By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Senior Night was memorable for the North Laurel Lady Jaguars, but not the kind of memory they wanted. A last second three-pointer spoiled a great effort by North Laurel and gave Middlesboro the 43-42 win.
“I am proud of our seniors and I am proud of my team. If we give out this kind of effort, we will get better and we will be ready when it comes district time,” North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan said.
The final play left Mahan questioning his decision to switch defenses on the final play, although going from zone to man standard coaching procedure under the circumstances.
“We switched to man on that very last possession. Although we had done very well going into the two or three different zones we switched up on them. That was a judgment call. We were up two and the last thing you want to give up is a three. Obviously the best way to protect against that is by going man-to-man,” Mahan said.
Middlesboro led most of the game with North Laurel seeming to have the advantage in the fourth quarter. Neither team led by more than six points. North Laurel had taken a four-point lead on a long inbounds play for a Hannah Gray layup. Middlesboro scored to make it a 42-40 game with 3.5 seconds. The Lady Jaguars inbounds pass was tied up with possession going to Middlesboro.
Middlesboro’s inbounds with 2.4 seconds ended up in the hands of Lauren Spurlock. Spurlock nailed the three-pointer, just the second of the game for the Lady Jackets.
“They were both big and they broke our back at the very end,” Mahan said.
North Laurel has two games left in the regular season. They were scheduled to play a Lynn Camp team Thursday that already has 20 wins. The season finale is a 2 p.m. home game Saturday against Oneida Baptist.
“If they will learn from this, we can do something this year like we did last year. I hope they realize that,” Mahan said.
Seniors Ashley Wyatt, Brooke Carpenter, and Kendall Ellington were honored Tuesday. Wyatt celebrated with 18 points and nine rebounds.
“Our seniors have gone through a whole lot in their time here at North Laurel High school. They need to be appreciated for being able to stay strong and keep our program going in the right direction,” Mahan said.
Middlesboro 43, North Laurel 42
Middlesboro 12 8 9 14—43
North Laurel 10 6 12 14—42
MIDDLESBORO (43)—Hensley 5, Padgett 15, Biscardi 3, Moyers 6, Spurlock 7, Stephney 6.
NORTH LAUREL (42)—Wyatt 18, Gray 5, Lawson 2, Raines 3, Bridges 3, Carpenter 3, Ellington 6, Sexton 2.