For the 600th time in his career, South Laurel Coach Chris Souder led his team to a win on the basketball court, as the Lady Cardinals defeated the visiting Corbin Lady Redhounds 59-44 in the 50th District matchup.
Souder has had a storied career, including two state championships at Mercer County, and several appearances in the Sweet 16. Since joining South Laurel in 2019, he has guided the Lady Cardinals to two back-to-back 13th Region championships.
On Tuesday, Souder gave all of the credit to the players, coaches, and schools that he has worked with over the course of his career.
“I told the girls that winning 600 games means two things. One, it means I’m getting old. Two, it means that I have been fortunate and blessed to work with some great people,” said Souder. “We have had great players, great teams, and great coaches over the years. I’ve been blessed in my career to work with some of the best.”
If Tuesday night was any indication, Souder looks to have another great team in the making in 2022, with the Lady Cardinals looking like one of the top two teams in the region at this point in the season.
South Laurel used an impressive defensive performance to take out the Lady Redhounds in what was their first district win of the season. Corbin got off to a slow start to the game, falling behind 28-19 at the half.
Coach Isaac Wilson said when the shots are not falling for his team, they struggle to maintain the confidence they need to make up for it in other areas of the game, which is what happened to them on Tuesday.
“We are just having a hard time seeing the ball go through the net right now,” said Wilson. “We had a hard time getting to the free throw line and South Laurel was able to get there and knock down some shots.”
The third quarter was the turning point in the game. Clara Collins knocked down two big three point shots for the Lady Cardinals and eighth grader Skeeter Mabe scored four points in the quarter.
Collins was one of four South Laurel players to reach double figures on the night, finishing the game with 12 points. Gracie Turner added 13, while Emily Cox finished with 11. Rachel Presley, who has been battling sickness, came off the bench to lead the Lady Cardinals with 16.
Souder said that Presley has had a tough start to the season, working through injury and illness, but is coming along nicely. He said it was good to see her have a big game on Tuesday.
“Rachel has had a tough season so far. We had two snow days and she came in to practice and that was the first time we had seen her since our Christmas break,” said Souder. “She’s doing a good job and we are doing a better job of getting her the ball. It takes practice to be able to feed your post players and I have told her to stay patient and we’ll keep getting better.”
The Lady Cardinals were able to finish the game off in the fourth quarter, going nine-of-13 from the line down the stretch, on their way to the 59-44 win.
Shelby Stewart finished with 14 to lead the Lady Redhounds. Kallie Housley added 13 and Darcie Anderson added 10 in the loss.
South Laurel 59, Corbin 44
South Laurel 16 12 16 15 - 59
Corbin 9 10 8 17 - 44
South Laurel (59) - Presley 16, Turner 13, Collins 12, Cox 11, Corbin Miller 2, Mabe 5
Corbin (44) - Shelby Stewart 14, Housley 13, Anderson 10, Raegan Walker 3, Erica Angel 2, Lauren Faulkner 2