An off night by Jordan Brock usually spelled trouble for the Harlan Lady Dragons in the past couple of years. Fortunately for the Lady Dragons, off nights were rare.
Brock was held to nine points on Tuesday in the semifinals of the Lady Bulldogs Holiday Classic against tournament host Hazard, but a strong third quarter on defense and production on offense from several sources helped Harlan move into the finals with a 64-54 win.
Senior guard Brooklyn Massingill and junior forward Emma Bianchi each scored 18 as the Lady Dragons improved to 11-1 on the season. Harlan also got a lift off the bench from sophomore guard, who hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished with 11 points.
“Emma stepped up tonight and played how she has been capable of playing. I’m proud of her effort tonight and believe she will continue with that effort,” said Harlan coach Derrick Akal.
Massingill had seven points in the first quarter as Harlan took a 12-10 lead.
Simpson led the Harlan offense in the second quarter with nine points. Brock and Bianchi added five and four points, respectively, as the Lady Dragons took a 35-31 lead into the break.
The Lady Dragons held Hazard to only five points in the third quarter to build a 50-36 lead. Bianchi led Harlan with five points, while Massingill scored five and Mackenzie King had four.
“We have to do a better job defensively as a team,” Akal said. “We played good individual defense in the third but never good team defense.”
Harlan will play 15th Region favorite Shelby Valley on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the tournament finals.