Lady Bears roll into district finals with three-set win over Harlan


Connor Blevins

Harlan County freshman Savannah Hill set the ball in district tournament action against Harlan on Monday.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

MIDDLESBORO — The Harlan County Lady Bears are in all too familiar position heading into the 52nd District Tournament finals on Tuesday at Middlesboro. They are hoping for a different result this time.
Harlan County earned its seventh triple to the district finals over the past eight years with a 25-13, 25-12, 25-18 win Monday over Harlan in a first-round matchup. The Lady Bears haven’t won a district title since 2014, posting six runner-up finishes including the last two years against defending champ Bell County. The Lady Cats earned another trip to the district finals with a 25-8, 25-17, 25-16 win over Middlesboro in the opening game Monday.
“I’m proud of my girls. We had a game plan and they did exactly that. It was a nice clean sweep,” Harlan County coach Christina Spurlock said. “Communication, energy and movement will be keys for tomorrow’s game. If we can capitalize on those three things, they have what it takes to be district champs.”
The 10-11 Lady Bears will play Bell County (22-8) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the district finals.
Harlan finished the season with an 8-14 record, suffering a first-round exit in the district tournament for the third straight season.
Savannah Hill led HCHS with six service aces, eight assists, one kill and one block. Kalista Dunn added seven aces, six kills, five digs and one assist. Chloe Shelton had seven assists and one dig. Lindsay Hall added six kills, two aces and two digs. Ashton Evans had five aces, three kills and one dig. Kylee Hoiska chipped in with three aces, two digs and one kill. Lesleigh Brown had four aces. Brooklyn Wood contributed four digs. Kylee Moyers had two digs. Emilee Eldridge added one dig.
Carley Thomas led the Lady Dragons with six service aces, six digs, three kills and one block. Ella Farley added 11 digs. Emma Owens had eight digs, one ace and three assists. Annie Hoskins added three digs, four kills, one assist and one block. Marissa Marlowe chipped in with three digs and three kills. Campbell Nunez contributed two aces, one dig and one assist. Ava Nunez had five digs. Tess Bryson added four digs. Kendyll Blanton had three digs. Mallory McNiel added one assist.


Harlan County’s Brooklyn Wood and Ashton Evans celebrated during the Lady Bears’ district tournament win Monday over Harlan. (Connor Blevins)
Harlan County senior Lindsay Hall served in 52nd District Tournament action on Monday. (Connor Blevins)