TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
WILLIAMSBURG — 50th District basketball competition began for two teams Tuesday at Lawson Gymnasium as Whitley County hosted South Laurel in their first of two regular-season games this season.
The Cardinals got a jump on their 50th District competition with a 43-39 road win over Whitley County.
Both teams struggled to put points on the board in the first period. Fouls mounted for both teams and the quarter ended with as many combined team fouls as points scored. Each team combined for 13 points and 13 team fouls by quarter's end, but the Colonels held a slim three-point lead at the end of the period.
Both teams found scoring as Whitley County's James Sasko led the Colonels to an early five-point lead to begin the second period. The Cardinals found offense of their own as Trevor Grubb and Zac Baxter combined to put South Laurel back in front, but only temporarily. The Colonels regained the lead and took a slim two-point margin, 21-19, heading into the locker room at the half.
South Laurel came out the aggressor to begin the third period of play. The Cardinals took the lead early in the quarter and did not look back.
The Colonels were scoreless in the third period until Luke Woods' three-point basket at the 3:17 mark. James Sasko's field goal and free throw tied the game, but the Cardinals held the lead by three (30-27) going into the final period of play.
The Colonels got as close as two points on four separate occasions in the final period. However, Whitley County tied the score at 39-39 late in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Cameron Johnson with under a minute remaining.
It wasn't enough for the Colonels to rally as South Laurel closed the game with a pair of field goals by Zac Baxter and Brennan Miller to seal the 43-39 win.
Interim and assistant coach Dennis Hammonds commented on the Cardinal victory.
“I thought we came out and played hard,” Hammonds said. “It wasn't the prettiest game, but we're learning. I think as long as they keep playing hard and keep playing as a team they'll be fine.”
Jerry Overbey commented on his team’s peformance.
“It was a well fought game and a defensive struggle on both ends,” Overbey said. “I thought our kids played hard and we threw a lot of young kids out there and they stepped up for us tonight.”
South Laurel 43, Whitley Co. 39
South Laurel 5 14 11 13 – 43
Whitley Co. 8 13 6 12 – 39
South Laurel (43) – Baxter 16, Miller 9, Grubb 8, Halcomb 5, Arnold 3, J Grubb 2.
Whitley County (39) – Sasko 17, Barton 7, Petrey 4, Woods 3, Johnson 3, Richardson 2, Foley 2, Crisologo 1.