By Mitch Howard For the Times-Tribune
SOUTH LAUREL — You could understand why South Laurel might dread Monday’s rematch with Corbin. When the two teams met Jan. 4 in Corbin it was all Lady Redhounds 62-26.
“This is a different South Laurel team. I give coach (Konnie) Snyder a lot of credit, much improved,” Corbin coach Jason McDaniel said.
Corbin still controlled the game for a 75-53 win, but this time they knew they were in a game.
“We played a lot harder and a whole lot better. I think it was effort to be honest with you. The first time we did not play with a lot of heart and a lot of desire. Tonight we did,” Snyder said.
The Lady Redhounds at 13-4 have the second best record in the 13th Region behind only Lynn Camp’s 14-1. Monday’s win was their sixth in seven games with only a one-point loss at Clay County thrown in the middle.
“Right now there are probably five teams that are right there (at top of 13th Region) and they are one of those five. They won the 13th Region last year and until somebody knocks them off they are the 13th Region champs,” Snyder said.
The Lady Redhounds seemed poised for another blowout when the raced to a 26-14 lead in the first quarter. Sarah Ashley got hot to start the second quarter and the lead grew to 23 points. Ashley scored 10 points in the first two minutes of the quarter including a pair of three-pointers. She was one of five Corbin players in double figures with 16 points.
“Sharing the basketball and making that extra pass is what I’m trying to preach. When we do that we’re a pretty good basketball team,” McDaniel said.
The Lady Redhounds would only score 10 more points the final six minutes of the half as South Laurel cut the lead to 46-31 at halftime. It was more points than they scored in the first meeting with Corbin.
“They pushed it down our throats. They made us hold our position. We got lucky and made a few shots,” McDaniel said.
The closest the Lady Cardinals would get was 54-40 on two straight hard-driving baskets by Brittany Vandeventer. The second layup she converted for a three-point play. Vandeventer was coming off a 34-point game against Breathitt County.
“She’s gotten a lot more aggressive and she’s looking to score more. We like that,” Snyder said. “I thought Corbin did a pretty good job defending her tonight and she still got scored. They were physical, but she’s O.K. with physical.”
Corbin bounced back with a pair of baskets from Jaclyn Jewell. Miranda Wilson drove for a layup and Meghan Blackburn scored inside to push the lead back to 62-40.
South Laurel made one last rally on a pair of layups from Vandeventer early in the fourth quarter for a 62-46 score. They would get no closer.
“We played harder. We played together better. We’ve just got a little ways to go,” Snyder said.
Corbin 75, South Laurel 53
Corbin 26 20 16 13—75
South Laurel 14 17 11 11—53
CORBIN (75) — Blackburn 10, Jewell 5, Ashhurst 2, Melanie Wilson 3, Miranda Wilson 12, Philpot 5, Ashley 16, Kayla Wilson 11, Baker 1, Gallagher 10.
SOUTH LAUREL (53) — Vandeventer 21, Baker 13, Davis 4, Reynolds 2, Hacker 1, Cromer 8, Riley 4.