By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
PIKEVILLE—Betsy Layne outscored North Laurel 21-10 in the fourth quarter to turn around a game the Jaguars seemed to have under control. The Bobcats advanced to the finals of the Pikeville Invitational Tournament with Friday’s 60-57 win.
“We showed our inexperience and I guess youth. We didn’t want the ball down the stretch,” North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore said.
North Laurel led 47-39 going into the fourth quarter after leading by 14 points in the third quarter and as much as 16 points in first half.
“We were up eight going into the fourth quarter and we had several turnovers. We will learn from this. We just did not take care of the ball,” Sizemore said.
Betsy Layne jumped out to a 9-3 lead before North Laurel went on an 18-3 run. The Jaguars made 9-of-13 shots in the first quarter and also controlled the backboard. North Laurel led 21-13 after one quarter with Betsy Layne getting a long three-pointer from Dylan Meade to close the quarter.
The North Laurel lead peaked at 34-18 when Peyton Broughton scored on a give-and-go. The Bobcats got two three-pointers in the final minute of the half to pull within 36-24. It was Meade again with a long three-pointer at the buzzer.
“We played really well. We should have been up 15 to end the first half and they hit a three at the horn so it was 12. They outscored us three in the third quarter, but we did a lot of really good things,” Sizemore said.
After Broughton opened the second half with a baseline drive for North Laurel, Meade made consecutive three-pointers from the top of the key.
“We tried to go box-and-one on him and we tried to go triangle-and-two on him and the other guard. Seems like when we did that we got spread out and gave up layups. We went back and played straight zone and he kept shooting the ball in,” Sizemore said.
Betsy Layne outscored North Laurel 15-6 to open the fourth quarter with most of their offense coming off North Laurel turnovers. The Bobcats took a 54-53 lead with 2:10 to play on a reverse by Peyton Case. North Laurel then turned the ball over on its next two possessions as Betsy Layne opened a 58-53 lead.
“They’ve got a bunch of big strong physical kids. It wasn’t really a matchup thing they just got us sped up. They started doubling on the ball and we got careless. There were open layups to be had,” Sizemore said. “We let them get us rattled.”
The Jaguars also struggled from the foul line, making just 2-of-7 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t make free throws and we didn’t guard them. We missed a lot of layups,” Sizemore said.“We played hard, just not good enough to beat a team like that.”
Betsy Layne would go on to win the tournament by beating Pikeville 64-51 in the championship game. The Bobcats only loss this season was to Campbell County in triple overtime.
Pikeville Invitational Tournament
Betsy Layne 60, North Laurel 57
Betsy Layne 13 11 15 21—60
North Laurel 21 15 11 10—57
NORTH LAUREL (57)—Broughton 23, Miller 11, Jervis 2, Thompson 6, Asher 9, Hodges 2, Riley 4.
BETSY LAYNE (60)—Hamilton 6, Dylan Meade 24, Case 16, Maldonado 1, Daniels 2, Rogers 6, Tackett 3, Dalton Meade 2.