By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore knew he would have to replace three key players next season, now he has a fourth. Center Jake Allen has reportedly enrolled at Clay County High School.
Allen averaged 14.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Last season he broke a finger during a preseason scrimmage and got a late start on the court. He averaged 11.9 points per game and 8.4 rebounds.
Officials at North Laurel did not want to comment stating that was their policy on student matters.
Officials at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association referred questions to the KHSAA handbook. KHSAA Bylaw 6 states that a student transferring from one member school to another is subject to a one-year period of ineligibility. This period of ineligibility may be waived if there is a bona fide change of residence. KHSAA Assistant Commissioner Darren Bilberry did not address questions about Allen specifically, but did give a time line on transfer requests in general.
“When we receive these requests in our office, if all of the information on the form is accurate, we try and make a decision within two to three business days,” he said.
Clay County will have to replace seven seniors from last year’s 13th Region championship team. Those players include front court starters Marty Bowling, Stephon Lyttle, and Kody Reed. All three averaged in double figures with Bowling pulling down a team-high 11 rebounds per game. The Tigers will be building around junior guard Tyler McDaniel, who averaged 18.5 points per game.
Clay County finished 26-7 last season and defeated North Laurel three times, including a 64-58 win in the 49th District title game.
The 6-foot-8 Allen helped lead the Jaguars to their first 13th Region title as a sophomore. Louisville Courier Journal sportswriter Jody Demling ranked Allen as the 25th best player in the class of 2014 last year.
North Laurel finished the season 16-16, a year after playing in its first Sweet Sixteen. They will lose point guard Marcus Carson, who will be playing baseball at the University of Kentucky, and forward Austin Rush, who signed with Transylvania. Also graduating is guard Kendrick Henson a part-time starter.