By Les Dixon / Staff Writer
CLAY COUNTY — The North Laurel Jaguar and Lady Jaguar basketball teams were hoping to make some noise during their visit to Manchester Tuesday, but in the end, both teams came back with double-digit losses.
The Lady Jaguars fell behind 34-20 in the first half, and could never get back into the game, losing to Clay County, 68-54, while Brad Sizemore's Jaguars suffered one of their biggest losses of the season, losing to the Tigers, 87-58.
Clay County 87, North Laurel 58
The Tigers jumped out to a 21-9 lead and never looked back during their 29-point victory over their 49th District rival.
“We didn't have any legs what so ever,” Sizemore said. “Clay County shot the ball extremely well, and we didn't do anything well. There's not a whole lot to say. We just got to chalk it up, and go on to the next day.
“They outplayed us today,” he added. “We just couldn't move. We hit a wall. You got to give them credit. They've got a really good team, but they're not that much better than us. I promise you that.”
After seeing Clay County's Jake Allen get his second foul with 2:45 remaining in the first quarter, many thought the Jaguars would cut into their 12-7 deficit, but it never happened.
The duo of Chip McDaniel and Trey Farmer was almost unstoppable, as the Tigers closed out the first quarter with a 9-2 run and used a 12-3 run to open the second quarter to put the game away.
Clay County led 33-12 with 4:23 left in the first half before taking a commanding 43-21 lead at the half.
The Tigers connected on 16-of-35 shot attempts in the first half, while North Laurel was only seven-of-31.
Robert Marcum's squad continued to extend its lead in the third quarter behind 8-of-13 shooting, and found themselves ahead, 71-39, with eight minutes remaining in the game.
Clay County actually got the running clock in effect a couple of minutes into the fourth quarter, and never looked back, as the Tigers led by as many as 38 points in the final period.
Both McDaniel and Farmer led the Tigers with 21 points apiece, while Ryan House scored 11 and Wes Wolfe added 10 points. Allen fouled out in the third quarter, and finished the game with four points.
Chris Miller led North Laurel with 15 points while Peyton Broughton followed with a nine-point effort.
Clay Co. 87, North Laurel 58
North Laurel 9 12 19 18 – 58
Clay County 21 22 28 16 – 87
North Laurel (58) – Broughton 9, Miller 15, Thompson 2, Asher 8, Jeffers 2, Jervis 2, Griebel 2, Hodges 4, Riley 2, Henson 2, Marcum 2, Grey 5, Nicely 3.
Clay County (87) – Farmer 21, McDaniel 21, Smith 7, Wolfe 10, N. Allen 4, House 11, Sams 5, Sexton 3, Mills 2, Hughes 2, B. Allen 1.
Clay County 68, North Laurel 54
The Lady Tigers wrapped up the top seed in the 49th District Tournament by upending North Laurel, 68-54. Despite the loss, North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan was pleased with his team's effort.
“No doubt it was a completely different outcome than the first time we played them,” he said. “We were scared little girls, but now we are starting to grow up.”
The Lady Jaguars held their own in the first quarter before falling behind, 13-10, but the Lady Tigers used a 21-10 run in the second quarter to take control of the game.
Clay County led 34-20 at halftime, and managed to lead by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before seeing North Laurel cut its deficit to, 50-37, heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Tigers pulled away in the final eight minutes thanks to the play of Ajaycia Cotton and Kellie Roberts. Cotton led all scorers with 23 points while Roberts added 15 points. Kayla Bruner led North Laurel with 21 points while Hannah Lawson added 10.
Clay Co. 68, North Laurel 54
North Laurel 10 10 17 17 – 54
Clay County 13 21 16 18 – 68
North Laurel (54) – Sheppard 6, Gray 7, Bruner 21, Lawson 10, Raines 3, Bridges 3, Sexton 4.
Clay County (68) – Roberts 15, Phillips 6, Cotton 23, Jackson 2, Robinson 8,