LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The opportunities kept coming. North Laurel rebounded with Knox Central in the first half, including nine offensive rebounds. They turned only two of those into points. North Laurel trailed 27-17 at the half, but the third quarter has been their quarter all season.
“We were flat in the first half and I don’t know why. That’s what I told them. You’re playing in a regional. If you don’t win this game, there is no season tomorrow,” Sizemore said.
Sizemore did change defenses in the second half, but the main task he had as a coach was to find his team’s power switch.
“We went to a 1-3-1 (defense) and we got moving. That was the main thing. We’ve got some length and size. We’re not very good defensively when we stand around. When we start being active and get our hands in the passing lane, I thought we were able to give them some problems,” Sizemore said.
There were times Knox Central looked rattled in the third quarter with the Jaguars’ defense running and jumping with wild abandon. The Panthers turned the ball over seven times in the third quarter, but only two turned into points for North Laurel. The Jaguars also had only one rebound in the third quarter as Knox Central flexed more muscle inside. The only shot the Panthers missed in the third quarter was blocked by Allen.
“I started acting crazy over there and they got some energy going. We hit some shots. That’s the main thing. They slowed us down early in the game and we weren’t scoring. We just kind of got to standing around defensively,” Sizemore said.
Even with the good things North Laurel did in the third quarter, they trailed 35-23 with 2:50 remaining. Henson’s only points had been a pair of free throws, but that was about to change.