December 16, 2013

Clay runs away from North Laurel

Lady Jags hang tough until Lady Tigers ends game on 18-2 run

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — An 18-2 run over the final six minutes lifted visiting Clay County to a 67-38 win over North Laurel Friday night in girls’ basketball action.

“We kind of gave up when it looked like the game was over,” North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan said. “I don’t like that attitude with this team, but then again I have to remember that I am playing a lot of eighth graders and freshmen and they aren’t used to these situations.”

The 29-point final deficit wasn’t indicative of the way the Lady Jaguars (0-4) played their district foe. North Laurel had cut the lead down to eight (41-33) with 1:09 left in the third quarter. Clay pushed it back to 14 at the end of the third quarter, 47-33. The score was 49-36 in Clay’s favor when the Lady Tigers finished the game with that 18-2 run. North’s only bucket during the run came when Kayla Bruner scored on a little floater with 3:43 left, but by that time the Lady Jags were down by 20, 58-38.

“I think fatigue got to us late in the game,” Mahan said.

North Laurel also had trouble containing Clay’s inside game of Sara Robinson, who finished the game with 23 points, including 13 in the second quarter.

“She wore us out,” Mahan said “We knew she was a good player coming in.”

The Lady Jaguars rode the three-point shot to keep in the game in the first half, hitting six, including three by eighth-grader Madison Sheppard, who finished with 11 points. Clay led after one, 20-11, and at the half, 38-22. Clay used its physical play to dominate the Lady Jags throughout the game.

“We don’t like contact and they do,” Mahan said. “We have to learn to attack and get to the point where we don’t mind getting put on our butts.”

North opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run to pull to within 11 at 40-29. A three by Ashley Raines and a free throw from Kelsey Chesnut cut the margin down to eight, but that would be as close as North would get, as the Lady Tigers pulled away for the win.

“Toughness and fatigue, and we didn’t execute our keys to the game,” Mahan said. “We let them go over us multiple times for rebounds.”

Mahan noted that he wasn’t as upset with this loss as he had been the first three of the season.

“We’re just learning,” Mahan said. “We’ll get there. I saw rays of hope in this game.”

The Lady Jaguars will host Whitley County tonight then be on the road at Harlan on Tuesday.

Clay County 67, North Laurel 38

Clay County   20  18  9  20—67

North Laurel  11  11   11   5—38

CLAY COUNTY (67)—Roberts 12, Cotton 13, Mathis 13, Robinson 23, C. Woods 5.

NORTH LAUREL (38)—Bruner 4, Gray 9, Lawson 4, Raines 6, Chesnut 4, Sheppard 11.