LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
WINCHESTER — South Laurel avenged an earlier-season loss to George Rogers Clark High School in the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic Saturday at Norton Gymnasium.
Clark defeated South Laurel 55-52 in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Classic on Dec. 27 but the Cardinals continued their uphill progression since the setback by notching their third straight victory.
“At that time we weren’t playing very hard and not really focused,” South Laurel coach Jeff Davis said of his team’s loss to the Cardinals in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Classic during the two-week Christmas break. “I think here of late, the things we’ve done in practice and the commitment these kids have made have (helped us) turn the corner from the way we were playing.”
Damion King scored Clark’s first 10 points, capped by a nifty four-point play and helped the Cardinals race out to a 17-9 lead with 1:09 remaining in the first quarter.
Clark led 19-16 going into the second frame but South Laurel scored 19 of the first 21 points of the quarter to erase the three-point deficit for a 28-19 advantage. Clark managed just one field goal and eight points in the second quarter.
“We didn’t make shots at the beginning of the game,” Davis said. “Our defense (played well) and our press gave us a chance to stay in the game. We finally started hitting our shots at the end of the first (quarter) and the beginning of the second quarter. I’m really proud of our effort. The guys are really playing well. That’s all you can ask for right now.”
The hosts narrowed the margin to a bucket on a field goal by King to open the second half but the Cards countered with six straight and pushed the lead to double figures. South Laurel increased the lead to 55-37 early in the fourth quarter, while Clark couldn’t get no closer than 10 points in the final
King led all scorers with 30 points and was the only Cardinal player to finish in double figures.
Zac Baxter, the Winchester Sun Player of the Game, led South Laurel with 21 points, followed by Jared Grubb with 20 and Trevor Grubb with 12.
“Zac is playing really well right now,” Davis said. “He’s played about four or five games really well. He helps us play well and takes the pressure off everybody else. I’m so proud of him on the defensive end and with rebounding. That’s the biggest thing he’s helped us with.”
Baxter and Jared Grubb each made three 3-pointers and Trevor Grubb connected on a pair of treys as the Cards connected on eight shots from long range.
Keith Taylor is the sports editor of The Winchester Sun.
South Laurel 69, Clark County 54
South Laurel 16 15 17 21 — 69
Clark County 19 08 10 17 — 54
SOUTH LAUREL (8-9) — T. Grubb 12, Anders 3, Miller 5, Baxter 21, J. Grubb 20, Holcomb 5, Helton 2, Arnold 1.
CLARK COUNTY (7-11) — King 30, Greene 3, Caudill 3, Jones 5, Blanton 4, Sharrock 9.