LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
BARBOURVILLE—Playing its third game in four days, the South Laurel Cardinals showed no signs of fatigue in a 76-68 win over the Barbourville Tigers.
“It’s been a good week for us,” South Laurel coach Jeff Davis said. “We’ve been playing well since Christmas. We are executing better and I am proud of their concentration and poise.”
Trevor Grubb led the Cardinals with 21 points, while Zac Baxter added 18 and Jared Grubb, 11.
“Trevor has been in a little funk shooting,” Davis noted. “It’s good he stepped up and hit some shots while they were in a triangle and two defense.”
Grubb got things going for the Cards, draining two three pointers for the early 6-2 lead. Four straight points from Jared Grubb made it 12-6 with 4:31 left before Barbourville (15-7) cut it to two at 12-10 on baskets by Brently Perry and Jason Mills. Mills would finish with 26 to lead all scorers.
The Cardinal lead was still two (18-16) when Brennan Miller’s three with 22.3 seconds left gave South a 21-16 advantage. Alexander Phipps answered with a three of his own to cut the lead to 21-19 after one.
Barbourville would take its first lead when Mills scored to make it 25-23. After Baxter tied the game, Perry drained a three to make it 28-25. A 5-0 run gave the Tigers a 35-30 lead with 2:38 left before South ended the half on a 6-1 run, four from Vince Holcomb, to tie the game at the half, 36-36.
“We were able to hit some shots and give us confidence,” Davis said.
The two teams continued to battle like two heavyweights throughout the third quarter. South took a 40-38 lead off a Holcomb basket at the 7:09 mark, and maintain that lead for the remainder of the contest.
South (11-10) pushed its lead to six twice in the third (46-40 and 50-44) before Barbourville went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to one, 50-49, with 2:10 left. But a Trevor Grubb basket and a Brennan Miller three upped the lead to 55-49 heading into the final quarter.
The Cards maintained their lead in the fourth quarter but could never totally put the Tigers away. Two straight baskets from John Helton gave South a 66-57 lead with 4:02 left. Barbourville responded with an 8-1 run, including a three by Wade Liford, to cut the lead to two, 67-65, with 2:11 remaining.
From there South would win the game at the free throw line, something they couldn’t do the night before in a loss to Knox Central. Over the final 1:22 South was 9-of-10 from the charity stripe to seal the 76-68 win.
“Everybody has written us off all year but we believe in ourselves,” Davis said. “It’s good for us to see success. It fuels our confidence.”
The Cardinals will be on the road at Russell County tonight.
South Laurel 76, Barbourville 68
South Laurel 21 15 19 21—76
Barbourville 19 17 13 19—68
SOUTH LAUREL (76)—T. Grubb 21, Baxter 18, J. Grubb 11, Holcomb 8, Helton 6, Bre. Miller 6, Bra. Miller 4, E. Anders 2.
BARBOURVILLE (68)—Phipps 7, Mills 26, Moore 5, Perry 15, Liford 12, Peyton 1, Rose 2.