By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
WILLIAMSBURG—One of the hardest things to do in high school basketball is win on the road, especially at a district opponents home gym.
But the South Laurel Cardinals did just that, using a smothering defense that forced 19 Williamsburg turnovers en route to a 56-37 win.
“A huge road win, South Laurel coach Jeff Davis said. “This is probably the best we’ve played this season Tonight I was really pleased with our effort. We really played well tonight.”
Except for the start of the game, where the Cardinals missed their first 10 shots from the field and trailed after one, 8-3. The lone basket for the Cardinals in the quarter was made by Jared Grubb with 1:46 remaining.
“We didn’t hit our shots early and that kept us from getting into our press,” Davis said. Once the shots started to fall, the Cards were able to use a zone press to rattle the Yellow Jackets.
“Our defense caused them problems,” Davis said. “I loved our pressure.”
Williamsburg was unable to take advantage of South’s ice cold start, as the Cards started to find the bucket in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents, 18-8, to take a 21-16 lead at the half. A 12-2 run early in the quarter helped the Cardinals take control, with five of those points coming from Jared Grubb, who finished with a team high 22.
Late in the quarter, Braden Miller scored two straight lay-ups, then made a steal and got the ball to Vince Holcomb for a bucket as time expired.
The dominance continued in the third quarter where South outscored Williamsburg, 18-9, and led 39-25 as the quarter came to a close. The Cards scored the first five points of the quarter to push its lead to 26-16 before Williamsburg coach Patrick Robinson was forced to call a time out.
Williamsburg was able to cut the lead to eight at 33-25 with 2:25 left, but South ended the quarter with a 6-0 run (four from Holcomb) to push the lead to 14 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Vince gives us energy night in and night out,” Davis said.
South used another run late in the game, this time 7-0, to put the game on ice and roll to the 56-37 win.
“Williamsburg has a good team and they will get better once the get Skylar (Griffith) back,” Davis said. “I thought Zac (Baxter) and Trevor (Grubb) played really well. Zac probably played the best he has all season. He’s doing a fantastic job rebounding for us.”
The win now moves South to 2-1 in district play, with both wins coming on the road. Williamsburg falls to 0-2 in district.
“Anytime you can go on the road in our district and get a win it’s big,” Davis said.
The Cardinals will now be on the road at George Rogers Clark Saturday. These two teams met in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic back in December with GRC winning, 55-52.
South Laurel 56, Williamsburg 37
South Laurel 3 18 18 17—56
Williamsburg 8 8 9 12—37
SOUTH LAUREL (56)—T. Grubb 3, Bra. Miller 4, Bre. Miller 2, Baxter 16, J. Grubb 22, Holcomb 9.
WILLIAMSBURG (37)—Shelton 14, Lowrie 5, Sizemore 6, A. Griffith 2, Sulfridge 7, Osborne 3.
Records—South Laurel 7-9, Williamsburg 5-11