Green Dragons fall to East Ridge in scrimmage

By John Henson, Managing Editor

STANVILLE — A 13-3 run midway through the fourth quarter turned a five-point deficit into a five-point lead and sent East Ride to a 69-65 win Wednesday over Harlan in the Junior Newsome Classic at Betsy Layne High School.
Senior guard Isaac Woods and senior center Eli Sykes scored 21 points each for the Warriors and provided balance on the floor as Woods hit from the perimeter and Sykes was effective around the basket.
Senior guard Jordan Akal scored 25 points to lead the Green Dragons. Juniors Kaleb McLendon and Jaedyn Gist added 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Sykes had three early baskets as the Warriors took a 14-8 lead. Akal hit a pair of 3-pointers to bring the Dragons back, then Gist had his first two baskets of the game to end the quarter and cut the deficit to 21-20.
There were several lead changes in the second quarter but Harlan center Will Austin had the final four points of the half to put the Dragons up 37-36 at the break.
Kaleb McLendon turned a turnover into a dunk, then hit a 3-pointer to cap a 7-0 run that put Harlan ahead by six. Another McLendon trey helped the Dragons take their biggest lead at 53-44 before baskets by Sykes and Braxton Stanley cut the deficit to 53-48 going into the final period.
Harlan will open its regular-season schedule on Dec. 2 at home against Pikeville, one of the 15th Region favorites. Pikeville edged Breathitt County, the 14th Region favorite, 72-71 in a scrimmage before Harlan-East Ridge.
East Ridge (69) — Isaac Woods 21, Braxton Stanley 6, Jonathon Mills 6, Eli Rose 10, Eli Sykes 21, Brad Howell 2, Zack Mason 3.
Harlan (65) — Jordan Akal 25, Kaleb McLendon 15, Kyler McLendon 6, Jaedyn Gist 11, Will Austin 6, Johann Gist 2.