By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
JACKSON—With 4:21 left in the third quarter, the South Laurel Lady Cardinals held a 26-25 lead over host Breathitt County Monday night.
Then Taylor Arthur picked up her third foul. Katie Reynolds followed with her third foul with 1:52 left. C.J. Johnson was whistled for her third foul with 51.6 seconds left. All three girls would find themselves watching from the bench for the rest of the quarter.
With all three on the bench, Breathitt County (13-6) took advantage inside, outscoring South Laurel 8-1 over the final 4:06 of the third, taking a 33-27 lead and never looking back in a 56-42 win.
“We weren’t very understanding of the situation at that time,” coach Konnie Snyder said. “We panicked and force some bad shots. We had several kids in the game that didn’t understand the situation.”
Still the Lady Cards were in the game, trailing by two, 36-34, with 5:26 remaining in the contest. Turnovers and poor free throw shooting over the remainder of the game led to South’s downfall.
“They (Breathitt) shot 27 free throws in the second half,” Snyder said. “They made them. We didn’t get to the line a whole lot.” South was just 5-of-11 for 45.4 percent, while the Lady Bobcats made 23-of-33 for 69.6 percent. South also committed 21 turnovers compared to 15 by Breathitt County.
South (11-11) came out strong, taking a 9-1 lead midway through the first quarter before the Lady Bobcats came back to cut the lead to three, 13-10, after one.
The second quarter saw both teams struggle offensively. South missed its first five shots from the field, while Breathitt turned the ball over on its first three possessions. Both teams could manage just six points a piece in the quarter, and the Lady Cards held a 19-16 lead at the half.
Breathitt started going inside to its big girl, Carissa Hatton, in the third quarter. She scored eight of her 15 points to help her team take control. Hatton, along with Allison Herald and Amanda Griffith, were a force inside on both offense and defense. Those three were able to hold Arthur to 12 points, although she did pull down 18 rebounds.
“We let them dictate the play inside,” Snyder said. “When we got back in our game we started scoring.”
Kacey Cox led Breathitt with 15 points, 12 of those from the free throw line. She was 11-of-14 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
South also struggled from the field, hitting 17-of-47 while Breathitt was 16-of-38.
Karli Parker added eight points for South. Kayla Gross chipped in 12 for the Lady Bobcats to give Breathitt three players in double figures.
The Lady Cards will travel to take on Wayne County Thursday, then stay on the road for a game with Barbourville Saturday.
Breathitt County 56, South Laurel 42
South Laurel 13 6 8 15—42
Breathitt Co. 10 6 17 23—56
SOUTH LAUREL (42)—Parker 8, Arthur 12, Reynolds 2, Clonce 6, Johnson 6, Vandeventer 2, Baker 3, Miller 3.
BREATHITT COUNTY (56)—Gross 12, Cox 15, Hatton 14, Stamper 4, Griffith 2, Noble 2, Bates 5, Herald 2.