By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
For the second straight night, the South Laurel Lady Cardinals were taken to overtime in the Candy Cane Classic. First it was Saturday’s 67-66 win over Upperman, Tn. Then on Sunday, South Laurel fell to Barbourville, 58-54, to finish in fourth place in their own tournament.
In the loss to Barbourville, the Lady Cards were 16-of-34 from the free throw line, including going 10-of-18 in the second half. Coach Konnie Snyder said that was the difference in the game.
“They made their free throws,” Snyder said. “We missed ours in crucial moments toward the end of the game.”
The game was filled with fouls, as the two teams combined to shoot 75 free throws. Barbourville (11-3) went to the charity stripe 41 times, hitting 22 of those.
“A lot of the fouls I didn’t agree with,” Snyder said. “But it didn’t change my way to thinking. We were still going to take the ball hard to the basket.”
South Laurel (7-8) had three players foul out in the game. Emily Clonce, Cassandra Johnson and Brittany Vandeventer all watched the final few minutes of the game from the bench. Clonce fouled out with 35.9 seconds left in regulation. At that point, she had scored 16 points for her team.
“That was a blow when Emily fouled out,” Snyder said. “It was frustrating because it was a touch foul.”
The Lady Tigers used a swarming defense on Taylor Arthur, limiting the South Laurel center to 13 points as she found herself double and triple teamed every time she touched the ball.
South Laurel led after one, 20-14. Clonce scored eight of her points in the first quarter, but was whistled for her second foul going for a steal with 1:01 left. She spent the remainder of the half on the bench.
The second quarter saw the free throw woes begin for South Laurel, as the Lady Cards hit just 2-of-6, but were still able to lead at the half, 29-27, thanks to four points in the final 1:34 from Shelby Davis.
Every time one team would build on its lead, the other would battle back to reclaim it. Barbourville led 38-33 with 4:12 left in the third before South cut the lead to three, 39-36, on a three by Johnson. The Lady Tigers led, 41-36, after three.
Clonce scored the first four South Laurel points of the fourth quarter, but it could have been more, as she hit two of her five free throw attempts. Her second make, at the 5:27 mark, cut the lead to one, 41-40. But seconds later, she picked up her fourth foul and again went to the bench.
A steal and basket by Kara Erslan gave Barbourville a 44-40 lead before Johnson was fouled. She made both of her free throws to cut the lead back to two, 44-42.
An offensive rebound and putback by Arthur tied the game, 44-44, with 3:08 left. She was also fouled on the play by Kelsey Erslan, her fifth, sending her to the bench for the rest of the game. Arthur completed the three-point play to give her team a 45-44 lead.
Karli Parker then missed her shot, but Clonce, who had returned to the game, was there for the offensive rebound and putback. South was now up by four, 47-44, with 1:39 left.
Two free throws by Erslan cut the lead to 47-46. Parker was then fouled, sending her to the line for a 1-and-1. She made the first, but missed the second, leaving South up by two, 48-46.
A shot by Amber Mills missed, but Tyra Bunch was there to grab the rebound on the weak side for the basket. She was also fouled by Clonce, her fifth and final foul. Bunch missed her free throw, leaving the game tied, 48-48, and the game went into overtime.
Johnson fouled out at the start of the OT. The two teams continued to trade the lead. A basket by Arthur made it 50-49 in favor of South. Mills answered on the other end to put Barbourville up, 51-50. Parker then hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game, 51-51, with 2:04 left.
From there, Barbourville outscored South, 7-3, over the final 1:49 to take the 58-54 win.
For the game, South shot 23.5 percent from the field, hitting 18-of-68. The Lady Cards committed 19 turnovers. Barbourville shot 36.7 percent (18-of-49) and committed 15 turnovers. South outrebounded Barbourville, 50-39.
The Lady Cards are now off until January 7 when they will host Corbin.
“We are probably going to be shooting a lot of free throws during that time,” Snyder said.
South Laurel 67, Upperman, Tn., 66 (OT)
On Saturday, Taylor Arthur scored 22, and Karli Parker chipped in with 17 as South Laurel downed Upperman, Tn., 67-66, in an overtime thriller.
“It was a war,” coach Konnie Snyder said. “Both teams battled toward the end.”
Free throws, a struggle for South Laurel for much of the season, actually helped the Lady Cards in this game, as they went 23-of-32 for 72 percent. Snyder was pleased with that aspect of the game, especially from Parker. “I thought Karli stepped up her game and hit some big free throws down the stretch,” Snyder said. Parker was 6-of-7 over the fourth quarter and overtime period.
Defense also played a key role for South Laurel, as Arthur and Emily Clonce were dominate under the basket. Both girls had four blocks for the Lady Cards.
“Emily and Taylor’s blocks gave us a lot of possession,” Snyder said.”
Upperman led after one, 13-8, but South battled back to take a 24-23 lead at the half. A 14-9 third quarter gave the Lady Cards a 38-32 advantage heading into the fourth.
South led an eight point lead, 40-32, early in the fourth quarter before the Lady Bees started their comeback, eventually taking a 44-43 lead before a three from Parker gave South a 46-44 advantage with four minutes left.
South led, 55-51, with 1:38 left after Parker and Preslie Baker both made two free throws. But the Lady Bees would outscore South, 5-1, to tie the game at 56-56 and send it into the overtime period.
A basket by Arthur, followed by Parker following her own miss for a basket, put the Lady Cards up, 60-56, with 2:15 left. Upperman’s Brooke Farris would hit a three at the 1:36 mark to tie the game, 61-61, before South ended the OT session with a 6-3 run to claim the 67-66 win.
Upperman hit 8-of-28 from three point land, and were led by Klaudia Hall’s 25 points.
Candy Cane Classic
at South Laurel
Barbourville 58, South Laurel 54 (OT)
Barbourville 15 12 14 7 10—58
South Laurel 20 9 7 12 6—54
BARBOURVILLE (58)—Ka. Erslan 23, Tate 9, Mills 9, Ke. Erslan 6, Bunch 6, Liford 5.
SOUTH LAUREL (54)—Parker 4, Arthur 13, Morris 3, Clonce 16, Vandeventer 5, Miller 3, Davis 4, Johnson 5, Baker 1.
South Laurel 67, Upperman, Tn. 66 (OT)
Upperman, Tn. 13 10 9 24 10—66
South Laurel 8 16 14 18 11—67
UPPERMAN (66)—Kl. Hull 25, Martin 10, Carter 13, Eldridge 8, Kr. Hull 3, Farris 5, Medley 2.
SOUTH LAUREL (67)—Arthur 22, Vandeventer 12, Clonce 4, Parker 17, Reynolds 2, Johnson 4, Baker 4, Miller 2.