February 24, 2014

A tale of two halves

Lady Cards change defenses, rolls over Rockcastle County, 54-40

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — MT. VERNON—At halftime of Friday night’s girls’ basketball game between South Laurel and Rockcastle County, the host Lady Rockets held a 25-17 advantage.

“My assistants told me we should go to a man-to-man defense, and we did,” South Laurel coach Konnie Snyder said. “That was the difference between the first and second half.”

That change in defense allowed South Laurel to take control and come away with a 54-40 win to wrap-up regular season play. South’s defense held Rockcastle County to just two third quarter points while on the offensive side the Lady Cards scored 13 to turn an eight-point deficit into a three-point lead, 30-27.

Then the offense really took off, scoring 24 fourth quarter points to start to pull away for the 14-point win.

“It was definitely a tale of two halves,” Snyder said.

Preslie Baker paced South Laurel with 17 points, while Taylor Cromer added 15 and Bailey Miller, 13.

Rockcastle County led 13-12 after one quarter, and 25-17 at the half. The Lady Cards managed only five second quarter points.

Miller opened the third quarter with a three, followed by a jumper to cut the lead to 25-22. Rockcastle County would miss all 13 of its third quarter shots. Their only points came from two free throws by Ashley McKinney with 3:14 left.

Just prior to those free throws Cromer nailed a three of her own to tie the game at 25-25. She would then scored again to knot things at 27-all with 1:50 left. Miller ended the third just like she started it, with a three, and South Laurel pulled in front, 30-27.

After Rockcastle cut the lead to 30-29 at the start of the fourth, the Lady Cardinals went on a 12-2 run to push its lead to 42-31 at the 2:34 mark. From there South made 11-of-12 free throws over the final 2:34 to seal the win. Baker put an exclamation point on the win when she drained a three at the buzzer. She would score the final eight South Laurel points.

The Lady Cards will now get set to face Whitley County tonight in the opening game of the girls’ 50th District Tournament at Corbin.

“You like to have momentum going into the Whitley County game but this game tonight won’t score us any points against Whitley,” Snyder said. “This team has a tremendous attitude and are very upbeat. We’ve just gotta come out Monday ready to play. I’ve been very happy the last few games with our execution both on offense and defense.”

South Laurel 54, Rockcastle County 40

South Laurel      12  5  13  24—54

Rockcastle Co.   13  12  2  13—40

SOUTH LAUREL (54)—Baker 17, Reynolds 4, Miller 13, Phelps 2, Madden 3, Cromer 15.

ROCKCASTLE COUNTY (40)—Mattingly 2, Ponder 4, Renner 6, Coguer 3, McKinney 6, Reynolds 4, Hansel 4, Kelley 9, Saylor 1,  Albright 1.