By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
After suffering two years of heartbreak, the Corbin Redhounds finally got over the hump and captured their first 13th Region crown since 2005 by knocking off three-time defending region champion, South Laurel High School, with ease, 71-35.
Corbin was led by a stifling defensive effort, while seniors Josh Crawford and tournament MVP Josh Smith scored 18 and 16 points respectively, while junior Isaac Wilson tossed in an 18-point effort.
Smith scored the Redhounds’ first 10 points of the game, as the Redhounds cruised to a 17-10 lead heading into the second quarter and never looked back.
“This was huge to get this win,” Crawford said. “This was a long time coming. It’s been in the back of our mind the past two years, but we were able to get over the hump and come out and do what we needed to do.”
“Man, this is special, especially with the way we’ve lost to them the past two years,” Wilson said. “It’s really hard to explain. We’ve lost two heartbreakers to them and we came into this season with something to prove and we did that tonight. We knew we needed to come in here and build a lead and it just went from two points to five points and then to 10 and we just kept pulling away.”
After leading 32-19 at halftime, Corbin opened the third quarter by hitting seven of their first eight shots, while building a 48-26 edge and South Laurel never could recover.
“They beat us for four quarters and the game was over,” South Laurel coach Steve Wright said. “It was as simple as that. The ball wouldn’t go in the basket and Corbin was a big reason why it didn’t. We looked flat and couldn’t hit anything and Corbin seized on that. They are a very good ball team.”
The Redhounds put the finishing touches on the win by outscoring the Cardinals 19-8 during the game’s final eight minutes.
“I’m not going to lie, we knew coming into the season, it was going to be tough,” Corbin coach Tony Pietrowski said. “It wasn’t easy winning this thing. In the first two rounds we had to play some very good teams and then to come back tonight and face South Laurel, we knew it wouldn’t be easy.
“I thought we came out and took care of business,” he added. “Our seniors and juniors did what we needed them to do and I’m really proud of them. I thought Josh Crawford did a great job out there and so did Isaac and Josh Smith. The whole team played great tonight.”
Pietrowski also gave credit to junior Madison Johnson, who was South Laurel’s main focus on defense. Despite finishing the game with two points on 0-
Corbin heads to Rupp by blowing out defending Region champions by 36 points
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