By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
NORTH LAUREL – The North Laurel Lady Jaguars continue to get better as the season progresses and with just one week left to prepare for postseason play, head coach Ali Ray said she likes what she’s seeing out of her team.
After Ray’s squad, which was the host team, finished second in the 2012 Steak-N-Shake Tournament this past weekend, she said she was pleased with her team after what she said was a very long day.
“We played really well and I was happy with the girls' effort,” Ray said. “We had a pretty good day and it was a long day at that.
“We had a pretty long break in between each match and seemed like it was hard to get any kind of momentum going,” she added. “We kind of started out flat every game, but in the end, we played well.”
The Lady Jaguars began the day in pool play where they were unbeaten with 2-0 wins over both Leslie County (25-20 and 25-21) and Bell County (5-22 and 25-21).
From there it was on to elimination play as North Laurel was able to get past Jackson County in the semifinals in straight sets with wins of 25-23 and 25-15.
“Jackson County has really improved and they are still a young team,” Ray said. “They played us really tough, but we were able to get past them into the championship match.”
That’s when things went downhill for North Laurel, facing a McCreary County team that has size, strength and a 20-4 record to boot.
Despite playing well throughout the tournament, the Lady Jags were unable to get past McCreary, falling 2-0 (14-25 and 14-25). Ray said she was happy with the way her team played against a quality team.
“They are a really big team with some very god hitters,” Ray said. “We had played them earlier in the year in their tournament, so we knew they were pretty strong coming in.
“I think we made some progress against them though,” she added. “We were able to see some areas we still need to work on, but we are getting better.”
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- 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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