By John Stepp / The Times-Tribune
SOUTH LAUREL — South Laurel's Zac Baxter proved why he is one of the best sophomores in the 13th Region Friday night when he led his Cardinals to a 62-53 win over the cross-town rival North Laurel Jaguars. Baxter scored 24 points on the night, with 19 coming in the second half.
South Laurel coach Jeff Davis credited Baxter, but said many others stepped up in order to take down North Laurel.
"That's a credit to North Laurel. They did a great job taking Baxter away in the first half, but then we had people step up. Austin Schaser hit two or three jump shots. Trevor Grubb hit some big shots. It changed the way they had to play," said Davis.
North Laurel started the game off hot. Jaguar big man Jake Allen scored nine straight points midway through the opening quarter to give his team an early 9-5 lead. South Laurel bounced back with a three-point basket by Grubb and a putback by guard Matt Slavey to keep the Cardinals afloat, tying the game at 13 after one.
Early foul trouble hampered the Jaguars in the second quarter, as Allen picked up his second foul and sat out the remainder of the first half. South Laurel outscored the Jaguars 20-9 after Allen left the game, limiting them to just three field goals in the second quarter. At halftime, the Cardinals held a 28-19 advantage.
“We started off really hot and were doing exactly what we were wanting to and Allen misses a shot and picks up a couple fouls and it completely changed the course of the game,” said North Laurel Coach Brad Sizemore.
The Jaguars looked to battle back to open the third quarter. A quick basket by Allen and back-to-back scores by guard Kendrick Henson helped cut the South Laurel lead to 30-27 just two minutes into the second half. That's when the duo of the Cardinals 2-2-1 press and the scoring of Baxter took the game over.
Baxter scored 10 points in the third quarter and South Laurel forced several bad shots and turnovers from the Jaguars, resulting in a 47-36 lead after three.
The Cardinals didn't let up in the final quarter. Baxter scored nine points in the quarter, including seven from the free throw line. North Laurel could not cut into the South Laurel lead as the Cardinals defensive pressure was just too much, leading to a 62-53 win.
Despite the victory over the rival Jaguars, Davis said his team's biggest accomplishment of the night was playing up to their capabilities for four quarters, which was something the Cardinals had struggled with thus far this season.
“It’s a big win for us, not because of who we beat, but because of what we did. We’ve played some tough competition this year, and we have played two good quarters or three good quarters, but we haven’t finished a game,” said Davis. “To come in here and finish the game with the lead, that is what our kids needed. They needed the confidence to finish and to learn how to finish the game. That was huge for us.”
South Laurel 62, North Laurel 53
South Laurel 13 15 19 15 - 62
North Laurel 13 6 17 17 - 53
South Laurel (62) - Baxter 24, Grubb 12, Slavey 9, Schaser 5, Austin Rader 5, Brennan Miller 3, Zach Jones 2, John Helton 2
North Laurel (53) - Allen 18, Henson 10, Marcus Carson 6, Peyton Broughton 6, Austin Rush 5, Austin Thompson 5, Elijah Jervis 3
By John Stepp / The Times-Tribune
- Local Sports
So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking
By Les Dixon
NORTH LAUREL — Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguar football team is coming off one of its best seasons in program history with hopes of continuing its winning ways this fall.
The Next Step: Jerry Herron's Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have high hopes of winning a state title
By Chris Parsons
WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets came one win away from bringing home the program’s first ever state championship last season, but a 42-0 loss to Mayfield meant a state title wasn’t in the cards.
Ready to Reload
Even though Knox Central head football coach Scottie Russell has seen the departure of two of the program’s best tailbacks due to graduation in the past two years, he isn’t concerned.
Shelton was a hero by any definition
The word hero is used a little too loosely for my taste these days.
To be honest, it’s been used way too much for a long time and I’m just as guilty as the next guy.
Out With A Bang
Corbin’s Chris and Hannah Hart ended their Redhound softball careers together, but the duo went out with a bang, each representing Corbin on the Kentucky All Star squad in a three-game series against the Tennessee All Stars.
Express finishes fourth in USSSA World Series
The Kentucky Express participated in the USSSA World Seriers against teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and New York.
What A Run!
The Corbin Little League All Stars put together an impressive run to the 2014 Little League State Tournament, but all good things must come to an end.
Fun While It Lasted
The North Laurel 11-12 year-old All-Stars finished their trip in Central Region play by dropping a 15-0 decision to Missouri’s Webb City Little League.
- Smashing Win
- Whitley County knocks off B'ville, 7-0
- More Local Sports Headlines
- So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking