TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune
WILLIAMSBURG — South Laurel turned in one of its best performances of the season while Williamsburg turned in one of its worst during a 50th District battle Tuesday.
Despite misfiring on its first 10 shot attempts of the game, Jeff Davis' squad managed to fight back from an eight-point deficit to knock off the struggling Yellow Jackets, 56-37.
The Cardinals used a zone press to disrupt Williamsburg, and it worked. The Yellow Jackets turned the ball over 19 times while shooting only 14-of-43 from the floor, including a one-of-11 effort from three-point range.
“We didn't hit our shots early, and that kept us from getting into our press,” Davis said. “We were able to ride the wave, and once we were able to hit some shots, we forced some turnovers that got us back into the game.
“This is probably the best we've played this season,” he added. “We really played well late against Tates Creek, and tonight I was really pleased with our effort. We really played well tonight.”
Williamsburg coach Patrick Robinson wasn't pleased with his team's performance against their district counterpart.
“They just wore us down,” he admitted. “By far, this is the most disappointed I've been with this team this season. This is really the first time that I've been in shock with the way we played. But give credit to South Laurel, they played a great game tonight. They were a big reason why we didn't play well.
“We basically had one guy trying to get the ball up the floor, and the others were standing around, and you can't do that against their zone press,” he added. “We were prepared for it, and knew what to do, but we just didn't do it.”
The win turns out to be a big one for Davis' squad, who now improves to 2-1 in district play with both wins coming on the road while Williamsburg falls to 0-2.
“It's big any time you can get a district win, but we've got two big road district wins, and that is really big,” Davis said. “Williamsburg is a very good team, and they're going to be even better when they get Skylar (Griffith) back.”
South Laurel connected on only one-of-12 shot attempts in the first quarter, but only trailed 8-3. The Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 10-3 before South Laurel began to get things going.
Freshman Jared Grubb and Zac Baxter knocked down consecutive three-pointers to make the score 12-11 midway through the second quarter while Braden Miller scored consecutive baskets and Vince Holcomb's lay in at the buzzer gave the Cardinals a 21-16 advantage at halftime.
South Laurel's defensive pressure continued to hurt the Yellow Jackets in the thrid quarter. Five turnovers led to the Cardinals putting the game away late in the third quarter, as an old-fashioned three-point play by Grubb, combined with a basket by Baxter and two lay-ups by Holcomb, extended their team's lead to 39-25 going into the fourth quarter.
South Laurel made sure of no Williamsburg comeback by hitting six-of-eight shot attempts in the final eight minutes, and led by as many as 21 points before wrapping up the 19 point victory. Grubb led all scorers with 22 points while Baxter added 16. Corey Shelton eld the Yellow Jackets with 14 points.
South Laurel 56, Williamsburg 37
South Laurel 3 18 18 17 – 56
Williamsburg 8 8 9 12 – 37
South Laurel (56) – T. Grubb 3, J. Grubb 22, Bra. Miller 4, Bre. Miller 2, Baxter 16, Holcomb 9.
Williamsburg (37) – Shelton 14, Lowrie 5, Sizemore 6, Griffin 2, Sulfridge 7, Osborne 3.