By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
Coming into the 2012-13 season, the North Laurel Jaguars were pegged by many as one of the teams to beat in the 13th Region.
The preseason hype was easy to understand, considering the Jaguars returned every player from last year's surprising 13th Region Championship team, including plenty of experience in three seniors (Marcus Carson, Austin Rush and Kendrick Henson).
As of today, the Jaguars sit at 10-11 on the season and are just 4-7 against 13th Region opponents. Granted, North Laurel has lost several close games and injuries have slowed some of the Jaguars' progress this season.
Despite the losing record, head coach Brad Sizemore says he thinks his team is sitting in a good position with eight games to play in the regular season.
“Our record is obviously not as good as we would like it to be at this point, but I think we have played a lot of tough teams really close,” Sizemore said. “I don't think we are as far away as our record makes it look and we've got eight games to kind of get things going in the right direction.
“I expect us to get better and the kids are trying really hard to improve,” he added. “We've had some really good practices here the last couple of weeks and that's really all I can ask for.”
One of the problems this season has been a lack of consistency for the Jaguars. Other than the first two games of the season, North Laurel has only won consecutive games on one other occasion when they won three straight and brought home the championship in their own tournament, the Legacy Nissan Shootout.
Adding to their troubles, the Jaguars are currently on a three-game slide against 13th Region competition, during which they've lost to Harlan County, Corbin and Clay County by an average of 10 points per loss.
And, if that wasn't enough to keep Sizemore awake at night, his team will face stiff competition as the season winds down with five of the final eight games to be played against region foes (the other three are against George Rogers Clark, Leslie County and East Jessamine). The eight opponents remaining for North Laurel have a combined record of 85-81.
“I really expect us to get things going toward the end of the season and I think we're very capable of turning it on,” Sizemore said. “The toughest thing is going to be that first round in the district where we're going to have to get past either Clay or Jackson County.
“That's going to be a tall task whichever team we have to play, but the most important thing to me is the fact that despite our record, our kids are still hungry and focused on the task at hand,” he added. “Once you get to the postseason, your record doesn't matter and we expect to be a hard out as well when we face someone in the tournament.”
Jaguars look to improve in season's home stretch
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
It’s hard to imagine anybody as big as Corbin head coach Jason McDaniel having any trouble filling shoes.
Here we go again
It'll be a matchup between two of the most historic programs in the 13th Region tonight when the Clay County Tigers defend their 13th Region title against the Corbin Redhounds.
The Way It Is
We’re not even through with the 2013-14 season yet, but it’s never too early to talk about next season. Since we’ve crowned a 13th Region champion on the girls’ side of things, let take a glimpse of what might be for the 2014-15 campaign.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
Well, here we are, Corbin vs. Clay County for the right to see who will represent the 13th Region next week at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
For the seventh time in the last 10 seasons, the Corbin Redhounds are headed to the 13th Region finals, after their 56-48 win over the Bell County Bobcats in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Like It or Not
I hate to steal an idea, but I guess in the end that's what everyone seems to be doing these days. After reading Les Dixon’s list of what he thought were the top five upsets in recent memory of the 13th Region Tournament, I decided to rank my top five basketball movies in today's column. With that said, here goes.
Williamsburg sees Cinderella run come to an end
For the third straight year, the Clay County Tigers are playing for the 13th Region Championship and the opportunity to play in the Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena, after their 79-58 victory over the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
- 13th Region Tournament Schedule
Clay County, Bell County fall in semifinal round
Both Corbin and Harlan had to withstand battles during the 13th Region semifinals, but when all was said and done, they both won, punching tickets into the finals of the 13th Region Girls Tournament title game.
Pick Up Game
Six straight 50th District titles and a 10-game winning streak were not enough to place the Corbin Redhounds as the favorite heading into their matchup with the Jackson County Generals in the first round of the 13th Region Tournament.
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