By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
MANCHESTER—A 14-0 run in the third quarter, combined with the sharp shooting of Tyler McDaniel and Trey Farmer helped propel the Clay County Tigers to a 79-57 victory Friday night over South Laurel in the Big Red Classic at Clay County.
McDaniel, who finished with 22, had seven of those 14 points, while Farmer added five. Farmer, the son of former UK star Richie Farmer, finished with 19 points.
Up until that run, it was a four-point game, with Clay holding a 34-30 advantage.
“They (Clay) came out fired up in the third quarter and we were a little laid back,” assistant coach Dennis Hammonds said. Hammonds was filling in for Jeff Davis, who collapsed in the locker room prior to the game and had to be taken to the hospital. At last word Davis was alert and being transported to St. Joseph London.
“To go out and play the first half like they did considering the circumstances was a big plus,” Hammonds said. He added that they let some shooters go free “and if you leave them open you’re gonna be in trouble. Especially here where they shoot the lights out.”
Jared Grubb led the Cardinals (0-2) with 19 points, including four three-pointers. Trevor Grubb added 12 and Brennan Miller, 10.
After a Trevor Grubb three to open the game, Clay then went on a 9-0 run to take a 9-3 lead with 4:50 left in the first. But back-to-back threes from Miller and Trevor Grubb cut the lead to 11-9. Jared Grubb would score the final four South Laurel points of the quarter as Clay led, 15-13.
Another Jared Grubb three, this time at the 4:58 mark, tied the game at 18-18. McDaniel answered with a three of his own on the other end that sparked a 6-0 run and Clay retook the lead at 24-18.
Miller countered with a three of his own as the Cards continued to hang close. But McDaniel drained another trey, then added two free throws for a 29-23 advantage. Jared Grubb’s three cut the lead to 29-26 before Wes Wolfe and McDaniel scored the final three points to make it 32-26 in favor of Clay at the break.
John Helton opened the third quarter with a hook shot, then Trevor Grubb found Ethan Anders, who cut into the lane and sank a jumper to cut the lead to four, 34-30. But that’s as close as the Cards would get.
Back-to-back threes from McDaniel sparked the 14-0 run that put the game away for the Tigers. By the time the run was over, a four-point lead turned into an 18-point one, 48-30, with 4:09 left. Clay led by 20 after three, 58-38.
From there the Tigers continued to build on their lead, which at one point peaked at 29 (79-50) with 1:46 left in the game.
“We had a lot of young guys come off the bench and do what they needed to do,” Hammonds said. “A lot of those guys have been playing together for a long time. We’ll just have to suck it up and play harder.”
The Cards were scheduled to face Estill County Saturday in Montgomery County, then travel to take on Whitley County Tuesday.
Big Red Shootout
at Clay County
Clay County 79, South Laurel 57
South Laurel 13 13 12 19—57
Clay County 15 17 26 21—79
SOUTH LAUREL (57)—T. Grubb 12, Bre. Miller 10, E. Anders 8, Helton 4, J. Grubb 19, Hensley 2, R. Anders 2.
CLAY COUNTY (79)—McDaniel 22, Smith 10, Farmer 19, Wolfe 13, Allen 9, House 6.