December 30, 2013

Jags open tourney with tough win

By Mitch Howard
Sports Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — PIKEVILLE—Giving his team a couple of days off may have given North Laurel the rest that coach Brad Sizemore thought they needed. It may have also had a side effect he expected, but didn’t want.

“It was a sloppy-played game. We got off to a decent start. We were up 12 at the half and just didn’t really guard and didn’t really rebound. We had a bunch of turnovers, but I expected a lot of that where we hadn’t practiced in two days and then we get on a bus to ride three hours over here,” Sizemore said.

Although the Jaguars may not have been a sharp as they wanted, the 51-48 win over Paintsville advances North Laurel to the second round of the Pikeville Invitational Tournament. North Laurel was scheduled to play Betsy Layne Friday night in the second round.

“(Betsy Layne) is really good. We’ll have to do a better job defending and rebounding to give ourselves a chance. It’ll be a good test for us,” Sizemore said.

It didn’t look like the Jaguars would need heroics after holding Paintsville to 14 points in the first half and a 12-point lead at halftime.

“We started off and played pretty well in the first quarter. We just kind of stood around from there on,” Sizemore said.

After scoring just 14 points in the first half, Paintsville rallied with 20 points in the third quarter. The rally would continue as the Tigers took a one-point lead with 1:30 to play. Chris Miller then found Bryson Asher open inside to give North Laurel the lead.

“We made our free throws and were able to get a couple of stops down the stretch,” Sizemore said. “The good thing is we tried to play really hard. We didn’t get a lot done, but we made some plays down the stretch and was able to get a good win.”

For the second time this season, the Jaguars have a three-game winning streak. The first streak ended with competitive losses to highly rated Clay County and Perry County Central. They will be tested again with a Betsy Layne team that’s only loss was in triple overtime to Campbell County in the Derby Classic.


Pikeville Invitational Tournament

at Pikeville

North Laurel 51, Paintsville 48

North Laurel   11 15 14 11—51

Paintsville       6  8 20 14—48

NORTH LAUREL (51)— Broughton 8, Miller 10, Jervis 8, Thompson 3, Asher 12, Jeffers 5, Hodges 2, Bundy 1, Riley 2.

PAINTSVILLE (48)—Smith 6, Daniels 8, Trimble 4, Litteral  7, Hensley 14, Collins 7, Helton 2.

Records – North Laurel 7-4, Paintsville 2-4.