PINEVILLE — Short handed and facing the host team at the Pineville Team Camp, the Harlan County Black Bears found themselves in a tight game midway through their matchup with Pineville on Thursday before pulling away in the second half.
Harlan County led the Lions by only two, at 26-24, at halftime. Senior guard Treyce Spurlock heated up in the second half, hitting a couple of 3-pointers to ignite a run that sent the Bears to a 56-37 win.
Spurlock scored nine of his team-high 14 points in the second half. Junior guard Drew Nolan scored all but one of his 12 points in the first half to help the Bears overcome a big game from Pineville senior guard Trent Lefevers, who led the Lions with 22 points.
Pineville never led in the scrimmage but pulled even five times in the first half, including at 21-all and 24-all on 3-pointers by Lefevers. Two free throws by David Turner gave the Bears a halftime lead.
Spurlock and Alex Pace each hit 3-pointers as the Bears built a 22-13 lead in the second half before both coaches went to their reserves. The Lions didn’t score after their seniors (Lefevers, Tucker Woolum and Cody Carnes) left the game for good.
Pace, a sophomore who started with both Tyrese Simmons and Andrew Creech out due to illness and injury, respectively, added 10 points. Cameron Carmical and Turner each scored eight. A.J. Simmons contributed two. Patrick Bynum and Matthew Simpson scored one each.
Harlan County had no trouble in the opening scrimmage against Oneida Baptist, racing to a 43-12 before the starters went to the bench. The HCHS reserves built on the lead in a 75-27 win.
Spurlock hit three 3-pointers in the first half on the way to a 17-point effort. Simpson added eight points off the bench, including two 3-pointers. Carmical, Pace, Elisha Smallwood and Devin Eldridge scored seven each. Gabe Price and Nolan scored five each. Jared Hawkins and A.J. Simmons added four each. Bynum and Taylor Spurlock scored two each.
Harlan County (13-1) returns to action Friday in the LMU Team Camp. The Bears will play Gate City, Va., Cumberland Gap, Tenn., and Bearden, Tenn., in varsity action. The junior varsity team will play Middlesboro and Bearden.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134