Short-handed Dragons fall to Jackson County in summer hoops

By John Henson, Managing Editor

WILLIAMSBURG — After a strong start in summer basketball with wins at Corbin and South Laurel, the Harlan Green Dragons have lost momentum in the final week of play before the dead period with standout senior guard Jordan Akal sidelined by an ankle injury.
The Green Dragons fell to 9-8 in summer play with a 68-35 loss to Jackson County on Wednesday at the Williamsburg All A Summer Classic. The Dragons played without Akal, along with junior guard Kyler McLendon and senior forward Johann Gist, and struggled to score against the Generals. Jackson County closed the first half with a 16-2 run in building a 20-point lead.
Junior forward Matthew Pennington led the Dragons with 12 points. Kaleb McLendon added eight, followed by Nate Montanaro with six, Jaedyn Gist with four, Cameren Maples with three and Derek Pruitt with two.
Harlan defeated Walton-Verona 73-59 earlier in Wednesday’s action.
The Dragons opened tournament play at Williamsburg on Tuesday with a 60-57 loss to Danville Christian and a 48-45 loss to Williamsburg.
Harlan dropped four junior varsity games at Williamsburg, falling 35-25 to Williamsburg and 45-34 to Breathitt County on Tuesday and 33-23 to Jackson County and 52-44 to Barbourville on Wednesday.
In previously unreported varsity scrimmages, Harlan lost two of three at Tusculum College with a win over Halls, Tenn., and losses to William Blount, Tenn. and Bearden, Tenn. Harlan defeated Poca, W.Va. and Perry Central on Friday at Ashland, then lost to Hamilton County, Ohio, and defeated Pikeville on Saturday.