By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel led Pulaski County after one quarter and again at halftime, but the third quarter would cost the Lady Jaguars in Saturday’s 62-53 loss.
“It was our rebounding. We weren’t boxing out, which we had done pretty well in the first half. We did decent in the fourth quarter,” North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan said. “But again there is one aspect of the game for about one quarter that will do us in.”
Mahan said he also needs a much better effort from his defense. Freshman guard Taryn Davis and sophomore guard Peyton Ingram each scored 21 points to lead Pulaski County. The Lady Maroons guards combined for four three-pointers and made 14-of-20 free throws.
“It doesn’t take much to cause us a lot of trouble the way we are playing defense,” Mahan said.
Mahan used last week’s South Laurel game as an example. The Lady Cardinals won 70-62, although they had not scored more than 47 points in their previous nine games and scored just 26 points in their next game against Corbin.
“That tells you something about your defense,” Mahan said.
Kayla Bruner led North Laurel with 19 points as the Lady Jaguars lost their second straight on the heels of two straight wins. Pulaski County (9-4) was coming off a 59-45 loss to Somerset. The Lady Maroons have not lost back-to-back games this season. Mahan thought some of his players may have still carried baggage from the loss to South Laurel.
“That’s the hard part about these young kids. They can forget a game in 30 seconds or they can carry a game for two weeks. There is no real in between about how they handle situations,” Mahan said.
Just a small boost in confidence could make a big difference for a North Laurel team that has lost 10 games, but most by only a handful of points.
“Right now we have seven losses (of 10 losses) the average loss is by 5.2 points. We are finding ways to beat ourselves at the end of ballgames. We did that this time too,” Mahan said.
The Lady Jaguars were scheduled to play Corbin Tuesday at University of the Cumberlands. Mahan likes playing on the bigger floor to prepare his team for the post season, but will have a tough test in the Lady Redhounds. Corbin has won nine of its last 10 games.
“They are playing real well. They put up over 100 on Barbourville, so they definitely can score. That could be a bad combination the way we are playing defense,” Mahan said. “There are a lot of good things they do as a program. Their guards are some of the best in the region with the Wilson twins.”
Pulaski County 62, North Laurel 53
Pulaski County 14 10 20 18—62
North Laurel 17 8 12 16—53
PULASKI COUNTY (62)—Davis 21, Privett 2, Ingram 21, Lowery 11, McCollum 1, Perkins 6.
NORTH LAUREL (53)—Shepherd 8, Chestnut 3, Gray 9, Bruner 19, Lawson 1, Raines 4, Bridges 3, Sexton 6.