LEXINGTON — First-year coach Derrick Akal wanted to show his Harlan Green Dragons how much work was ahead of them by playing good competition in the Kentucky Basketball Academy Summer State Tournament last week in Lexington.
The lesson was delivered with four losses over a two-day period.
“I just think it’s a great way to end the summer basketball season,” said Akal, who took several Cumberland boys teams to the KBA before the school closed in 2008, then brought his Harlan girls teams to Lexington in recent years. “I was able to observe and identify what I believe are weaknesses and strengths for each individual and the team. It’s sort of like an audition. After dead period, the process will start. There are several things we need to work on to be able to compete. KBA was a humbling experience for the team.”
Harlan fell 80-60 to Johnson Central on Friday, then lost to Pulaski County and Lexington Christian on Saturday in pool play. The Dragons played their worst game on Saturday evening with a 71-31 loss to Frankfort in the opening round of the tournament.
Sophomore guard Kilian Ledford scored eight to lead the Dragons, who closed the summer with a 1-7 record. Cade Barnes and Carter Barnes, both sophomores, added five points each. Senior guards Noah Busroe and Ethan Morton contributed four points each. Kendal Brock scored three. Joey Swanner added two.
Morton had a big game against 12th Region contender Pulaski County, scoring 20 points to lead Harlan in a 75-60 loss. Swanner, a senior center, added 16 points. Ledford scored eight. Austin Adams and Brock contributed five each. Busroe and Austin Wilson added four and two points, respectively.
Swanner and Ledford each hit 3-pointers as Harlan grabbed an early 6-2 lead, but Pulaski went on a 12-0 run at that point and was in control the rest of the way.
Silvester scored 25 to lead Pulaski. Fitzgerald and Butt added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Harlan fell 82-43 to Lexington Christian as Morton, Busroe and Ledford led the Dragons with eight points each. Swanner and Wilson added six and five points, respectively. Adams and Brock scored four each.
Freshman forward Jacob Wilson scored 16 points to lead the Dragons in the 80-60 loss to Johnson Central on Friday. Busroe scored nine. Ledford and Brock each added seven. Cade Barnes and Carter Barnes scored six each. Adams added five. Austin Wilson and Morton scored two each.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134