Noah’s return sparks offensive outburst as Bears down Pineville


John Henson

Harlan County’s Trent Noah was guarded by Pineville’s Evan Biliter in Tuesday’s game at Pineville. Noah had 35 points and 13 rebounds in the Bears’ 94-71 victory.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

PINEVILLE — Getting Trent Noah back from a one-game absence seemed to fix what was wrong with the Harlan County offense in a 70-46 loss Saturday against Madison Central at Rockcaslte County.
Noah dominated despite taking several breaks during the game because of his illness as he hit 11 of 18 shots in a 35-point, 13-rebound effort in the Black Bears’ 94-71 win Tuesday at Pineville. Daniel Carmical hit six 3-pointers in an 18-point effort and Maddox Huff added 14 despite early foul troubles as HCHS improved to 18-4 on the season heading into a showdown Thursday at Harlan.
“Not only does he help us so much in scoring and rebounding, but it also opens things up for Maddox and Daniel,” Harlan County coach Kyle Jones said. “They all three feed off each other. They help each other. Jonah (Swanner) does so much defensively, even when he’s not scoring. I thought it was a good effort by all of them.”
Sophomore guard Sawyer Thompson led the 12-8 Mountain Lions with 24 points. Senior forward Evan Biliter scored 15, followed by Ashton Moser and Sam Caldwell with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Harlan County grabbed a quick 15-4 lead on 3s by Noah, Huff and Carmical, but Pineville fought back behind Moser and Thompson to cut the deficit to 17-12 after one quarter.
Noah hit three straight shots to start the second quarter as the HCHS lead went to double digits again and eventually grew to 41-27 as Caleb Johnson and Reggie Cottrell scored off the bench, The Lions battled back again to cut the deficit to 43-32 at halftime.
“We felt the first half we fouled too much. Every time we made a run we’d have a silly foul, and that would cut our runs down,” Jones said. “We talked at halftime about cutting down the fouls, getting out in transition and running our offense if we don’t have anything. It was good to get Trent’s feet wet, since he’s been sick, before we go into this big district game. I felt we played well overall.”
Noah was a perfect four of four in the third quarter while Carmical connected on four of five treys as Harlan County blew the game open by outscoring the Lions 31-17 Two straight Huff 3s pushed the HCHS lead to 83-56 and marked the end of the night for the HCHS starters. Cottrell, Hunter Napier and Taelor Haywood scored off the bench for the Bears in the final four minutes.
The Bears got a huge boost from Cottrell, a freshman guard who added 10 points and five rebounds.
“Reggie gave us some great minutes the last two games, He can help us athletically and has really worked hard in practice to earn more playing time,” Jones said.
Harlan County will play at Harlan on Thursday in a girls/boys district doubleheader.

Harlan County guard Brody Napier worked against Pineville’s Sawyer Thompson on Tuesday. Thompson scored 24 points to lead the Lions in a 94-71 loss. (John Henson)