By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune
NORTH LAUREL - The South Laurel Cardinals hung tough for three quarters during Saturday's Legacy Nissan Classic semi-final game against 14th Region power Cordia before falling, 69-56.
“I was happy with our effort,” South Laurel coach Jeff Davis said. “It's a learning process, but I am really pleased with our efforts the past two games.”
South Laurel led throughout the first quarter before trailing, 14-10, at the end of the period after connecting on only three-of-13 from the floor.
Despite their struggles from the floor, the Cardinals still managed to hang in the game. A 12-2 Cordia run to begin the second quarter put the Cardinals on their heels, but South Laurel only trailed 38-26 at halftime.
“We played hard,” Davis said. “Cordia is a great team. The biggest thing is we're getting experience while playing good teams. We're not playing slouches.
“The good thing about playing in tournaments at Christmas, is your team's weaknesses are exposed and we can work on them,” he added.
Davis' squad got as close as 10 points in the third quarter before staring at a 45-32 deficit with eight minutes to play.
Junior Zac Baxter kept his team in the game with some smooth drives to the basket and key three-pointers, as South Laurel got as close as eight points with less than six minutes left before seeing Cordia pull away and capture the 14-point win.
Baxter finished with a game-high 32 points while scoring 14 in the fourth quarter.
“He is still trying to come back — he had the flu,” Davis said. “When he attacks the basket, he is one of the best players in the region.”
Cordia 69, South Laurel 56
Cordia 14 24 7 24 – 69
South Laurel 10 16 6 24 – 56
Cordia (58) – Cunningham 24, Frimpong 15, Smith 3, Combs 5, Chilson 7, Keita 2, Cuthrings 13.
South Laurel (56) – T. Grubb 4, Baxter 32, Holcomb 7, J. Grubb 10, Miller 3.
Cardinals fall to Cordia in Legacy Nissan Classic
By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune
- 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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