LIBERTY — North Laurel built a 29-13 lead in the first half and never looked back during its 83-56 victory over Casey County on Saturday.
The Lady Jaguars had three players score in double figures with eighth-grader Halle Collins leading the way by scoring 22 points while pulling down 14 rebounds. Hailee Valentine was 9-of-16 from the floor and finished with 21 points while Bella Sizemore added 16 points.
“Many times you see a 27-point win and you look at the stats and you see everyone played, most would think it happened at the end of the game but that wasn’t the case today,” North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan said. “We have three starters go out with two fouls in the first three minutes of the game. I give a lot of credit to our subs today as they stepped up and played some valuable minutes. Hailee Valentine and Halle Collins also did a great job as the only two starters left. Bella Sizemore played great today. She limited her turnovers which was a problem against Somerset all while scoring 16 points.
“I thought we came out with a tremendous amount of energy but we need to learn how to play with that energy and not play with our hands as much,” he added. “Brooke Nichelson may be the most-talented defender I have ever coached and that goes for the decade of college, too. She is a young 8th grader who is learning how to play at a high level and when she figures it out she will be scary.”
North Laurel (3-0) led 29-13 after the first quarter but saw the Lady Rebels use a 20-11 run in the second quarter to cut the Lady Jaguars’ lead to a 40-33 advantage at halftime.
Mahan’s squad was able to put the game away with a 24-11 run in the third quarter while outscoring Casey County, 19-12, in the game’s final eight minutes.
“We need to be more consistent on both ends of the floor to really reach our potential,” Mahan said. “We seem to always have one person out of position on defense or forgetting part of a play but for it still being so early in the season I like what I see. When we find that consistency we have the chance to be one of the best teams to play at North Laurel.”
North Laurel will be back in action at home Monday. The Lady Jaguars will play Perry Central at 7:30 p.m.