Yellow Jackets, Blue Devils battle to split

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It's always an exciting night when rivals Harriman and Kingston get together in basketball and Friday night was no exception.

The two got together for the second time this season with the Kingston girls using a strong second-half surge to claim a 51-39 win and the Harriman boys holding off the Yellow Jackets in a very  physical game, 74-64.

Girls game

The Lady Yellow Jackets turned what was a close affair into a one-sided one with a 12-0 run to start the third quarter.

Makayla Cordell led the charge for Kingston, scoring six points during the run that put the Lady Jackets ahead 33-17.

Harriman's Jadah Gallaher finally stopped the run with 3:32 left in the third, scoring off the glass, but the damage was done and Kingston went on to lead 40-23 at the end of the third period.

Harriman came back to outscore Kingston 16-11 in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Yellow Jackets went on for the 51-39 win.

The first quarter was competitive, with the Lady Blue Devils jumping out to a 4-0 lead behind the play of Lindsey Higgins and Gallaher. But coach Connie Guinn got her Kingston team into a press that really caused trouble for Harriman, forcing several turnovers.

Kingston's Mollie Eason and Cordell helped the Lady Jackets get on track offensively and the game was tied 11-11 heading into the second period.

Harriman opened the second with a basket by Higgins, but Kingston went on a run midway through the period to take a 19-15 lead with a minute left when Mica Gaines powered inside for a basket.

Harriman got a score from Higgins, but Kingston had taken a 21-17 lead at the halftime break.

Gaines got the Lady Jackets going in the third period, scoring first and setting the tone for the home team. Makisha Fuller scored twice and along with Cordell, the Lady Jackets were on their way to victory. 

Scores from Dee Boyd and Olyvia Lunsford weren't enough, as Kingston was in control of the game, going on for the 51-39 win.

Harriman (39) Higgins 17, Gallaher 7, Moore 7, Lunsford 4, Boyd 3, Thomas 1.

Kingston (51) Cordell 15, Eason 7, Fuller 6, Cornellison 6, Gaines 5, Smith 3, Partello 2, Oran 2, Neal 2, Langley 3.

Boys game

Perhaps coaches should have handed out helmets and shoulder pads prior to the boys' game, with physical play being allowed by officials much of the time.

And football was a theme for the night as it were, with Kentucky head football coach Joker Phillips, along with assistant Randy Sanders and others from the Wildcat coaching staff, on hand to watch Harriman's Shaquille Love play basketball. Love committed to the Wildcats during the football season and will join them next year.

The bruising affair would go through three periods where the rough play was allowed, but then the whistles would go the other way and calls would flow from the officials. This caused a little havoc, especially from Kingston, which would see three players foul out of a fourth quarter where the two teams combined for 35 free throws.

During that period, the turning point took place as well, during a stretch that the Yellow Jackets saw their head coach tagged with a technical foul, after Harriman completed a three-point play. 

This sequence took place with 4:38 left in the game.

Harriman's Xavier Howard went to the basket, scored and drew a foul from Kingston. Jacket coach Stephen Plemons, who had been critical of the officiating most of the game, was hit with a technical foul after making a mild comment about the call.

After all the free throws, Harriman went ahead 59-54.

Kingston tried to crawl back in it, but the Blue Devils were able to hit their freebies down the stretch, holding on for the 74-64 win.

The Blue Devils got outstanding efforts from both Howard (22 points) and senior Dimitrique Inman, who led all scorers with 30 points. That duo helped Harriman overcome a deficit, after Kingston played brilliantly most of the game, holding a lead and keeping the pressure on the Blue Devils.

After the Devils took an early 3-0 lead, Kingston battled back behind Darrin Mossing, Jordan Huddleston and Robbie Szodza.

The Yellow Jackets went ahead 19-14, but scores by Inman kept the Blue Devils close, trailing 21-16 heading into the second.

It continued being back-and-forth, but Kingston's Jordan Jones hit a pair of free throws to put the Jackets ahead 30-23 with three minutes left to play in the half. A nifty drive by Szozda put Kingston ahead nine before Harriman ended the period on a 6-0 run to trim the Kingston lead to 32-29 heading into the break.

Love muscled inside and Inman hit free throws to help stop the Kingston momentum.

Harriman got to within a point, 41-40, with 4:08 left in the third quarter when Inman completed a three-point play, but Kingston answered the challenge with Szozda, Mossing and Derek Basler scoring to give them a 48-42 lead.

Szozda and Inman exchange baskets late, but the Yellow Jackets led 50-46 at the end of three quarters.

Harriman quickly reclaimed the lead with 6:30 left in the game when Howard and Inman combined for six points. Kingston's Brandon Griffis tied the game, but the Blue Devils eventually went ahead behind Howard's play. 

After the technical foul, Harriman held off the Yellow Jackets, never allowing them to get within four points down the stretch. 

Harriman capped the win with an easy lay up by Howard, celebrating a 74-64 rivalry victory.

Harriman (74) Inman 30, Howard 22, Love 8, Alex White 4, Austin White 3, Gallaher 2, Dishman 2, Upton 1.

 Kingston (64): Szodza 14, Huddleston 11, Basler 11, Mossing 10, Jones 7, Griffis 4, Clower 10.