Bears open summer slate with wins over 14th Region favorites


John Henson

Harlan County senior guard Trent Noah worked around a Perry Central defender in scrimmage action Tuesday. Noah scored 30 points in the Bears’ 83-68 victory.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

HAZARD — Harlan County opened its summer schedule Tuesday with a pair of victories over two of the 14th Region’s top programs. The Bears downed Hazard 65-41 and Perry Central 83-68 in scrimmages at the Whitaker Athletic Center, once the home gymnasium of Dilce Combs High School.
Senior guard Trent Noah, an all-stater each of the past two years, led the Bears with a 23-point effort against Hazard. Caleb Johnson, a senior forward, added 17 points. Sophomore guard Reggie Cottrell, a sophomore guard moving into the starting lineup, tossed in 13 points. Jaycee Carter added six points, followed by Brody Napier with four and Landon Brock with two.
Noah had three early baskets as the Bears took a 16-10 lead after one quarter. The lead grew to 35-22 at halftime as Noah and Cottrell teamed for five baskets. Johnson took over in the third quarter with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, as the lead grew to 51-33. Noah led HCHS with three baskets in the final period.
Noah scored 30 in the win over Perry Central, followed by Carter with 16, Johnson with 15, Cottrell with 14 and Napier with eight.
Cottrell had three baskets in the opening period as the Bears lead 22-16. Noah, Johnson and Napier had two baskets each in the second quarter as the lead grew to 42-33. Perry got as close as two points early in the second half before Noah took control with eight points to help push the lead to 61-55 going into the final period. Noah scored 11 points in he fourth quarter and Carter added four baskets as the Bears outscored Perry 22-13 in the fourth quarter.
Harlan County played without junior guard Maddox Huff, the team’s second leading scorer last year, due to a groin injury. Senior guard Jonah Swanner was also out of action, reportedly due to playing baseball this summer.
The Harlan County freshman team fell 41-33 to Hazard and 52-48 to Perry Central in junior varsity action.
The Bears will host summer games Wednesday at HCHS. The scrimmages begin at 1. The schedule includes:
Harlan County vs South Laurel varsity
Harlan County vs South Laurel junior varsity
Harlan County vs South Laurel freshmen
South Laurel vs Knox Central varsity
South Laurel vs Knox Central junior varsity
Knox Central vs Harlan County varsity
Knox Central vs Harlan County junior varsity

Harlan County guard Brody Napier looked to pass the ball in scrimmage action against Perry Central. (John Henson)
Harlan County sophomore Reggie Cottrell guarded Perry Central’s Trayten Woods in scrimmage action. Cottrell scored 14 points in the Bears’ 83-68 win. (John Henson)
HCHS freshman guard Cole Cornett worked on defense in scrimmage action Tuesday. Cornett hit four 3-pointers in the Bears’ 52-48 junior varsity loss. (John Henson)