LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
NICHOLASVILLE—North Laurel fans that made the trip to East Jessamine Saturday were treated to a record-setting performance. It wasn’t one that put them in the mood to celebrate.
East Jessamine’s Hayden Smith made a school-record nine three-pointers in a 95-65 win over North Laurel. Smith had set the school record of eight the previous game against Garrard County.
“It’s one of those things. We tried a bunch of different stuff in the first half. We changed defenses five times and that kid was just hitting everything he shot,” North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore said.
Smith was not the focus of the defense initially and with good reason. The team’s leading scorer, Ronnie Carson, burned the Jaguars for 40 points in an earlier meeting in the Legacy Nissan Classic. North Laurel won that meeting 92-86. All Smith did in the first half Saturday was hit seven three-pointers and score 30 points.
“We came out in a box-and-one on (Carson) and the other kid goes wild. When we tried to make an adjustment early in the game, it didn’t really matter what we were doing,” Sizemore said.
Defense wasn’t the only thing not working for North Laurel on a night that Sizemore said was the worst his team had played all season.
“We’re flat and the other bad thing is we didn’t rebound. We threw the ball all over the gym early and got those guys going,” Sizemore said. “Our offense wasn’t there. We missed a lot of shots around the basket and free throws. There is really no one thing that we did halfway decent.”
After one quarter North Laurel was already trailing 28-6. They would give up 35 points in the second quarter and look at a 63-26 deficit at the half.
“There is nothing to really pinpoint. They just beat us in all aspects of the game,” Sizemore said.
The East Jessamine lead peaked at 47 points in the third quarter. Sizemore did think his team battled in the second half when the game could have gotten worse. What he wants is for his team to start with more urgency from the opening tip.
“I think we are still naïve enough to think we can just show up sometimes and play halfway decent and stay in games against these better teams. I’ve been trying to tell them all year, if you don’t give everything you’ve got the entire time, you’re not going to compete,” Sizemore said. “It’s one of those things, we get down 20 and we wake up and try to make a game out of it.”
The Jaguars were scheduled to host Pulaski County Tuesday and will close out the regular season Friday at Knox Central. The Jaguars open 49th District Tournament play Tuesday at Clay County.
“We’re either going to be ready Tuesday or we are not, but I still really like this team and we are capable of playing at a high level. We’ve got to get healthy. We’ve got to get fresh. We’ve got to get everybody back,” Sizemore said.
East Jessamine 95, North Laurel 65
North Laurel 6 20 17 22—65
East Jessamine 28 35 22 10—95
NORTH LAUREL (65)—Broughton 18, Miller 3, Thompson 12, Jeffers 4, Jervis 8, Griebel 8, Hodges 6, Henson 6.
EAST JESSAMINE (95)—Carson 20, Jones 8, Smith 37, Ross 9, Downey 12, Harper 5, Bruner 2, Hamann 2.