By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
CLAY COUNTY — The North Laurel Lady Jaguars continue to be their own worst enemy by turning the ball over 26 times while connecting on only 13-of-43 shot attempts during their 68-40 loss to 49th District rival Clay County.
The Lady Jaguars misfired on three-of-11 shot attempts to begin the game and turned the ball over 11 times during the process, allowing the Lady Tigers to jump out to a 23-10 lead and never look back.
“We are our own worst enemy,” North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan said. “Clay County is a great team and there is no doubt about it and their bigs are as good as there is in the region. The problem for us is we are beating us before a team has the chance to. Our turnovers, we’re averaging 26 or 27 a game, you don’t beat many people averaging 26 or 27 turnovers a game.
“Teams that don’t even press normally, don’t even press us because the way our mentality is against the press,” he added. “We handle the ball well enough at times, but the problem comes to our mentality, where we’re just scared to have the ball in our hands.”
Things didn’t get any better for Mahan’s squad in the second period as North Laurel turned the ball over five more times and hit only two-of-13 shot attempts while being outscored 16-6. By halftime, the Lady Jaguars trailed, 39-16.
North Laurel fell behind as much as 30 points in the third quarter before, cutting its deficit to 52-23 at the end of the period.
The Lady Jaguars did play better during the game’s final eight minutes, but couldn’t overcome the double-digit deficit.
Clay County 68, North Laurel 40
North Laurel 10 6 7 17 40
Clay County 23 16 13 16 68
North Laurel (40) — Gray 4, Lawson 8, Carpenters 2, Ellington 12, Sexton 1, Raines 5, Chesnut 5, Bridges 3.
Clay County (68) — Roberts 5, Cotton 7, Mathis 9, Chesnut 14, Madden 21, Robinson 6, Woods 4, Allen 2.
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- 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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