LOUISVILLE — North Laurel saw its eight-game win streak fall to the wayside after dropping a 76-52 decision to state power Sacred Heart on Saturday.
The Lady Jaguars (11-2) fell behind double digits in the first half and could never recover while being outscored 39-28 during the second half.
North Laurel finished the game shooting 19-of-43 from the floor while hitting on 8-of-15 shot attempts from 3-point range.
The Valkyries connected on 34-of-63 shot attempts while outrebounding the Lady Jaguars, 31-25. Sacred Heart took advantage of North Laurel’s 20 turnovers, scoring 21 points off of the miscues.
“Today’s game is exactly what we needed,” North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan said. “Sacred Heart is deserving of their state and national rankings. Obviously, size was an issue for us today but the biggest issues were a lack of consistent effort and poor execution. It’s two issues we have been addressing all year but have been able to fight through enough to still win. When playing a team like Sacred Heart, they spotlight any errors you make. When we were lazy getting back or was slow rotating on defense we got scored on.
“When we have played good teams our offense becomes stagnant and our team is standing too much and wanting one or two players to take care of our offense,” he added. “Our team is based on every player being a threat and being focused and that’s not what we are getting consistently.”
Senior Hailee Valentine led the Lady Jaguars with 31 points and 11 rebounds while junior Emily Sizemore turned in a nine-point scoring effort.
Sacred Heart led 19–14 at the end of the first quarter, and 36-24 at halftime before extending its lead to 52-37 entering the fourth quarter. The Valkyries outscored North Laurel, 24-15, during the fourth quarter.
“We made a good run in the third quarter and cut the lead to 10 but couldn’t keep with it to make the run we needed,” Mahan said. “That’s where the competitive drive we need has to carry us through.
“The thing about this time of year though is we have no time to be upset,” he added. “We have Rockcastle, South Laurel, and GRC all waiting for us this week.”
The Lady Jaguars are scheduled to be back in action Tuesday at home against Rockcastle County. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart 76, North Laurel 52
North Laurel 14 10 13 15 52
Sacred Heart 19 17 16 24 76
North Laurel (52) — Valentine 31, B. Sizemore 3, E. Sizemore 9, G. McKnight 3, C. McKnight 6.
Sacred Heart (76) — Johnson 17, Lovan 2, Russell 12, Bender 6, Pelayo 16, Howe 3, Gilvin 4, Wolff 16.