Bears to face Dobyns-Bennett, defending Tennessee 4A champs, in scrimmage


Les Nicholson

Harlan County’s Maddox Huff, Trent Noah and Jonah Swanner are among the returning starters for the Black Bears as they open the 2022-2023 season on Saturday against Dobyns-Bennett, Tenn., in a scrimmage at HCHS.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

With four starters back from a 19-win team, the Harlan County Black Bears enter the 2022.2023 season ranked second in the 13th Region.
First-year coach Kyle Jones found a way to see just how good his team is with the season-opening game just over two weeks away. Defending 4A Tennessee state champion Dobyns-Bennett (Kingsport) will make the trip to HCHS on Saturday for a scrimmage. A freshman game is set for noon, with the varsity scrimmage set for 1, followed by the junior varsity scrimmage at 2.
“Playing a team the caliber of Dobyns Bennett in our first scrimmage is a great measuring stick/opportunity to see what we need to work on as a team, in order to get where we want to be by district tournament time,” Jones said,.
HCHS brings back all-state junior guard Trent Noah, a Mr. Basketball candidate in 2024, and sophomore point guard Maddox Huff, ranked among the state’s top players in the 2025 class. Senior guard Daniel Carmical and junior guard Jonah Swanner are also back from last year’s squad.
Dobyns-Bennett reportedly has several key players returning from a team that finished 32-6 last season and defeated Knoxville Bearden 69-60 in the state finals at Middle Tennessee State University.
“This will be a great challenge for our kids,” Jones said.
Black Bears Madness is set for Thursday at 6:30 at the HCHS gym as all the boys and girls basketball players will be introduced with scrimmages to follow.
Harlan County’s middle school teams will be playing in the Black Bears Preseason Panorama at HCHS.
The schedule includes:

Nov. 11 (Grades 7-8)

Game #1- (5:00) Cawood vs Black Mountain
Game# 2-  (6:00) Green Hills vs Wallins
Game# 3-  (7:00) James A. Cawood vs Evarts
Game #4-  (8:00) Rosspoint vs Cumberland

Nov. 14 (Grades 4-6)

Game # 1- (5:00)  Rosspoint vs Cumberland
Game # 2  (6:00)  Black Mountain vs Cawood
Game # 3- (7:00) Wallins vs Green Hills
Game # 4- (8:00) James A. Cawood vs Evarts