Black Bears hold off Bell in frosh/JV sweep

By John Henson, Managing Editor

Harlan County swept a hard-fought basketball doubleheader Monday at home against Bell County, winning 63-55 in the freshman game and 59-55 in junior varsity action.
The Black Bears placed four in double figures in both games and were led by freshman center Jaycee Carter with 19 points and a big night on the boards in freshman action. Freshman guard Ethan Simpson added 15 points. Brody Napier, a freshman, and Hunter Napier, an eighth-grader, added 12 and 10 points, respectively, as HCHS won its season opener.
Freshman guard Noah Brock poured in 24 points for the Bobcats. Eighth-grader Blake Burnett added 16 points.
Carter scored 15 and Simpson added 13 to lead the 1-2 Bears in junior varsity action. Hunter Napier and Brody Napier contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Brock again led the Bobcats as he scored 23 points.
Bell grabbed an early lead in the freshman game behind the hot shooting of the Bell guards, but Hunter Napier had two baskets and Brody Napier hit a 30-footer at the buzzer to put the Bears up by four.
The Bobcats went up by two at halftime, then HCHS pulled even going into the fourth period as Terry Michael Delaney, Carter and Brody Napier hit free throws.
Simpson reeled off five straight points in a 9-0 run that put the Bears ahead to stay. Carter’s work on the boards, leading to a basket and three of four free throws, helped clinch the win.
Bell led throughout most of the first three quarters in the junior varsity game before Simpson scored eight straight points in a 15-0 run put the Bears up by 53-42. Bell closed with a 13-6 run to pull within four.
Both Harlan County teams will play host to Pineville on Thursday.
Harlan County (63 — Hunter Napier 10, Brody Napier 12, Jaycee Carter 19, Terry Michael Delaney 7, Ethan Simpson 15.
Bell County (55) — Blake Burnett 16, Caden Huff 2, Noah Brock 24, Austin Goodin 3, Elijah Hampton 6, Cooper Miracle 4.
Harlan County (59) — Hunter Napier 12, Brody Napier 11, Jaycee Carter 15, Terry Michael Delaney 4, Ethan Simpson 13, Caleb Johnson 4.
Bell County (55) — Blake Burnett 6, Cooper Miracle 6, Caden Huff 4, Noah Brock 23, Austin Goodin 5, Elijah Hampton 2.