Five Dragons reach double figures in victory over Bracken

Harlan closes game with 22-5 run to earn a spot in finals


Jon DIckenson

Harlan eighth-grader Trenton Cole hit four 3-pointers Wednesday, including two straight in the fourth quarter to give the Dragons the lead for good on the way to an 83-67 victory over Bracken County in the semifinals of the Pikeville Invitational. The Dragons will play Pikeville in the tournament finals on Thursday.

Harlan moved within one win of its second tournament championship of the young season with an 83-67 victory over Bracken County in the semifinals of the Pikeville Invitational on Wednesday.
Bracken County trailed by six points going into the fourth quarter, but took its first lead since the opening quarter when Braxton Reed hit two free throws to put the Polar Bears ahead 62-61 with 4:28 to play. Harlan eighth-grader Trenton Cole answered with two straight 3-pointers to ignite a 22-5 run over the final four minutes to send Harlan to its ninth win in nine games to open the season.
It was Harlan’s third win over a defending All “A” Classic regional champion as Bracken represented the 10th Region last season in Richmond and fell to the Dragons in the quarterfinals. Harlan has also defeated three regional champs from last year’s Sweet Sixteen.
Junior guard Kyler McLendon was one of five Dragons in double figures as he scored 24 points. Jaedyn Gist added 19 points, followed by Kaleb McLendon with 15, Cole with 13 and Will Austin with 10.
Harlan will play Pikeville at 7 on Thursday in the tournament finals. The Dragons defeated the Panthers 73-61 on Dec. 12.