Johnna Sizemore drives past Jenna Cornelison.

BEREA—Big game experience.

That’s what Coach Konnie Snyder is hoping her team gets out of playing in this year’s Berea Holiday Classic.

Friday night, they got that when they faced Madison Central, a team that put up 97 points the previous night against Perry Co. Central. But South Laurel isn’t Perry Central, and the Cardinals escaped with a thrilling 49-48 win, moving them into the finals of tournament A Saturday morning against the Fairdale-Jackson Co. winner.

“We finally won a close one at the end,” Snyder said. “We got a lot of experience in this game, with a lot of different situations and a lot of girls got some playing time. Erica Burchett, Vanessa Arthur, Tish Walker and Morgan Johnson all came off the bench and played well.”

Jessica Dean had a big first quarter for South, scoring eight of her team’s 16 points as the Cards held a 16-10 lead after one. Dean would finish the game with 13 points.

The Cards continued to build on their lead in the second quarter, opening with a 7-0 run to push the lead to 23-12 with 3:56 left. But the Cards then went cold, but Madison Central could only manage four more points, and South Laurel led 23-16 at the half.

The third quarter belonged to the Lady Indians, as they outscored South 20-12 to take a 36-35 lead. South was leading 35-28 on two consecutive baskets from Kendra Davidson with 3:03 left, but Madison Central ended the quarter on a 7-0 run to take the one-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Two free throws by Lyndsay Jones, and a basket by Iesha Farris, and Madison Central’s lead grew to 40-35 with 5:57 remaining.

A 5-2 South Laurel run cut the lead to 42-40 at the 4:16 mark. After both teams exchanged turnovers, Dean nailed her second three-pointer of the game to give her team a 43-42 lead with 3:23 left. Central would retake the lead on two free throws from Jones, but on the ensuing possession, Lauren Wombles, who finished with 15 points, drove to the basket and score to give South a 45-44 lead.

Burchett would add a basket at the 1:31 mark to push the lead to three, 47-44, before Christian Ciolek hit two free throws to bring her team to within one, 47-46.

A driving lay-up by Ciolek with 15.5 seconds left gave Madison Central a 48-47 lead. South then got the ball in the hands of Wombles, who drove the lane and pulled up for a short jumper and a 49-48 lead. Following a Madison Central time-out, the Lady Indians tried a desperation shot by Jones, but it was off the mark, and South Laurel came away with the 49-48 win.

“The second half we had some good shots, but we didn’t finish them,” Snyder said. “I think our legs might have gotten tired.”

While Snyder is happy to be in the finals of Tournament A, she said the experience her team is getting is what they will need later down the road.

South Laurel 58, Barren Co. 39

Lauren Wombles scored 21 points, 12 of those in the first quarter, to help the Cardinals to a 58-39 win over Barren Co. in the second game of the Berea Holiday Classic.

The Cards led 14-11 after one, and a 13-3 second quarter helped them build a 27-14 lead at the half. South built onto that lead in the third quarter by outscoring Barren Co. 20-7 to take a 47-21 lead going into the final quarter of action.

Jessica Dean added eight points, seven of those in the third quarter, while Porsha Justice and Kendra Davidson added seven each for South Laurel. Kelsey Mitchell led Barren Co. with 11 points, while Catherine Beals added 10.

Berea Holiday Classic

at Berea

South Laurel 49, Madison Central 48

South Laurel 16 7 12 14—49

Madison Cent. 10 6 20 12—48

South Laurel (49)—Wombles 15, Sizemore 7, Justice 6, Dean 13, Davidson 4, Burchett 4.

Madison Central (48)—Jones 9, Wilson 2, Ciolek 6, Sizemore 8, Cornelison 5, Farris 10, Busch 3, Sharp 5.

South Laurel 58, Barren Co. 39

South Laurel 14 13 20 11—58

Barren Co. 11 3 7 18—39

South Laurel (58)—Wombles 21, Arthur 2, Justice 7, Dean 8, Walker 3, Davidson 7, Wilson 2, Burchett 4, Johnson 4.

Barren Co. (39)—Mitchell 11, Chapman 2, Beals 10, Jones 5, Thomas 4, Steenbarger 2, Trowbridge 1, Caudell 4.

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