With a roster lacking a true post player, the Harlan Green Dragons have accepted the fact that they must hit 3-pointers to win.
They learned a week ago in a loss at Oneida Baptist that 3-pointers, while important, can’t be counted on to supply all their offense. Harlan hit 11 3-pointers in that game but fell 47-45.
In the rematch Saturday at home, Harlan connected on 10 3-pointers but also added some inside scoring and shot 13 more free throws than a week ago in a 68-51 win.
“We shot the ball well early tonight, and I think it carried over from last night (a win at Pineville),” Harlan coach David Parks said. “I thought we played about as well as we can play tonight.”
Senior guard Drew Parks celebrated Senior Night with a 20-point performance, including five of six on 3-point attempts.
“We knew how well Harlan shot the ball, especially the Parks boy, and we did a poor job of matching up with him and guarding him,” Oneida Baptist coach David Robinson said. “They got a lead and played behind the rest of the night. I guess I didn’t do a good job of getting us ready to play tonight.”
“He shot the ball well, especially early,” Parks said of his son. “He got us going, then some other kids starting making shots.”
Forwards Kilian Ledford and Trent McKenzie added 15 and 12 points, respectively, for the 15-10 Dragons.
Oneida Baptist (12-14) was led by 11 points each from Simon Robinson, Trey Stout and Hera DeCaines.
Parks hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and McKenzie added two baskets inside as Harlan raced to a 20-10 lead.
DeCaines provided a lift off the bench for OBI in the second quarter, hitting a pair of 3-pointers as the Mountaineers got as close as four, at 24-20. Ethan Morton answered off the Harlan bench, hitting a 3-pointer that turned the momentum back to the Dragons and started a 7-0 run that gave Harlan a 33-22 halftime lead.
Ledford hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter, while Noah Busroe and Parks added one each as the Dragons outscored OBI 22-7 to put the game away with a 55-29 lead going into the final period.
Led by three 3-pointers from Robinson, the Mountaineers outscored Harlan 22-13 in the fourth quarter.
The highlight of the quarter for the Harlan fans came in the closing seconds when Parks put senior guard Caleb Hogue into the game for the final 17 seconds. Hogue, a starter since his freshman season, missed the first half of the season due to a torn ACL suffered in July. Hogue made a quick recovery and rejoined the team in January, but he aggravated the injury in a loss to Harlan County last week, and doctors advised him not to play again to make sure he’s ready for baseball season.
“I told him to get dressed at halftime because I knew we had Senior Night after the game,” Parks said. “We were ahead pretty good, and he jokingly asked if I was going to put him in. I knew I hadn’t put him in the book, so that would have been a technical, but David Robinson said we’re not doing that, which was a class move by him.”
Hogue drew a standing ovation as he entered the game, then scored the final basket of his Harlan career on a pass from Busroe.
“We wanted to give him a chance to get in there one more time,” Parks said. “He’s been with us since I started here and would have had 1,000 points if not for the injury. He deserved it.”
Harlan returns to action Tuesday at Lynn Camp.
Carter Barnes and Kendal Brock scored 13 points each as Harlan avenged its only junior varsity loss with a 45-32 win.
Cade Barnes added 10 for the 12-1 Dragons. Jarrett McKenzie scored four. Caleb Adkins tossed in three. Logan Taylor contributed two.
Hera DeCaines led Oneida Baptist with 19 points.
Carter Barnes poured in 23 points as Harlan won 52-24 in freshman action. Logan Taylor added eight. Cade Barnes and Tate Bryson scored five each. Jarrett McKenzie chipped in with four. Caleb Adkins added three. Andrew Simpson and Cameron Hoskins scored two each.
Preston and Flahn led OBI with eight points each.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134