By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
NORTH LAUREL — The North Laurel Jaguars may have turned in the performance of the season when they opened with a 20-0 lead over the visiting Rockcastle Rockets.
The Jaguars proved that they are one of the most improved teams in the 13th Region in the 90-71 blowout win, with four players scoring in double digits. North Laurel’s super freshman Peyton Broughton poured in 26 points while grabbing eight rebounds for the Jaguars. Fellow freshman Bryson Asher dominated the paint with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots.
The incredible 20-point lead the Jaguars were able to reach in the first quarter was even impressive to North Laurel Coach Brad Sizemore.
“I don’t know all of history of the basketball program of the school, but there is probably never been a first quarter played like that here,” said Sizemore. “We played as well as we possibly could have to start the game.”
Despite the big lead, the Jaguars did let up in the second quarter, allowing the Rockets to cut the lead in half. Rockets’ guard Sam Pensol outscored North Laurel by himself in the quarter, scoring 19 of his team’s 29 points. The Jaguars were only able to garner 18 points in the quarter, but still took a 38-29 lead into the half.
“We just hit a wall. You see that so many times. Our defense kind of got us out to the lead, and we just couldn’t sprint,” said Sizemore. “They got a lot of easy buckets and then the one kid went wild. We went box-and-one on him in the second half, but he still ended up with 29.”
It was all North Laurel in the second half, as the Jaguars pushed their lead back out to 65-49 in the third quarter. The Jaguars were able to continue their dominance in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with a 90-71 win.
“We had a great second half. I challenged them at halftime and they responded, so I’m pleased with it,” said Sizemore.
In addition to Broughton and Asher, the Jaguars also got big games from seniors Elijah Jervis with 17 points and Austin Thompson with 13.
The Jaguars will return to action this weekend as they host the Nissan Legacy Classic, which features some of the better teams around the region.
North Laurel 90, Rockcastle Co. 71
Rockcastle 0 29 20 21 71
North Laurel 20 18 28 25 90
Rockcastle (71) – Pensol 29, Gage Reynolds 10, Dakota Nasty 9, Josh Mason 8, Lucas Gentry 8, Blake Mullins 3, Carson Noble 2, Tyler Napier 2
North Laurel (90) – Broughton 26, Asher 18, Jervis 17, Thompson 13, Kyle Jeffers 5, Trae Henson 5, Sammy Maggard 3, Jaythus Riley 3, Chris Miller 1.