TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

December 19, 2013

Solid Field

Legacy Nissan Classic should be very competitive


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune

NORTH LAUREL — North Laurel's Legacy Nissan Classic III will tip-off Saturday, and the eight-team field looks to be a good one.

Host North Laurel will be joined by 13th Region foes South Laurel and Williamsburg along with Cordia, Covington Scott, East Jessamine, Taylor County and Pickett County, Tenn.

The tournament will begin Saturday at 2 p.m. with South Laurel facing East Jessamine; Cordia and Covington Scott follows at 3:45 p.m. while Taylor County and Williamsburg play at 5:30 p.m. and North Laurel will host Pickett County, Tenn. at 7:15 p.m.

Semifinal and loser's bracket games will be played Sunday with the title game scheduled to be played at 7:15 p.m. Monday along with consolation games.

North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore is excited about this years tournament's field of teams.

“I think this is the strongest field of teams that we have had,” he said. “We have a mixture of local teams, one out of state team and other high-caliber teams from across the state. I think each opening round game is evenly matched and should make for some really exciting 3 days of basketball.”

Sizemore believes the teams to look out for will be former UK player Roderick Rhodes' Cordia squad along with Taylor County.

“I think the best team will be Cordia,” he said. “Taylor County will be another tough team because of Quentin Goodin who has several high major Division I offers already as a sophomore and is ranked as the best sophomore in the state.

“Our opening round game with Pickett County will be interesting because they are supposed to be ranked 5th in the state in Class A,” Sizemore said. “Then you have us, South Laurel, East Jessamine, Williamsburg and Covington Scott, who are all about the same.”

Sizemore admitted it's going to be hard for his young Jaguars to get out of their opening round game.

“Our side of the bracket is going to be tough,” he admitted. “We will have a very tough opening round game with Pickett County. Hopefully, we will play well and give us a chance to advance to the next round.”

Sizemore also expects the tournament to allow his team to improve after showing positive signs against teams such as Clay County and Perry Central this season.

“I'm very pleased with the way we are playing right now,” he said. “I think we are playing extremely hard every night out, we have lost three close games at this point with somewhat of a young team.

“We will hopefully learn how to win the close ones as the season goes on,” he added. “This tournament will be a great opportunity for our team to make improvements this week.”

Williamsburg coach Patrick Robinson is wanting to see how his team will respond in a tournament atmosphere. His Yellow Jackets will get a tough opening round test against Taylor County.

“We are looking forward to the tournament,” he said. “We are still battling some injuries. We are trying to get Skyler (Griffith) and Hunter Sulfridge back. They are big priorities for us right now. The Legacy Nissan looks to be a pretty solid field. All the teams are pretty strong and it will be quite a challenge for us right now with being short-handed and the little practice time. I don't really know how we will stack up.

“Right now, we are just trying to get better, get into shape and try to be ready to play when the district play starts,” Sizemore said. “Considering all that we have had to deal with this season we are in an OK spot.”

Sizemore said he expects fans across the Tri-County to come and watch the tournament.

“I think it is great to have local teams playing in our tournament,” he said. “It should really help the crowds and especially with South Laurel playing in it as well this year. "It's also nice for us to get three straight home games out of it.”