By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
CORBIN — Coming into Tuesday's match-up, the Corbin Redhounds had beaten South Laurel in 10 straight meetings, dating back to January 29, 2009.
Thanks to a few clutch baskets in the fourth quarter and a 12-of-16 effort from the free throw line, the Redhounds pulled out the 69-68 win to extend that streak to 11 straight wins, improving them to 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in district play.
“I think the way both teams play and the fact both teams have some players that can put some points up, you have to persevere in a game like this,” Corbin coach Tony Pietrowski said. “Our team did a good job of staying focused and we withstood some runs.
“Our kids did a good job of not getting too high and really not getting too low either,” he added. “In the end, we made enough shots to win the game and that's what counts.”
The Redhounds led by as many as 12 points in the first half and held an 11-point margin heading into the third quarter (36-25).
South Laurel was able to close the gap in the second half, getting within three points on two occasions before the Redhounds closed the third quarter on an 8-2 run to push their lead to 53-41 with eight minutes to play in the contest.
The Cardinals started the fourth quarter with a 13-4 run, cutting the lead to 57-54 with just over two minutes to play in the game.
South Laurel’s Zac Baxter, who led the Cardinals with 22 points, connected on one-of-two free throws to cut the lead to 59-57, and Matt Slavey tied things up at 59 apiece with two of his 19 points in the game.
After Slavey tied things up, Corbin's Hunter Grubb put the Redhounds on top for good when the senior came through in the clutch on an old-fashioned three-point play to make the score, 62-59.
The Redhounds were able to extend the lead by hitting seven-of-eight free throws in the final 35 seconds, but a pair of three-pointers by Slavey kept things interesting as he made good on a last second heave to make the final score 59-58.
After the loss, South Laurel coach Jeff Davis said he was pleased with his team's effort against a big rival, but admitted the Cardinals have some growing to do if they expect to win games like Tuesday’s.
“We’re getting better, but we’re still making crucial mistakes and not paying attention to the scouting report at times,” Davis said. “But we’re growing and that’s the good thing.
“When you look at where we started the first of the year at Wayne County, in each game we've been progressive,” he added. “(Brennan) Miller and (Jared) Grubb are really stepping up in that point guard roll and we're starting to understand the way we have to play.”
Farley led Corbin with 15 points, while Robbie Igo added 13 and Grubb chipped in 12.
Corbin 69, South Laurel 68
South Laurel 10 15 16 27 68
Corbin 19 17 17 16 69
South Laurel (68) — Baxter 22, Slavey 19, Grubb 9, MIller 7, Schaser 6, Jones 2, Anders 2, Rader 1.
Corbin (69) — Farley 15, Igo 13, Grubb 12, Maguet 11, Goins 6, Waddle 6, Shelton 4, Hill 2.