By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
WILLIAMSBURG—When South Laurel and Whitley County met back on December 6 in the Cumberland Falls Invitational, Whitley County rolled to a 78-42 win.
Tuesday night they hooked up again, and while the Lady Colonels were victorious again, it was a much closer game, as Whitley downed the Lady Cardinals, 47-35.
“The difference this time was free throw shooting,” South Laurel coach Konnie Snyder said. “We didn’t put them on the line. We talked to kids all week. Met again this morning and talked to them about getting beat by 38. We got beat by 38, gave them 32 on free throws. We can’t do that. Tonight they shot 14. It’s a big difference when you don’t give them a major amount of free throws.”
South led 10-9 after one, but Whitley came back to outscore South 12-8 in the second quarter to take a 21-18 half-time lead. Kandance Craig and Brandi Smith both had six points in the second quarter to combine for the 12 points. Smith finished with 11 and Craig, 10.
“In the first half they had 21 points, 14 on second chance points,” Snyder said. “That’s something we gotta address. Second chance points is what killed us.”
A 12-7 third quarter pushed the lead to 33-25 heading into the final quarter of play.
A Katie Reynolds bucket with 4:02 left cut the lead to 40-31 before Whitley went on a 6-0 run to push its lead to 46-31 with 1:18 left. A free throw by Brittany Vandeventer and a three from Preslie Baker cut the lead to 46-35, but there wasn’t enough time left, and Whitley emerged with the 47-35 win. Vandeventer and Baker both finished with nine points to lead the Lady Cards. All nine of Baker’s points came via the three-pointer.
“The effort was there,” Snyder said. “We stepped up 100 percent from where we had been. The intensity level starting to come to where I want it. We’re learning what it takes to be competitive.”
For the game South shot 38 percent from the field and 50 percent from the free throw line, while Whitley hit 35 percent and 67 percent respectively.
The Lady Cards will host Harlan County Saturday.
Whitley County 47, South Laurel 35
South Laurel 10 8 7 10—35
Whitley County 9 12 12 14—47
SOUTH LAUREL (35)—Miller 6, Vandeventer 9, Baker 9, Davis 2, Reynolds 6, Cromer 3.
WHITLEY COUNTY (47)—Craig 10, Johnson 3, Dingess 2, Smith 11, Jones 8, Sizemore 6, Estes 6, Hickey 1.