By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg had hopes of keeping its chance to be the No. 3 seed of 50th District alive against South Laurel Thursday, but Corey Shelton’s jumper at the buzzer rimmed out and gave the Cardinals a 53-52 win.
“We were just so close,” Williamsburg coach Patrick Robinson said. “Corey’s shot was down in the rim, it looked like to me, and just rimmed out.We got an open shot from one of our better shooters, so you’ve got to be happy with that. It just didn’t go in.”
The Cardinals used a 15-0 run in the second half to take control of the game, but saw a 46-34 lead with 5:53 remaining in the fourth quarter evaporate to five points (48-43) with under four minutes left thanks to hot shooting from three-point range by Skylar Griffith.
Williamsburg’s defensive pressure forced South Laurel into two turnovers and a basket by Shelton and three made free throws by Griffith cut the Yellow Jackets’ deficit to one point with :20 remaining.
Another turnover by the Cardinals gave Robinson’s squad a chance to win at the end, but South Laurel managed to hold on as Shelton’s shot rimmed out.
South Laurel coach Jeff Davis was relieved to see his team come away with the win, as the Cardinals continues, to struggle to put teams away.
“It’s bad coaching and it’s all on me,” Davis said. “I’m being dead serious because we have had to work on so many things with this bunch, rebounding taking care of the ball and all that kind of stuff and I said it the other night, it comes back on me — we’ve got to get better trying to score in situational stuff and that falls back on me.You can tell them in a huddle all you want, but unless you practice it — I promise we’ll start practicing.”
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half with Williamsburg holding a 13-12 edge at the end of the first quarter as the Cardinals struggled from the floor on five-of-19 shooting.
South Laurel managed to get things going in the second quarter and led 28-26 at halftime thanks to a made three-pointer by Zach Jones with less than a minute remaining in the first half.
The Cardinals began to distance themselves from the Yellow Jackets during the third quarter, as Jones’ basket with 4:18 left ignited a 15-0 run that saw Zac Baxter connect with two straight three-pointers to give his team a 12-point edge with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
“We went into a lull in the third quarter and couldn’t score,” Robinson said. “The run they went on was big for them. That really hurt us. I thought we did a good job of taking it to the hole. We just weren’t knocking our shots down.”
South Laurel had held Williamsburg to zero made three-pointers until Griffith caught fire and connected with three straight three-pointers to get his team back into the game.
With the Cardinal win, now the 50th District Tournament seeding process is cleared up with Corbin getting the top seed and will now play Williamsburg, who will be the No. 4 seed. South Laurel is the No. 2 seed and will face-off against No. 3 seed Whitley County.
South Laurel 53, Williamsburg 52
South Laurel 12 16 12 13 53
Williamsburg 13 13 6 20 52
South Laurel (53) — Slavey 2, Sanders 5, Baxter 20, Miller 5, Vandeventer 11, Jones 10.
Williamsburg (52) — Shelton 20, Poore 4, Griffith 18, Sizemore 10.
South Laurel holds on to beat 50th district foe Williamsburg, 53-52
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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