LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
ORLANDO, FLA—North Laurel wrapped up play in the Rock Holiday Classic with a 49-45 win over Island Coast (Fla.) on Saturday. The game came down to the final possession with Marcus Carson sealing the win at the foul line.
“We called a timeout with 20 seconds left and put the ball in his hands to get to the rim. He blew by his man and was fouled,” North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore said.
Carson was fouled with 1.5 seconds and made both free throws. It wasn’t the first clutch free throws of the season for Carson, who also sealed the win over Corbin in the Legacy Nissan Shootout.
Carson and Austin Thompson led North Laurel with 15 points each against Island Coast.
“Thompson played really well. He scored a bunch of those points in the second half of a close game,” Sizemore said. “There were three possessions in row he got the ball on baseline and drove it.”
All three games in the tournament were close, with the Jaguars dropping an 86-82 overtime game to Etowah (Ga.) on Friday. Jake Allen took a pass from Peyton Broughton and hit the layup that sent the game into overtime. It was a good night for the Jaguars inside game. Austin Rush led North Laurel with 19 points and Allen scored 15.
“Rush played really well. He was a really good presence on the block. He scored pretty much every time he got the ball inside,” Sizemore said. “That game was probably his best game since Jake came back. It was like every possession one of them was scoring for us.”
Allen also had 16 rebounds against Etowah and Rush eight rebounds. Carson scored 16 points with 10 assists. Broughton scored 14 points with 10 rebounds. Elijah Jervis scored nine points by going 3-for-3 on three-pointers.
“They were really pressing and pushing the ball. It was a real fast-paced game. I actually thought it was one of the best games we played all year. It was just a couple of plays at the end of the game,” Sizemore said.
Sizemore said Etowah would substitute five players at a time every few minutes in the first half to keep a fresh team on the floor. Still the Jaguars only turned the ball over nine times.
North Laurel opened the tournament with a 62-54 loss to Mars, (PA) on Thursday with all three tournament games coming down to the final minutes.
“It was really good competition. Every game was close, very competitive. We faced a lot of speed and athleticism every day,” Sizemore said. “Hopefully it is going to help us when we get back and play some of these local teams.”
North Laurel will play at South Laurel Friday and at Owsley County Saturday.