By Les Dixon
NORTH LAUREL — Lynn Camp coach Richard Jones warned his players before their game against North Laurel that the Lady Jaguars’ 4-24 record was deceiving.
He told them if they didn’t bring their “A” or “B” game they could be in trouble — and he was right.
North Laurel hung tough with Jones’ squad until the final 3:30 of the game. The Lady Jaguars were trailing 40-39 when a basket by Lynn Camp’s Jessica Mays triggered a 10-1 run that allowed the Lady Wildcats to pull away and capture a 50-43 victory.
“I told the girls North Laurel was better than what their record indicated,” Jones said. “I felt like we brought our ‘D’ game in the first half.”
Jones said he wanted his team to give the ball in the post area to Mays, but things didn’t pan out that way in the beginning.
“We finally got the ball to her in to her second half,” he said. “I thought we played a whole lot better in the second half. The biggest thing is we’ve got to be mentally ready.”
Senior Kayla Smith turned in another solid effort for Lynn Camp by leading the way with 19 points while Mays followed with 12 points. After connecting on only eight-of-22 shot attempts in the first half, Lynn Camp connected on 12-of-27 shot attempts during the final 16 minutes of the game while limiting North Laurel to six-of-22 shooting in the second half.
“You’ve got to give North Laurel a lot of credit,” Jones said. “They played really well. Coach (Eddie) Mahan is a very good coach and he’ll have them headed in the right direction in no time.”
Jones and his players will now switch their focus to Wednesday’s 51st District Tournament elimination game against Knox Central.
“I think we’re ready, but I’m sure Knox Central, Barbourville and Pineville will be ready, too,” Jones said. “I’m happy to come out of here with a win and now prepare for what’s coming up.”
Lynn Camp 50, North Laurel 43
Lynn Camp 7 10 17 16 50
North Laurel 10 13 10 13 43
Lynn Camp (50) — Smith 19, Wilson 6, Burke 9, May 12, Miller 1, Hollin 3.
North Laurel (43) — Wyatt 12, Gray 2, Lawson 14, Carpenter 9, Ellington 6.