Cole, Noah lead Bears to season-opening win at Barren


Tyler Cole

By John Henson, Managing Editor

With his Black Bears unable to play their season-opening game Tuesday at Corbin as scheduled due to covid issues, Harlan County coach Michael Jones found a replacement this morning and HCHS traveled to Glasgow for a matchup against 4th Region power Barren County.
HCHS had originally scheduled a game with Martin County for Tuesday, but that game was moved to Thursday and Jones had to begin his search again.
“With it being our third scheduled game in less than 12 hours and a four-hour bus trip, we were not only fortunate to not only get to play but to get a win,” Jones said. “We obviously Harlan County took control with a 12-0 run between the second and third quarters on the way to a 63-51 victory.
Senior guard Tyler Cole scored 23 points and freshman point guard Trent Noah added 19 to lead the Bears.
Junior forward Aden Nyekan scored 21 to lead the 0-2 Trojans, who finished 23-9 last season. Sophomore guard Aiden Miller added 14 points.
Garrard took a 16-14 lead after one quarter, led by Nyeken, but HCHS moved on top early in the second period as Noah found Josh Turner for at three-point play and Maddox Huff followed with a basket. Cole started an 8-0 run to close the half with his third 3-pointer. Noah hit two 3-pointers and Jackson Huff added a trey as the Bears led 33-24 at halftime.
The lead grew to 13 in the third quarter on baskets by Noah and Cole. Barren closed to within seven, at 45-38, going into the final period.
Barren closed to within six on a basket by Nyekan with 5:52 left before a Jones timeout. A 3-pointer by Daniel Carmical helped the Bears reclaim the momentum and HCHS put the game away with free throws by Cole, Noah and Turner.
Harlan County shot 50 percent from the field, compared to 38 percent (24 of 64) for the Trojans. Barren missed its first 16 3-point attempts before Nyekan connected in the final minute. HCHS had 14 turnovers, while Barren had eight. HCHS led 25-24 in rebounds.
Harlan County will return to action Thursday at Martin County, another game that was recently added to the schedule.
Harlan County (63) — Trent Noah 18, Tyler Cole 23, Jackson Huff 3, Josh Turner 9, Daniel Carmical 6, Maddox Huff 4.
Barren County (51) — Aden Nyekan 21, Aiden Miller 14, Mason Griggs 8, Gavin Withrow 2, Corbin Murphy 2, Eil Brooks 2, Jaye Poynter 2.
Harlan County 14 19 12 18 — 63
Barren County 16 8 14 13 — 51