By Tim Branstetter / Staff Writer
The North Laurel Minor League All-Stars were not satisfied after finishing as runner-up in the district last season, but this year they took home the district title and are preparing for a trip to the state tournament in Winchester on Saturday.
“After being runner-up last year in the district, they were excited to win it this year and have a chance to play in the state tournament,” North Laurel coach Recil Jones said. “They are really excited to go to Winchester.”
Jones knows if his team has a chance to make a good showing in the state tournament they will have to step up and hit the ball a little better than they did in the district.
“Our bats have came around,” he said. “We have focused a lot on our hitting and our technique. Hopefully it will pay off in the state tournament.”
When it comes to pitching, North Laurel has plenty of options with five kids that can hold their own in the circle. Jones feels having Peyton Gregory, Abbie Lay, Brianna Houston, Isabella Gray and Macy McDaniel gives his team an advantage.
“It’s a bonus for us to have that many pitchers,” Jones said. “Abbie has done an excellent job at the number two spot. She has given us some quality innings. Peyton did a great job in the district for us.”
Houston and Lay have stepped up at the plate and led the North Laurel All-Stars. Both players have been able to put the ball in play and turned in solid performances during the district tournament.
“Brianna and Abbie have hit the ball very well,” Jones said. “Maddie Dagley and Taylor Jones also had some key hits. Our bats have came around and our defense was solid throughout the tournament. So we feel pretty good about our chances to compete and represent our district during the state tournament.”
By Tim Branstetter / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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