By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Two games in two nights can sometimes take a toll on a team.
South Laurel, and especially Brittany Vandeventer, showed no fatigue Friday night as Vandeventer scored 34 points to help lead South Laurel to a 77-69 win over visiting Pineville.
“Brittany played extremely hard and extremely well,” South Laurel coach Konnie Snyder said.
For the second straight game, the Lady Cards topped the 75 point mark. One night earlier they scored 85 in a win over Breathitt County. This coming from a team that scored 14, 15 and 26 points this season.
“They’ve just decided to play and they understand that being afraid will get you beat,” Snyder said. “They are understanding to play every play and not take a play off.” Snyder noted that not only has her team learned, but so has she.
“I had to learn to loosen the reigns and let them have more freedom,” Snyder said.
Vandeventer had a huge first half, scoring half of South Laurel’s 42 points. South led 19-16 after one and 42-36 at the half. They were trailing 14-11 with 2:43 left in the first quarter when they finished the quarter with an 8-2 run to take a three point lead.
That lead would grow to five (23-18) before Pineville went on an 8-2 run to take a 26-25 lead. But that would be the last lead the Lady Mountain Lions would enjoy.
Two quick baskets from Vandeventer, followed by two free throws by Preslie Baker, and South had a 31-26 lead with 3:08 left. Pineville cut the lead to 31-29 on a three-point play by Jillian Enix, but a three by Taylor Cromer pushed the lead back to 34-29. Vandeventer would then score the final eight South Laurel points of the half to give her team the six point cushion.
The Lady Cards would continue to build on their lead throughout the third quarter. An 8-0 run, capped off by another Cromer three, made it 52-40 with 4:47 left in the third. South ended the quarter with a 7-0 run to hold a 62-45 advantage heading into the fourth.
Pineville tried to battle back, but every time they cut into the lead, the Lady Cards would answer. A 10-4 run opened the fourth quarter and pulled the Lady Mountain Lions to within 11, 66-55. But Baker drained a three to end the run and put South back up by 14, 69-55. Pineville got it to 10 at 75-65 with 2:23 left, but Vandeventer took it to the basket and scored to make it 77-65. Four straight Pineville points brought the lead down to eight, 77-69, with 39.7 seconds left, but that would end up being the final score.
Baker added 19 for South Laurel, while Erica Gambrell led Pineville with 22. Enix added 18, Devin Enix, 13, and Emily Mullins, 10.
The Lady Cards will host Corbin tonight in a rematch from last Saturday’s game, which was won by the Lady Redhounds, 62-26.
“We still have to rebound better and play better defense,” Snyder said. “Our defense is not anywhere close to where we want it to be. But they are learning things we can use later. I loved the intensity we showed tonight, and we shared the ball well. We’re figuring out when to pass and when to shoot. Everybody played with intensity at the level we need, and I thought our bench gave us tremendous minutes.”
South Laurel 77, Pineville 69
Pineville 16 20 9 24—69
South Laurel 19 23 20 15—77
PINEVILLE (69)—Gambrell 22, Mullins 10, J. Enix 18, Barnes 2, D. Enix 13, Knuckles 4.
SOUTH LAUREL (77)—Vandeventer 34, Davis 4, Baker 19, Miller 3, Hacker 6, Cromer 8, Madden 1, Phelps 2.
Records—Pineville 7-7, South Laurel 4-9