By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Too many missed easy baskets and free throws were South Laurel’s downfall Friday night as the Lady Cardinals dropped their third game in a row to visiting Garrard County, 40-38.
Trailing by two with 10 seconds left, South missed two attempts under the basket that could have sent the game into overtime. Coach Konnie Snyder knows her team is going to have to capitalize on those opportunities if are they going to be successful this season.
“We didn’t hit the bucket well,” Snyder said. “Most nights those shots go in. They just didn’t go in tonight.”
Garrard County’s Ryan Cain was sent to the line for a 1-and-1. She made the first, but missed the second. South pushed the ball upcourt quickly and Cassandra Johnson drove to the basket but missed her lay-up. Taylor Arthur grabbed the rebound and tried to put the ball back missed with a lot of contact on the second one but no whistle called.
“We’ve got to make those easy baskets and hit our free throws,” Snyder said. South was 4-of-11 from the charity stripe. Poor free throw shooting was South’s downfall in a loss to Harlan County in the second game of the season.
If there was a bright spot for South Laurel (1-3) it was the play of Emily Clonce. The senior forward led her team with 18 points. Taylor Arthur added 11.
“Emily played fantastic, probably the best I’ve seen her play,” Snyder said. “It was good to see someone else step up. We have five or six girls who can do that. We just have to get them playing like that at the same time.”
Garrard County (4-0) led 9-6 after one, and 20-16 at the half. South went the last 4:59 of the first quarter without a point, then went from the 5:15 mark to the 1:40 mark in the second quarter without scoring.
It was in the third quarter that South finally started to put some offense together. A three by Clonce cut the lead to one, 22-21, early in the third. After the lead went back to three (24-21), South went on a 7-0 run, and with 3:28 left, the Lady Cards now held a 28-24 lead. Garrard would cut the lead to one, 32-31, going into the fourth quarter.
After the Lady Lions tied the at 32-32, Clonce scored to give her team a 34-32 lead with 5:59 left. It would be the last lead South Laurel would enjoy in the game.
A three by Devin Conley put Garrard on top, 35-34. Cain then scored to make it a three point game. Two Arthur free throws cut the lead back to one, 37-36, but Cain answered on the other end with a lay-up for a 39-36 lead.
Preslie Baker then stole the ball and got it to Arthur underneath for a basket to once again bring South within one with 59.5 seconds left. The Lady Lions then ran the clock down to 10 seconds before Karli Parker could foul Cain.
Cain and Conley led Garrard with 12 points each.
“I thought both teams played hard tonight and played good defense,” Snyder said. “Most of the times when both teams play like that the game looks like it did. This was a disappointing loss for us.”
The Lady Cards will now travel to take on district foe Corbin tonight.
Garrard County 40, South Laurel 38
Garrard County 9 11 11 9—40
South Laurel 6 10 16 6—38
GARRARD COUNTY (40)—Cain 12, Conley 12, Murray 3, Floyd 4, Smith 2, Kidd 6.
SOUTH LAUREL (38)—Clonce 18, Arthur 11, Madden 2, Parker 3, Baker 2, Johnson 2.