By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
It was a game most teams would like to forget.
The South Laurel Lady Cardinals shot just 26.4 percent and turned the ball over 21 times in a 67-44 loss to visiting Whitley County Tuesday night.
But South coach Konnie Snyder doesn’t want her team to forget this loss.
“It will be in the front of our minds for sometime,” Snyder said.
South Laurel (1-2) looked nothing like the team that beat Middlesboro and barely lost at Harlan County. The Lady Cards looked a step slower and out of sync against the Lady Colonels (3-0).
“We did not come out with any intensity at all,” Snyder said. “We were out-rebounded, out-shot, they beat us in every aspect of the game. We didn’t play any defense, didn’t guard anybody. I told them I was very disappointed with their effort.”
One player Snyder wasn’t disappointed with was Taylor Arthur, who scored 23 points, the only Lady Cardinal in double figures. She and Kandace Craig waged a physical battle all game long, and Arthur sometimes found herself double teamed when she would get the ball down low.
“Taylor played hard,” Snyder said. “I’m extremely pleased with the way she played tonight.”
The Lady Cardinals were only down two after the first quarter (14-12), half of those points coming from Arthur while Bailey Miller had the other six on two 3-pointers. Both teams struggled to hold onto the ball in the first quarter, with South turning it over seven times and Whitley, six. Brandi Smith drained two threes for Whitley in the quarter, while Maria Johnson added another.
Whitley started to put a little distance between itself and South Laurel, outscoring the Lady Cards, 18-10, to hold a 32-22 lead at the half. It was all Arthur in the second quarter, as she scored all 10 of South Laurel’s points.
The third quarter was South Laurel’s downfall. Miller opened things with a three at the 7:46 mark. That would be the last field goal for the Lady Cardinals until the 2:49 mark when Emily Clonce scored. Between those two buckets Arthur made 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
Meanwhile, Whitley was building on its lead behind six points from Johnson and Bethany Powers, outscoring South, 14-6, to hold a 46-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Arthur tried to keep her team in the game, scoring South’s first six points. But Whitley answered with an 8-0 run to push the lead to 59-34 with 3:56 left.
Preslie Baker drained back-to-back threes for South, then scored on a lay-up, but Whitley matched each basket and rolled to the 67-44 win.
Smith led Whitley with 20 points, while Powers added 15 and Johnson, 13.
The Lady Cardinals will look to get back on the winning track tonight when they will host a 3-0 Garrard County team. Through three games, the Lady Lions have outscored their opponents, 189-106. They are led by Devin Conley, who averages 15.3 points per game. Kelly Smith comes in with a 13.7 average and Victoria Floyd, 11.7.
Whitley County 67, South Laurel 44
Whitley County 14 18 14 21—67
South Laurel 12 10 6 16—44
WHITLEY COUNTY (67)—Powers 15, Smith 20, Craig 5, Johnson 13, Dingess 2, Jones 2, Sizemore 4, Vanderpool 2.
SOUTH LAUREL (44)—Arthur 23, Clonce 2, Miller 9, Baker 8, Reynolds 2.