

The Black Bears will play Lyon County on Saturday at 9 p.m. in the King of the Bluegrass tournament at Fairdale High School in Louisville.