HAZARD — Harlan County faced the likely preseason favorites for the 14th Region title in 2017, splitting two scrimmages on Wednesday at Memorial Gym.
The Black Bears were impressive in their opening scrimmage, building a lead late in the first half on the way to a 68-54 win over Knott Central. Harlan County didn’t have quite the same energy in the second scrimmage and struggled at times against Perry Central’s big frontline in a 65-55 loss to the Commodores in a rematch of last year’s WYMT Mountain Classic finals.
Senior guard Treyce Spurlock had a big game in the opener as he poured in 29 points. Cameron Carmical added 15 points. Andrew Creech provided a big lift off the bench with 10 points. Tyrese Simmons and David Turner added five and four points, respectively, foliowed by Drew Nolan with three and Alex Pace with two.
Spurlock started and ended an 8-0 run late in the half that put the Bears in control. Creech and Carmical also had baskets as HCHS built a 36-25 halftime lead.
Spurlock and Carmical hit 3-pointers sandwiched around a basket by Creech to push the Harlan County lead to 19 points in the second half.
Damon Tobler, a 6-3 senior forward, was a matchup problem for the Bears in the second scrimmage, as were 6-7 seniors Princewill Anosike and Idris Akinyemi, both transfers from June Buchanan.
Spurlock scored 19 points and Carmical added 17 to lead the Bears. Simmons contributed nine points, followed by Turner with five, Pace with three and Nolan with two.
The Bears got as close as two in the second half on a basket by Spurlock before the Commodores pulled away again.
In junior varsity action, Harlan County improved to 3-0 with a 37-25 win over Perry Central.
Harlan County (3-1) returns to action Thursday at South Laurel.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134