By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
ROCKCASTLE COUNTY — Brad Sizemore’s North Laurel Jaguars were in need of a win before making a trip to play the red-hot Harlan County Bears today and they got it, as Austin Thompson’s shot at the buzzer gave his team a 48-46 win against Rockcastle County Tuesday.
“I think our effort is there and again, we all know we’re a little shorthanded right now, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse because we’re trying to use this now, so it can benefit us down the road. You can tell a lot of young kids in different spots are getting a lot of good things.”
North Laurel (3-2), who is still without last year’s leading scorer in Jake Allen, struggled offensively during the first three quarters (connected on only 13-of-30 shot attempts) before heating up to begin the fourth quarter.
Trailing 38-31, the Jaguars knocked down their first five shot attempts and went on a 12-2 run that allowed them to take a 43-40 edge with 5:20 left in regulation.
The Rockets battled back and tied the game with a three-pointer with 1:31 left, but Thompson’s basket after a missed shot by Marcus Carson sealed the deal for North Laurel.
“For Austin to come in and hit that big shot is big for us and great for him,” Sizemore said. “He stayed with it because the ball came to him and he made the shot. We’re kind of small right now and scrap on every possession and he did that.”
The Jaguars finished the game with 16 turnovers while connecting on 20-of-42 shot attempts from the floor, including a 7-of-19 effort from three-point range.
North Laurel will try to pick up another big win today on the road against unbeaten Harlan County.