By John Stepp For The Times-Tribune
WILLIAMSBURG — After falling behind 31-23 at halftime, the South Laurel Lady Cardinals clawed their way back to a 56-51 win over the Williamsburg Lady Jackets in the 50th District showdown.
The win gave the Lady Cardinals back-to-back district wins after defeating the Whitley County Lady Colonels 54-48 last week.
“I thought Williamsburg played awfully well. I thought they shot the ball well, and just played really well tonight,” said South Laurel Coach Konnie Snyder. “In the first quarter, I thought we came out with a lot of desire and I thought we were moving well, but our thought process wasn’t very good, and it carried over to the second quarter. We finally regrouped and came out stronger in the third quarter.”
Both teams came out firing in the first quarter. South Laurel’s Taylor Arthur scored six of her game-high 20 points in the opening, but the Lady Jackets took a 18-15 lead after one. Williamsburg picked up where they left off in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Cardinals 12-6 in the quarter. Tarrah Davis led the Lady Jackets with seven points in the quarter. Williamsburg led 31-20 at the half.
“Our kids have improved. They have just started listening and learning. They are doing things that they have always known to do, but now they have the confidence to do it,” said Williamsburg Coach Andrea Ellis. “Really, I think we should have won the game. I think it just came down to a few things at the end, but we should have won it.”
The tide began to turn in the third quarter as South Laurel started to take control of the game. The South Laurel defense held the Lady Jackets to just three field goals, outscoring Williamsburg 17-9 in the quarter and cutting to the lead to 39-38 heading into final period.
The Lady Jackets did their best to keep the lead in the fourth quarter, but a basket by South Laurel forward Cassandra Johnson gave the Lady Cardinals a 50-49 lead with just over a minute left in the game. Arthur, who was just too much for Williamsburg, scored 10 points in the quarter, including shooting a perfect six-of-six from the charity stripe. The Lady Cardinals held on for victory, 56-51.
“I think the difference in the game was our kids realizing that some of the rest of them had to score instead of Taylor (Arthur). In the second half, we started taking shots that we normally make because we stopped thinking that she was going to do everything for us,” said Snyder. “The kids just kind of took the game upon themselves and went out there and put the ball in the basket.”
South Laurel returns to action Monday, taking on cross-town rival North Laurel. Williamsburg will travel to Corbin on Tuesday.
South Laurel 56, Williamsburg 51
South Laurel 15 6 17 18 56
Williamsburg 18 12 9 12 51
South Laurel (56) – Arthur 20, Johnson 12, Parker 8, Clonce 6, Baker 6, Reynolds 4.
Williamsburg (51) – Davis 20, Conlin 11, Berry 9, Ash 6, Brown 3, Harris 2.