STANTON — With a district showdown awaiting them Saturday at Bell County, the Harlan County Black Bears closed the 2015 portion of their schedule Wednesday with a 73-30 rout of Menifee County on the final day of the Red River Classic at Powell County High School, bouncing back from a loss to Russell County a day earlier.
“We had a good little talk before about our effort yesterday,” Harlan County coach Michael Jones said. “After watching the film, it was as bad as we’ve played as far as effort and emotion. They played harder today. Games like this you see things you need to work on, but it was good to get back in the win column.”
Harlan County (11-2) dominated on the glass, outrebounding their winless opponent from the 16th Region by a margin of 43-23. The Bears also passed the ball well, placing three in double figures, led by Cameron Carmical with 18 points. Tyrese Simmons and Treyce Spurlock added 13 and 12 points, respectively
Senior center Sebastian Stidham led the 0-12 Wildcats with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Spurlock had three baskets in the opening three minutes as Harlan County wasted no time taking control, racing to an 18-2 lead. Carmical heated up midway through the first period, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and a jumper as the Bears’ advantage grew to 28-7 by the end of the quarter.
Harlan County opened the second quarter with a 10-0 run as Spurlock had two baskets and Drew Nolan, David Turner and Simmons added one each for a 31-point lead.
Magoffin scored six straight points, sparked by two baskets from Stidham, to get as close as 26.
Sophomore guard Andrew Creech had five rebounds in the quarter, turning one into a basket to spark a 9-0 run that gave the Bears a 48-17 lead at halftime.
Simmons and Turner had baskets to start the third quarter, starting a running clock only 70 seconds into the second half. Simmons had two baskets and Creech and Carmical added one each in an 8-0 run to close the quarter as the Bears built a 64-23 lead.
Menifee was held without a basket in the third quarter, missing all five shots from the field.
Freshmen Alex Pace and Michael Simpson had baskets in the closing two minutes as Harlan County extended the final margin to 43 points.
Harlan County (11-2) will play at Bell County on Saturday in the second game of a girls/boys doubleheader.
“We’re getting ready to come up to the tough part of our schedule, not that our schedule has been easy at any point,” Jones said. “It will be good to get back home and get to practice and correct some things.”
Russell County 71
Harlan County 55
Facing perhaps the best backcourt they will see this season, the Bears could not match the firepower of Kel Stotts and Eddie Murphy, who combined for 56 points to hand HCHS its second loss of the year.
Stotts, a junior wing, hit five 3-pointers in a 32-point explosion. Murphy, an athletic senior point guard, connected on four 3-pointers in a 24-point game. The Lakers, ranked among the top teams in the 4th Region, improved to 9-2.
“I was told Stotts could shoot as well as anybody,” Harlan County coach Michael Jones said. “There were times we lost him, but there were also times we did everything we could and he still hit the shot.”
The Bears spent much of the first three quarters battling back from deficits only to watch Russell pull away again. Harlan County trailed by only three going into the fourth quarter, but three straight turnovers to open the period allowed the Lakers to take control.
“We drew up a play to start the fourth quarter and didn’t execute it, then we gave up an offensive rebound and before we knew it we were down 10 again,” Jones said. “Even though we lost a game at Hilton Head, I thought this was the first time we’ve been outplayed and outhustled. We were beat across the board. I’m disappointed that we didn’t shoot well today but more disappointed that we were outhustled.”
Harlan County (10-2) was led by junior guard Treyce Spurlock, who scored 22 points. Cameron Carmical and Tyrese Simmons added 10 and nine points, respectively.
A three-point play by Lamar Burkhart and basket by Spurlock helped HCHS close the first quarter strong and cut the Russell lead to 18-15.
Murphy and Stotts sparked a 10-0 run in the second quarter as the lead expanded to 13. Spurlock scored six points in an 8-0 run by the Bears to cut the deficit back to seven, at 33-26, by halftime
Murphy and Stotts hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Lakers’ lead went back to 11. Spurlock and Carmical had consecutive three-point plays after a timeout to cut the deficit to five. A 3-pointer by Drew Nolan and basket by Spurlock pulled the Bears within three going into the final period.
Harlan County was still within seven with three minutes to play before Russell closed the game with an 11-2 run.
RUSSELL COUNTY (9-2)
Eddie Murphy 24, Braxton Scales 7, Kel Stotts 32, Kailib Crowley 3, Isaiah Bennett 0, Taylor Cowan 2, Hayes Coffey 0 Landon Hargis 0, Lucas Bault 3.
HARLAN COUNTY (10-2)
Cameron Carmical 10, Treyce Spurlock 22, Drew Nolan 7, Tyrese Simmons 9, David Turner 2, Lamar Burkhart 5, Andrew Creech 0.
Russell County 18 15 15 23 — 71
Harlan County 15 11 19 10 — 55
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134