Akal, Dragons bounce back from off night to down Breathitt


Harlan Independent Schools

The Harlan Green Dragons are pictured with the third-place trophy at the WYMT Mountain Classic after a 76-70 win over Breathitt County.

After two off nights shooting by star Harlan guard Jordan Akal, the odds were pretty good there wouldn’t be a third. Akal broke out in a big way Saturday in the third-place game of the WYMT Mountain Classic, hitting eight 3-pointers in a 35-point performance as the Dragons downed preseason 14th Region favorite Breathitt County 76-70.
Akal missed all nine of his 3-point attempts on Friday and the Dragons hit only one of 14 attempts as a team in a semifinal loss to Perry Central. Harlan bounced back with 11 3s in the win over Breathitt.
Jaedyn Gist added 22 points for the 2-1 Dragons. Kyler McLendon contributed 12 points.
Breathitt County (3-2) was led by freshman guard Austin Sperry with 20 points. Bryce Hoskins and Andrew Combs scored 11 each. Christian Collins tossed in 10.
Akal had three baskets and Gist added two in the opening quarter as the Dragons took a 17-11 lead. Breathitt cut the deficit to 33-29 at halftime as Isaac Bellamy provided a spark off the bench with eight points, including two 3-pointers.
Akal hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Dragons extended their advantage to 54-44.
Breathitt made a run down the stretch but Harlan held on for the win as Akal hit five of six at the line and scored 10 of the Dragons’ 22 points.
Harlan will play host to Middlesboro on Tuesday in a girls/boys doubleheader.