Local Sports

November 19, 2010

North, South in Coal Classic at The Arena

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Basketball fans will have a full day of action Saturday at The Arena, when the Coal Classic tips-off, and the event will feature both North and South Laurel.

In all, there will be nine games played, starting at 9:30 a.m. when Barbourville takes on McCreary Central. The Tigers finished last season with a 13-16 record, while the Raiders posted a 24-7 mark. Barbourville is led by junior guard Josh Hildebrand, along with Darrin Mills and Garratt Vaughn.

The Raiders lost Aaron Watts to graduation, and have a lot of questions coming into this season. Tyson Williams and Tyler Ball are two key players for McCreary Central this season.

At 10:55 a.m., Knox Central will battle Williamsburg. The Panthers finished last year at 14-13, but lost big man Cody Miller to graduation. But the Panthers return Travis Canady, Tanner Broughton, Jonathan Barger and Tobie Merida. The Yellow Jackets won the All “A” regional title last year and finished with a 10-18 record. Williamsburg lost eight seniors off last year’s team, but they do return some experience players in CeJay Jones, Jared Barton and J.P. Payne.

The third game of the day, tipping off at 12:20 p.m., features North Laurel taking on Boyle County. The Jaguars were region runners-up last year, finishing with a 16-18 record, but lost six seniors. Cody Likins will lead North this season, along with Marcus Carson and Lee Spencer. The Rebels finished with a 19-9 mark, falling to West Jessamine in the semifinals of the 12th Region tournament. Boyle returns Jacob Bodner and Michael Arnett.

Whitley County battles Pulaski County at 1:45 p.m. The Colonels, 14-12 last year, return a strong, senior dominated team, led by Jordan Akins, Dee Butcher and Justin Goins. The Maroons finished with a 13-18 record, but return four starters, including Taylor Glover, Kody Johnson Tyler Goins and Zach Eastham.

The high schools take a break as South Middle takes the court, with an eighth grade battle with Page Middle at 3:10 p.m., followed by the seventh graders taking on Right Fork at 4:35 p.m.

Corbin, the defending two-time 13th Region champion, will battle Lafayette in the 5:40 p.m. game. Corbin finished last season 27-4, but lost Madison Johnson, Isaac Wilson and Aaron Manns to graduation. The Redhounds return Travis Smith, Matthew Taylor and Brody Freeman.

The Generals finished 22-7 last season, falling in the 11th Region final to Scott County

Lafayette has five seniors returning, including Dee Yarbrough, and look to again make some noise in their region.

It will be a homecoming of sorts when former South Laurel player and assistant coach Brad Sizemore brings his Garrard County Lions in to face Jackson County at 7:05 p.m.

Sizemore inherited a team that went 4-25 last year, and their top scorer, Trent Panther, has graduated. But Sizemore hopes to turn the fortunes of Garrard County around.

The Generals were 12-15 last season, but they return four starters, including Adam Duncan, Jordan Fox, Justin Fox and Chris White.

The final game of the night tips off at 8:30 p.m., when the South Laurel Cardinals (18-13) take on the Lynn Camp Wildcats (13-14).

The Cardinals lost four starters, including Matt St. John, Matt Watkins and Matt Gilbert, but they return experience with the likes of Blake Sanders, Kevon Khan, Dillon Tabor, Chase Smith. The Wildcats feature just one starter back, Tyler Wagner, a 6-6 senior center. Tyler Garland and Brandon Siler will be looked upon to help lead Lynn Camp this season.

Denis House can be reached at


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