JAY COMPTON|Daily News
Harlan's Emma Bianchi blocked a shot from Middlesboro's Lauren Spurlock during a 48-24 victory over the Lady Jackets on Saturday.
An Enterprise Staff Report
The Harlan Lady Dragons extended their current win streak to four with an 80-40 rout of J. Frank White (Tenn.) on Monday.
Eighth-grader Emma Bianchi had 10 of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter as Harlan jumped out to a 28-9 lead.
After taking a 17-point lead into the half, the Lady Dragons put the game out of reach with a 23-point outburst in the third quarter to go up 61-29.
Callie Wilson turned in 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Dragons cruised to the win. Wilson and junior Jourdan Ledford each finished with 13 points.
Harlan (10-10) returns to action Monday at home against Bell County in a 52nd District matchup.
The Lady Dragons pulled away for a 48-24 win at Middlesboro in 52nd District action on Saturday.
“It was good to get a win. The last time we came here we lost that All ‘A’ play-in game. The girls stepped up and they’ve played really good defense the past two games,” said Lady Dragon coach Derrick Akal.
Sophomore forward Torri Mitchell led the Harlan offensive effort with 17 points. She was the only player to reach double-figures in the game. The Lady Dragons also got eight points from Jourdan Ledford, seven from Masie Charles and six each from Emma Bianchi and Jordan Brock.
Freshman guard Bailey Hensley and 7th-grade forward Blair Green each scored eight points to lead Middlesboro. The Lady Jacket got four points each from Taylor Prater and Carissa Padgett.
The Lady Jackets hung close in the first quarter. Green scored four of her points while Padgett and Prater added baskets and Harlan led just 11-8 after one.
A basket from Padgett made it 13-10 with about five minutes to play in the second quarter, but the Lady Jackets wouldn’t score again before halftime.
Ledford keyed the Lady Dragon’s defensive effort by shadowing Green and keeping her from getting the ball in scoring position.
“Jourdan Ledford, not only is she a really good shooter but she’s a really good individual defender. She normally draws every team’s leading scorer and does an excellent job,” Akal added.
Mitchell scored six of her points in the second period and Bianchi added a basket as the Harlan lead grew to 19-10 by the half.
It looked like the Lady Jackets might have another second half run in them when Hensley opened the third quarter with a long jumper to make it 19-12, but Middlesboro wouldn’t hit another field goal the rest of the period and Harlan outscored them 15-1 over the rest of the quarter to put the game away.
Mitchell started an 11-0 run with a pair of free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound. She and Bianchi hit baskets as the lead grew to 25-12 by the 4:35 mark. Ledford hit a short jumper and Brock knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 30-12 with 2:45 remaining in the third.
Hensley hit one of two free throws at the 1:58 mark to end a 5:17 scoring drought for the Lady Jackets.
Harlan got two free throws from Kelly Cox and then a basket inside from Charles to take a 34-13 lead into the fourth.
Charles and Brock hit 3s early in the fourth quarter and the Lady Dragons went on to win by 24. It was their third straight win following a six-game losing streak.
“Obviously we want a good record and we want to win the district games. But with a young team we just want to get better every game and every day and I think we’ve done that,” Akal said. “I think what’s helped a lot is our team assists have went up and that’s a big change and Torri Mitchell. The last two games she has stepped up. We told her she can be one of the best players on the court each night if she’ll assert herself and she’s done that.”
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Harlan (80) — Jordan Brock 0, Jourdan Ledford 13, Masie Charles 5, Torri Mitchell 11, Emma Bianchi 16, Kelly Cox 8, Katie King 3, Shanae Thomas 4, Kaitlyn Jenkins 2, Callie Wilson 13, Jesse Cochran 2, Mackenzie King 2.
J. Frank White (40) — Abby Leaf 14, Allison Moon 6, Natasha Beeby 1, Chrissy Bradley 2, Cassidy Cunningham 6, Hannah Owen 11.
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Harlan (48) — Torri Mitchell 17, Jourdan Ledford 8, Masie Charles 7, Emma Bianchi 6, Jordan Brock 6, Kelly Cox 4, Katie King 0, Callie Wilson 0, Jessie Cochran 0, Mackenzie King 0.
Middlesboro (24) — Bailey Hensley 8, Blair Green 8, Carissa Padgett 4, Taylor Prater 4, Taylor Moyers 0, Lauren Spurlock 0, Sophia Knuckles 0, Hannah Warren 0.