By John Henson For The Times-Tribune
HARLAN — Even though you get an extra point for hitting long-range shots, Harlan County coach Mike Jones still prefers to get his team as close to the basket as he can.
That strategy backfired Friday when the Bears were upset at Bell County as the Bobcats outscored Harlan County 21-0 from beyond the three-point line in a 56-54 win. Harlan County lost the three-point battle again Tuesday against visiting Knox Central as the Panthers hit six three-pointers compared to one for the Bears. The war, however, went to the Bears this time as Harlan County dominated in the paint in a 55-45 victory.
Led by 16 points from senior center Aaron Caldwell and 10 from sophomore forward Tyler Miller, the Bears improved to 17-3.
“I thought we played hard. I was pleased with our effort,” Knox Central coach Brian Evans said. “I thought we did a poor job the first half of keeping them out of the lane in man to man and zone. Just about all their points in the first half were right at the rim.
“We did a little better job the second half of making them shoot something besides layups. We did a better job the second half and got back in it, but we couldn’t get over the hump. They are a good team, a senior-dominated team. We're trying to get better every game, and we're not quite there yet.”
Harlan County did most of its damage in the paint but still struggled at times to convert on shots around the hoop.
“These kids want to win. There are just some things we need to correct before the district tournament,” Jones said. “We’re focusing on improving in some areas. We were getting good shots tonight, but we weren't finishing around the rim. We’ll keep working on that in practice.”
By John Henson For The Times-Tribune
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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