The Harlan County Lady Bears fell one game short of the Seahawk Holiday Classic title as they couldn’t build on a strong start in a 54-49 loss to Stephenson, Georgia.
“It was a great tournament for us. We played some good basketball,” Harlan County coach Debbie Green said. “Today, we just did not shoot the ball well. We really needed to knock down a couple of outside shots at crucial times and it would have been a different outcome. But I’m very proud of our team. They are very young and continue to improve.”
The loss spoiled what Green described as a tremendous effort by sophomore center Kaylea Gross, who finished with 30 points.
“Kaylea really had a dominant game in the paint and could not be stopped,” Green said.
Blair Green, who finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, scored six in the first quarter as HCHS built a 14-5 lead before Stephenson went to a zone and chased Green.
Stephenson took a 23-22 lead by halftime and extend it to 40-34 by the end of the third quarter.
Freshman forward Breann Turner added 13 rebounds.
The Lady Bears missed on all nine of their 3-point attempts.
Harlan County (8-3) returns to action next week in the LaRosa’s Holiday Classic at Conner High School in northern Kentucky. The Lady Bears will play Bishop Brossart in the first round. Other first-round games will include Conner vs Muhlenberg County, Marshall County vs Notre Dame and Highlands vs Ashland Blazer.
HARLAN COUNTY (8-3)
Breann Turner 3, Blair Green 12, Kaylea Gross 30, Reanna Middleton 4.
Holmes 12, Gray 21, Manning 8, Jackson 3, Buchanon 2, Holloway 8.
Harlan County 14 8 12 15 — 49
Stephenson 5 18 17 14 — 54