LONDON — Harlan County’s quest for a repeat 13th Region Freshman Tournament championship ended Saturday in the semifinals, in a rematch of last year’s finals.
South Laurel took over in the second half after a 21-21 tie at the break to defeat the Black Bears 56-46. The host Cardinals fell 51-47 to Bell County in the championship game.
Matthew Dalton scored 19 points to lead the Cardinals against HCHS. Alex Hostetler added 10.
Alex Pace led the 7-6 Bears with 13 points.
Patrick Bynum scored four points in the opening quarter as HCHS took an 11-8 lead. Hostetler and Dalton had five points each in the second quarter as South pulled even by the break.
Harlan County built a three-point lead early in the third quarter on five straight points by Michael Simpson, but the Cardinals soon took control as the Bears struggled against the South Laurel pressure. Matt Cromer, Dalton and Ethan Coots each had baskets as South’s lead grew to 38-30.
South Laurel led by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter as Harlan County’s turnovers and missed layups escalated. The Bears made a late run as 3-pointers by Bynum and Pace got HCHS as close as eight in the final minute.
Bell County (14-3) was led by 16 points from Ryan Lambdin and 13 from Tyler Partin to defeat South Laurel 51-47 in the championship game.
South Laurel (56) — Alex Hostetler 10, Matt Cromer 9, Ethan Coots 8, Landon Wombles 6, Ace Allen 4, Matthew Dalton 19.
Harlan County (46) — Gabe Price 8, Alex Pace 13, Michael Simpson 9, Matthew Simpson 2, Jared Hawkins 5, Patrick Bynum 7, Xavier Simmons 2.
Bell County (59) — Ben Goodin 5, Ryan Lambdin 12, Tyler Partin 6, Isaac Collett 6, Sawyer Brock 12, Trey Brock 4, Dawson Atkins 6, Baylor Lefevers 5, Sam Smith 3.
Whitley County (32) — D. Bowling 2, C. Rains 11, T. Lawson 2, T. Potter 5, K. Branham 2, C. Powell 10.
Bell County (51) — Ben Goodin 4, Ryan Lambdin 16, Tyler Partin 13, Isaac Collett 8, Sawyer Brock 8, Trey Brock 2.
South Laurel (47) — Alex Hostetler 5, Matt Cromer 7, Ethan Coots 10, Landon Wombles 4, Ace Allen 7, Matthew Dalton 14.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134