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Don’t look now, but the North Laurel Jaguars are quietly becoming a very dangerous team. They beat George Rogers Clark by one on the road a week ago, then Saturday, pulled out an exciting 69-62 triple overtime win from Dixie Heights, a team that had beaten South Laurel the night before. Sandwiched in-between those two close games was a blowout of Madison Southern.

Of course, the Colonels might have been a little tired, having played South Laurel about 18 hours prior to Saturday’s afternoon tip-off. It looked to me like their big man, Luke Mace, was struggling to get up and down the floor, and was really a non-factor in the game.

Give credit to Coach Jim Conway for pressing Dixie Heights and forcing the game into an up-tempo style. He knew that the Colonels would probably be a little tired after the South game, and the Jaguars took full advantage of that.

Leading the charge, of course, was Josh Seidel, whose praises I sang about a few weeks back. He poured in 31 points, and the shot that sent the game into its first overtime.

Funny thing was, everybody in the gym, from the concession workers to the Dixie Heights players, knew that Seidel was going to get the ball for the game-tying shot, yet no one was able to stop him. That’s the sign of a big time player, as Conway has called him all season long.

Not to be outdone, Kyle Kendall scored 33 points for Dixie Heights in a losing effort. Let me tell you something, that kid, like Seidel, is the real deal.

But the unsung hero of Saturday’s win was probably Nick Shannon, who scored 20 points, and was six-of-six from the free throw line in the third overtime period to help North Laurel seal the win.

You know that Seidel is going to get his points (he is leading the 13th Region in scoring), and Adrian Wardrup has been coming on lately. But it seems like, if Shannon has a good game, so does North Laurel. Of course, that’s what you expect from your point guard. He makes the Jaguar engine run, and right now, it’s running smoothly.

If North Laurel makes a run deep into the post season, they can look at those signature wins over GRC and Dixie Heights as two key points in their season.

Over at South Laurel, Matt St. John has been having a tremendous season, as he scored 25 points in the loss to Dixie Heights, and totally outplayed Mace, who stood two inches taller than him.

Unfortunately for Coach Steve Wright, no one really helped St. John in that game, as no other Cardinal reached double digits. And even though they are having a good season, it could be better, but they can’t just rely on the broad shoulders of St. John.

Losing Matt Gilbert to a broken collarbone will hurt South Laurel, but that just means that players like Jorden Bortnem, Billy Jones, Jamaal Duncan and Zac Smith will have to step their game up.

Two bright spots have been the play of youngsters Matt Watkins and Wes Dean. Both are capable of scoring, and their defense has really picked up as the season has progressed.

I really expect both North Laurel and South Laurel to do some damage in the post season.





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