By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
LONDON — Crosstown rivals North Laurel and South Laurel met for the first time this season in girls basketball action Monday night at North Laurel High School.
Both teams were looking to improve in the win column as each entered Monday's contest with a combined three wins on the season.
South Laurel denied several Lady Jaguar attempts to gain momentum throughout the second half and pulled away in the fourth quarter to preserve the 70-62 win, giving the Lady Cardinals their second win of the year.
"I thought we stayed really, really aggressive offensively tonight," said South Laurel coach Konnie Snyder. "We've had a little bit of time off after our Christmas tournament. We've had time to work on some things and make a few adjustments. I don't know if it's that or just the rivalry game, or if they just did not want to lose, I'll take it either way."
The game was nip and tuck from the opening tip. Each squad went to their leaders for scoring early in the contest as Brittany Vandeventer and Katie Reynolds led South Laurel in scoring and to a 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
North Laurel continued to go to Kayla Bruner in the second quarter who kept the Lady Jags' offense in check with eight points and helped give North Laurel a 20-15 lead, but the South Laurel full-court press created points off turnovers.
Shelby Davis and Mariah Riley sparked an 8-0 run to help South Laurel reclaim the lead at 23-20 during the quarter. Each team battled to a halftime score of 32-30 with South Laurel holding the edge.
The Lady Jags went to Makayla Sexton and Bruner for scoring throughout the third quarter and once again found themselves with a slim two-point lead, but the Lady Cardinals answered with Brittany Vandeventer who knocked down a three-point jump shot along with Preslie Baker who connected from long range as well.
South Laurel found the break they needed and took advantage of North Laurel turnovers to take a 52-43 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
Eddie Mahan's group responded once again as Sexton and Bruner led the Lady Jags on a fourth-quarter rally.
Kelsey Chesnut's free throw cut the South Laurel lead to 58-57 with under four minutes remaining. The Lady Cardinals answered with Vandeventer who completed a four-point trip for the Lady Cardinals, going to the free-throw line to connecting on two of four.
Preslie Baker's basket pushed the lead to 64-57 with under two minutes remaining. Madison Sheppard's free throw cut the South Laurel lead to 64-61 with 1:23 reamining, but the Lady Cardinals again went to Vandeventer who put the Lady Cardinals up 66-61 and secured the victory going down the stretch.
North Laurel's Eddie Mahan commented on the loss.
"This is a game we better learn from, said Eddie Mahan. "We didn't play very well. We've got to start looking to not lose."
The loss moves North Laurel to 2-9 on the season. South Laurel was led in scoring by Brittany Vandeventer's 22 points and North Laurel was led by Bruner with 23 on the night.
South Laurel 70, North Laurel 62
South Laurel 15 17 20 18—70
North Laurel 13 17 13 19—62
South Laurel (70) — Vandeventer 22, Cromer 14, Baker 12, Davis 9, Reynolds 6, Hacker 2, Madden 2, Riley 2, Miller 1,
North Laurel (62) — Bruner 23, Sexton 12, Sheppard 11, Chesnut 5, Gray 5, Lawson 4, Bridges 2