LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
SOMERSET—South Laurel coach Jeff Davis could see it coming.
First in Thursday’s practice, then again in Friday’s walk through.
“We didn’t practice hard yesterday or in the walk through today,” Davis said after his team fell to George Rogers Clark, 55-52, in the opening game of the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic at Southwestern Pulaski Friday evening.
That lack of energy carried over in the loss to the Cardinals. At times South Laurel seemed to be moving in slow motion or just standing around watching things happen.
“We let their pressure dictate what we did,” Davis said. “We weren’t moving and just didn’t play hard. We’ve got to learn to prepare better.”
Still the Cards had a chance to tie with a last second three, but Ryan Anders’ shot bounced off the back of the rim.
“They (GRC) took away our first option but we still had Ryan in the corner,” Davis said. “Even though he is just an eighth grader I trust he could hit it. It just didn’t go in. But that shot isn’t what lost the game for us. It was our lack of defense and too many turnovers.”
South Laurel also managed only two three pointers in the game, one by Trevor Grubb in the first quarter and the other by Jared Grubb in the second.
“You can’t make the three when you don’t take good shots,” Davis said.
South fell behind 10-5 before a 6-0 run, four from Jared Grubb, gave the Cardinals an 11-10 lead after one. A three from Jared Grubb, then four straight points inside from John Helton, and the lead grew to 18-14 with 5:31 left in the half.
But GRC’s Riley Caudill then drained two threes, and on the second one he was fouled. His free throw completed the four-point play, which was part of an 11-0 run that gave this set of Cards a 25-18 lead. GRC would led 30-26 at the half.
South battled back to tie the game at 30-30 on four points from Zac Baxter, who finished with 13. Clark then went on another run, this time 8-0, and the game went from being tied to an eight point GRC lead in just over a minute.
“We didn’t pay attention to where their shooters were,” Davis said.
A three-point play by Jared Grubb put an end to the run and cut the lead to five, 38-33. GRC led by three heading into the fourth quarter, 40-37.
Now it was South’s turn to put together a run. Trailing 46-40, the Cards used a 9-0 run to take a 49-46 lead with 2:41 left in the game. Caudill then drained a jumper and was fouled. When he made his free throw the game was tied, 49-49, with 2:23 remaining.
There would be one more tie at 51-51 when Trevor Grubb made two free throws with 1:41 left. On the other end Damion King drained a three that gave GRC a 54-51 lead.
Caudill led all scorers with 19 points, while Jerryd Jones added 13. Jared Grubb scored 12 for South Laurel.
“Our young kids played hard, but some of our players weren’t mentally there tonight,” Davis said.
The Cards were scheduled to play the loser of the Southwestern-Prestonsburg game Saturday night. The tournament will wrap up today.
Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic
George Rogers Clark 55, South Laurel 52
South Laurel 11 15 11 15—52
G.R. Clark 10 20 10 15—55
SOUTH LAUREL (52)—T. Grubb 9, Baxter 13, Holcomb 2, Helton 4, E. Anders 7, Vandeventer 5, J. Grubb 12.
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK (55)—King 10, Israel 1, Greene 10, Caudill 19, Jones 13, Sharrock 2.
Records—South Laurel 4-5, George Rogers Clark 4-4