Carmical explodes with six 3s as Bears triumph over Bell


Kim Henson

Harlan County sophomore guard Daniel Carmical scored 17 points in a win over Middlesboro on Friday.



In three convincing wins to open the season, the Harlan County Black Bears showed anyone interested that Tyler Cole and Trent Noah provide quite a 1-2 punch on offense.
Sophomore guard Daniel Carmical stepped up as a third option on Tuesday with the visiting Bell County Bobcats focused on taking the ball out of Noah’s hands. Carmical hit four straight 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished with 23 points in the Bears’ 77-46 rout of the visiting Bobcats.
“I’m glad for him that he came out of his shell,” Harlan County coach Michael Jones said. “We see in practice every day how well he shoots it. He’s got the quickest release of anyone I’ve coached. He also has no conscience, and I love that about him. The other players felt it and they kept looking for him. That says a lot about our group that they play for each other.”
“Everything we tried to do, we didn’t have much success with it,” Bell County coach Brad Sizemore said. “They made a lot of long contested 3s early and we got behind. We just didn’t play very well. I don’t think we can pinpoint one thing that didn’t work. You have to give Harlan County a lot of credit. They guarded us well and we had a hard time scoring the ball close to the rim. Defensively, we struggled. They put the ball on the floor and got to the rim. We have a lot of things we need to work on.”
Noah tossed in 20 points and Cole added 11 as HCHS improved to 4-0 overall while opening its district schedule with a victory.
“It’s a good start, but it’s early. It’s something to build on,” Jones said. “We have to continue improving defensively. We know we have the potential to be good offensively.”
While the Bears were showing explosiveness on offense, they were also solid defensively in building a 18-1 lead after one quarter as Bell missed all four shots from the field while turning the ball over six times. Harlan County focused much of its efforts on standout junior forward Cameron Burnett, who finished 10 points. Junior guard Dawson Woolum led the 1-3 Bobcats with 15 points.
“For the most part, I felt our defense was pretty good tonight,” Jones said. “Burnett is a great player, and we wanted to keep it out of his hands as much as possible. You aren’t going to hold a kid like that the entire game, but our kids battled and moved well. We didn’t guard the dribble as well as I’d like, but that’s something we can correct.”
Bell was at full strength for the first time in the young season as both Woolum and senior guard Andrew Caldwell had been out due to being quarantined.
“We’ve had two starters who have been quarantined and basically came back last night with no practice. It’s hard to throw those guys back in against a team like Harlan County,” Sizemore said. “That’s not an excuse. That’s just kind of where we’re at. We have to get back to work today.”
HCHS extended its advantage to 31-7 midway through the second quarter as Carmical supplied much of the offense in the period with four 3-pointers. Jackson Huff also had a 3 as the Bears’ lead grew to 45-23 at halftime. Burnett and Hayden Callebs each had two baskets for the Bobcats in the quarter.
Carmical hit two more treys in the third quarter and Cole added two baskets to extend the lead to 27. Noah picked up his fourth foul late in the period and the Bobcats had a run before Jackson Huff and Maddox Huff each hit free throws to push the lead back to 28, at 63-35, going into the final period.
Harlan County (4-0) added a game Thursday at Lexington Lafayette and will return home Saturday to face Madison Southern in a 4 p.m. game. Bell County returns to action Thursday at Corbin.


Harlan County eighth-grader Maddox Huff put a shot in Tuesday’s game against visiting Bell County. (Kim Henson)


Harlan County guard Jonah Swanner shot over Bell County’s Cole Hoskins in Tuesday’s game.