By Les Dixon
HARLAN COUNTY — A five-day layoff didn’t do the Corbin Lady Redhounds any favors heading into their first round matchup of the 13th Region Girls Tournament against North Laurel.
The Lady Redhounds shrugged off a five-of-22 shooting effort in the first quarter by dominating the action on the boards while receiving a 15-point, 11-rebound effort by Sarah Ashley to knock off the Lady Jaguars, 57-34. Guard Kayla Wilson also recorded her 1,000th-point as a Lady Redhound during the win.
“I felt like we did come out slow,” Corbin coach Jennifer Parsons said. “I don’t know if was because of nerves or what. It’s been a long week.
“We had some good shots,” she added. “I felt like their zone, they moved very well. They played great defensively on us. It just took us a little time to get adjusted and I don’t know why at this point of the year.”
Parsons credited her team’s defensive play as one of the keys to the 23-point win. Corbin forced North Laurel into 27 turnovers while limiting the Lady Jaguars to eight-of-35 shooting from the floor.
“I felt like we forced a lot of turnovers, which was what we wanted to do, but we didn’t capitalize on them on the other end. That was a little disappointing. That was something we wanted to do, but we didn’t do a good job of that.”
North Laurel was held without a field goal until the 4:03 mark of the second quarter, but only trailed 13-9 before a basket by Miranda Wilson ignited a 12-0 run to end the first half while increasing Corbin’s lead to 25-9.
“We got a little tired in the second quarter,” North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan said. “We came out with high energy and whenever you come out on emotion, it has an adverse effect eventually. You’re going to have a little lull and we had that in the second quarter.
“Honestly what really killed us was the offensive rebounds,” he added. “I think that was the difference in the ballgame.”
The Lady Jaguars struggled from the floor during the game’s first 16 minutes, connecting on only one-of-17 shot attempts.
“We kind of got it going,” Parsons said. “We allowed them to set the tempo, which is not what we want. We want to keep moving and keep going.”
The Lady Redhounds continued to keep a safe distance throughout the second half, as Corbin got as close as 14 points (28-14) on one occasion after a three-pointer by Brooke Carpenter, but Corbin pulled away during the final 12 minutes to advance to play Harlan County in semifinal action Saturday.
“Harlan County is a great team and we were lucky enough to win on a last second shot, and I say lucky, because we didn’t play very good that game,” Parsons said. “I know coming out on Saturday we’re going to have to play on the offensive end a whole lot better than we played tonight.”
13th Region Girls Tournament
at Harlan County High School
Corbin 57, North Laurel 34
North Laurel 7 2 10 15 34
Corbin 11 14 12 20 57
North Laurel (34) – Carpenter 8, Gray 2, Wyatt 14, Lawson 8, Ellington 2.
Corbin (57) – Jewell 2, Ashurst 4, Fothergill 4, Me. Wilson 4, Mi. Wilson 9, Disney 5, Ashley 15, K. Wilson 10, Gallagher 4.