LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
After dropping two close games in the Pikeville Invitation Tournament, North Laurel got back on track with a 70-56 win over Owsley County on Saturday.
“We obviously didn’t play very sharp. We played all right in spots, but anytime you can get a win we’ll take it,” North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore said.
The Owls’ only win this season was in overtime against Lee County. They were still able to lead North Laurel much of the game and deep into the third quarter.
“We didn’t move very well defensively and we didn’t have any rhythm. We hadn’t played in a couple of days and kind of got off schedule,” Sizemore said.
Sizemore substituted often and sometimes put in five fresh players to look for a combination that worked. His biggest concerns were lackluster rebounding and passive defense.
“We’re just trying to get some guys out there that will give us some energy. We’ve got seven weeks until district tournament, we’re trying to figure out who needs to be out there playing,” Sizemore said.
Peyton Broughton led the Jaguars with 21 points, but it was sophomore Kyle Jeffers that carried North Laurel early. Jeffers scored 18 points with his 11-point second quarter crucial when not much else was working well.
“He hit the basket. He played pretty good on defense. We was moving well. Hopefully he will build off of this,” Sizemore said.
A three-pointer by Cody Hall to end the first quarter gave the Owls a 13-10 lead. Free throws from Braden Hoskins made it a five-point lead. The Jaguars got a quick layup from Hagen Hodges and a three-point play from Jeffers to tie the score. A steal by Jaythus Riley led to another Hodges layup and a 17-15 North Laurel lead.
Owsley County regained the lead before a three-pointer by Jeffers put the Jaguars on top 20-18. It was part of a stretch of eight straight points by Jeffers. By halftime, the Owls were back on top 29-28.
Owsley County led most of the third quarter. Broughton scored 10 points in the third quarter for North Laurel and Sammy Maggard buried two key three-pointers. North Laurel took the lead for good at 42-40 when Weston Griebel found Broughton cutting to the basket. Griebel scored five points in his second game since rejoining the team.
“He’s a real good passer. He sees the floor real well. He’s another ball handler,” Sizemore said. “He’s been practicing with us. We just hadn’t used him in games yet.”
Maggard closed out the third quarter with his second three-pointer.
With 7:07 to play, the Owls were still within 48-44. North Laurel went on a 12-2 spurt with Jeffers scoring seven of those points. Sizemore said it was the press that allowed his team to pull away.
“We finally started moving and got them sped up a little bit. I told them we’re below average if we’re not playing hard defensively and rebounding,” Sizemore said.
Owsley County never got the lead below 10 points again after the 12-2 run.
“We’ve got a tough stretch next week with two hard games. Hopefully we’ll play a lot better than we did today,” Sizemore said.
The Jaguars will travel to Whitley County Tuesday and host South Laurel Friday.
North Laurel 70. Owsley County 56
Owsley County 13 16 11 16—56
North Laurel 10 18 11 25—70
OWSLEY COUNTY (56)—Shelby 16, B. Hall 11, Mason 4, Holmes 4, C. Hall 9, Combs 5, Hoskins 7.
NORTH LAUREL (70)—Broughton 21, Jervis 3, Thompson 7, Asher 6, Jeffers 18, Hodges 4, Griebel 5, Maggard 6.