By Les Dixon/ Sports Editor
SOUTH LAUREL — An old rival from the 12th Region came to town Monday and in the end, it wasn’t the season-opening result South Laurel was looking for.
Jeff Davis’ Cardinals struggled from the floor early and often during the first half and dug themselves too big of a hole, as Wayne County cruised to a 73-57 win over South Laurel.
Davis’ squad connected on only three-of-17 shot attempts during the first quarter and six-of-28 during the first half, as Wayne County jumped out to a 30-15 lead and never looked back during their 16-point win.
“We just couldn’t get anything to fall and I think that kind of got in our heads a little bit and we got a little frustrated,” Davis said. “Then when we were taking good shots and not making them then it turns in to forced and bad shots — we didn’t give ourselves a shot offensively and we dug ourselves a big hole in the first half.”
At one point, Wayne County led by as much as 25 points (57-32) midway through the fourth quarter before South Laurel went on a 20-9 run to make the score 66-55 with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Rodney Woods’ Cardinals connected on nine-of-16 shot attempts from three-point range during the game while connecting on 23-of-50 shot attempts from the floor.
South Laurel struggled from the floor the entire contest and couldn’t get much going from outside the arc, connecting on two-of-15 shot attempts and 18-of-58 for the game.
“The thing about them (Wayne County) is they spread you out and they’ve got shooters all around,” Davis said. “They are tough to guard. I thought there for a while in the first half we did a good job defending them, but we just couldn’t hit anything.”
Blake Sanders led South Laurel with a 17-point effort while Trevor Grubb followed with an eight points.
Davis’ squad will be back in action Saturday at home against Tates Creek with tip-off time scheduled for 3 p.m.
Wayne County 73, South Laurel 57
Wayne County 17 13 21 22 73
South Laurel 8 7 17 25 57
Wayne County (73) — Perkins 14, P. Woods 12, Blevins 17, Gehring 1, Stearns 13, L. Woods 7, Shelton 9.
South Laurel (57) — Sanders 17, Slavey 7, Grubb 8, Baxter 7, Schaser 2, Jones 7, Anders 3, Vandeventer 6.
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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