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Bobcats, Blue Devils split close games

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Late 16-0 run propels OS boys to victory

By Goose Lindsay

 It was a night of defense and close games Friday at Harriman’s Richard D. Pickell Gymnasium as the Blue Devils hosted Oliver Springs.

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In the girls game, Harriman led for much of the evening and had to hold on late for a 39-35 victory.

Oliver Springs got revenge in the boys game as they used a fourth quarter rally to head back down Highway 61 with a 45-43 victory.

Both teams will be in action again on Friday. Oliver Springs is hosting Clarkrange while Harriman entertains another county opponent, Rockwood.

Girls Game

Oliver Springs scored first on Friday, but that would be the Lady ’Cats only lead of the evening.

Harriman didn’t score for more than four minutes to start the game, but once they got going, they were hard to stop in the opening frame. After the Lady ’Cat basket, Harriman went on a 9-2 run and would eventually take an 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Marilyn Franklin (5 points) and Madison Duncan (4 points) combined for nine of Harriman’s 11 points in the opening period while Rachel Griffith scored all six points for the Lady ’Cats in the opening stanza.

Harriman’s lead grew to double digits in the second quarter. Dee Boyd and Franklin both hit treys in the period as the Lady Devils built a 23-8 lead before Griffith drove the length of the floor just before halftime to make the score 23-10 at intermission.

Oliver Springs came out with a different attitude in the second half and quickly cut into Harriman’s lead. The Lady ’Cats scored eight of the first nine points in the half to pull within six points at 24-18.

The two teams traded points after that with the Lady Devils holding a 30-24 lead with eight minutes left to play.

Things would tighten up even more in the fourth quarter. A Megan Wright three-pointer with 6:21 left cut Harriman’s lead to 30-29, but the Lady ’Cats couldn’t take the lead as Harriman hit four straight free throws to make the score 34-29 with 2:18 left to play.

Oliver Springs, however, fought back again and with 44 seconds left Courtney Jones put back a miss to pull the Lady ’Cats to within one at 35-34.

But Harriman made their free throws after that, 4 of 4, and held on for the 39-35 victory.

Boyd led Harriman on the night with 12 points and seven rebounds while Franklin added 10 points. Duncan (6 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals) and Jada Johnson (5 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks) also put up solid numbers for Harriman.

Griffith (18 points, 5 steals) and Jones (9 points, 11 rebounds) led the way for Harriman in defeat.

Oliver Springs (35) Griffith 18, Jones 9, Gilmore 2, Wright 3, Smith 3.

Harriman (39) Johnson 5, Higgins 4, Duncan 6, Franklin 10, Boyd 12, Goins 2.

Boys Game

The Oliver Springs Bobcats picked the right time to get hot Friday and that coincided with the Blue Devils going cold. The result was Tony Ingram’s squad erasing a late 11-point deficit with a 16-0 run on their way to a 45-43 victory.

The first period would see Harriman taking an early 11-6 lead only to see the Bobcats pull even at 11 by the end of the frame.

Things remained tight throughout the second quarter, but Oliver springs would miss eight straight free throws at one point while Harriman used a three-pointer at the buzzer from Kaleb Eleam to take a 25-20 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Harriman threatened to pull away in the third quarter. John Johnson opened the frame with an old-fashioned three-point play. He later added a three-pointer from beyond the arc as they Blue Devils would take a 38-27 lead into the final period of the play.

Harriman’s Jacob Gresham scored with 7:02 remaining to make the score 40-29, but that’s when things suddenly changed as the Devils went cold while the Bobcats roared to life.

Taylor Murray scored seven straight points to pull the Bobcats to within four at 40-36 with 4:54 left to play. Aaron Noe made it 40-38 at the 3:50 mark with a lay-up then Murray put back a miss 29 seconds later to knot the score at 40.

The run continued at the 2:19 mark when Murray scored off a quick-hitter to give the Bobcats a 42-40 lead.

Oliver Springs took that lead into the final 30 seconds of play and hit three free throws to make the score 45-40.

Harriman finally broke the 7:02 scoreless drought at buzzer when Jalyn Wilkie buried a three-pointer, but it was too late for the Blue Devils to pick up the win.

Murray led Oliver Springs on the night with 18 points and nine rebounds. Eleven of Murray’s points came in a 4:26 stretch of the fourth quarter.

Noe (10 points, 5 rebounds) also scored in double figures for Oliver Springs.

Johnson (14 points) and Wilkie (9 points, 6 rebounds) paced Harriman in defeat.

Oliver Springs (45) S. Morgan 6, Noe 10, Miller 6, Moss 4, Murray 18, Evans 1.

Harriman (43) Johnson 14, Hamby 6, Wilkie 9, Gresham 6, Eleam 5, Wampler 3.