June 18, 2013

Speed kills North in KBA opener

Jaguars fall to Bryan Station, 72-55

By Mitch Howard
Sports Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — LEXINGTON—North Laurel opened play in the Kentucky Basketball Academy Summer State Tournament Thursday with a 72-55 loss to Bryan Station. The winner was decided in the first quarter when the Defenders bolted to a 19-6 lead. Bolted is the best way to describe Bryan Station, who did everything fast on offense and defense.

“This is good for us. We were just taken back the first quarter. It’s the first time we played that kind of speed,” North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore said. “We played three good quarters after that and we played really hard, so that is encouraging.”

Peyton Broughton scored on a put back to open the second quarter and cut the lead to 11. Bryan Station kept the game at their pace and pushed the lead to 41-25 at halftime.

“They’ve got a nice team. They didn’t miss a shot in the first half. We’re learning,” Sizemore said.

The teams played even in the third quarter with Bryan Station taking a 56-40 lead into the final period.

The fourth quarter opened with back-to-back three pointers by Chris Miller to trim the lead to 10 points. Miller hit four threes on the night and led the Jaguars with 20 points.

“We’ve shot the ball well. We struggled early in the first quarter because that team sped us up,” Sizemore said.

North Laurel had the ball with a chance to cut the lead to single digits, but a turnover led to a three-point play for the Defenders. The lead did dip to nine points with 4:19 to play on a pair of free throws by Elijah Jervis.

“We told them at the half we would like to get it under 10. We cut it to nine and just kind of ran out of gas,” Sizemore said.

It was just the fourth loss of the summer for the Jaguars, who are 10-4. They will continue play in the KBA against Apollo and Lawrence County. North Laurel will also play a fourth game against an opponent to be determined by their record after pool play.

“We’ve played really well (this summer), so hopefully we can see where we are at this weekend. We’ve given a lot of kids a lot of minutes,” Sizemore said.

Most of the Jaguars competition this summer has been against other local teams at South Laurel, Whitley County, and University of the Cumberlands. This week they travel to team camp at Tennessee Tech.

“It’s good to come up here and play some different teams,” Sizemore said. “I knew we would play really hard. Everybody that has been out there has played really hard. It seems like everybody is listening and we are playing together.”