December 18, 2013

Big first half leads Harlan past South Laurel, 65-47

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — If you take away the dismal first half performance by the South Laurel, the Lady Cardinals would have beaten Harlan Independent, 33-30.

Unfortunately a first half was played, one that saw the Lady Dragons outscore South Laurel 33-14. Add the two halves together and you have a 63-47 Harlan win. The loss came two nights after Harlan County defeated South Laurel, 65-47.

“There were a few minutes in the second quarter where we lost thought and it got away from us,” South Laurel coach Konnie Snyder said.

The stretch she was referring to came with 1:28 left in the quarter and Harlan was holding a 23-13 lead. But a 10-0 run, including threes from Jordan Brock and Masie Charles, pushed the lead to 20 in the blink of an eye.

“Take away those minutes and the outcome could have been different,” Snyder said.

Harlan (3-4) continued to maintain its lead throughout the third quarter and led 46-32 heading into the final quarter of action. It was during the third quarter that the Lady Cardinals (0-6) started going inside the Katie Reynolds, and she responded, scoring 10 points as South outscored Harlan, 18-13. Reynolds finished with 20 points.

“Katie had a good game for us,” Snyder said. “We started going inside to her in the second half and that cut into their lead.”

The Lady Cards opened the fourth quarter with a 10-5 run, five of those coming from Taylor Cromer, and continued to chip away at the lead. When Cromer hit one of two free throws at the 2:44 mark, the once seemingly insurmountable lead was down to seven, 52-45.

“We cut it to seven but had a couple of turnovers that stopped our run,” Snyder said.

Harlan answered with a 7-0 run, five from Tori Mitchell, to push the lead back out to 59-45 with one minute left. Jordan Brock hit 4-of-4 from the free throw line over the final 40 seconds to help seal the 63-47 win. For the game, Harlan was 19-of-22 from the charity stripe, while South was 17-of-26.

These two teams met in the Cumberland Falls Invitational, where the Lady Dragons won, 78-42. Snyder saw some improvement from that loss to this one.

“We are maturing,” Snyder said. “And we are playing together better. We could still get our fouling down. We cut it down to seven and if we could’ve kept from fouling we could have been right there. We’re still not anywhere close to where I want us to be offensively. We’ve still got a long way to go.”

The Lady Cardinals will face Mason County Thursday at Lexington Catholic in the Republic Bank Classic.

Harlan 63, South Laurel 47

Harlan           13  20  13  17—63

South Laurel    7    7  18  15—47

HARLAN (63)—Brock 24, Ledford 6, Charles 5, Bianchi 2, Jenkins 8, M. King 3, Mitchell 13, K. King 2.

SOUTH LAUREL (47)—Vandeventer 8, Davis 5, Reynolds 20, Phelps 2, Cromer 12.

Saturday’s game

Harlan County 65, South Laurel 47

Harlan County    15  17  16  17—65

South Laurel      10   9   16  12—47

HARLAN COUNTY (65)—Bennett 2, Stittums 9, Lee 9, Smith 2, Shackleford 6, Noe 12, Massingill 19, Gross 6.

SOUTH LAUREL (47)—Miller 3, Vandeventer 17, Davis 8, Reynolds 4, Niece 2, Hacker 2, Phelps 4, Cromer 7.