By Chris Parsons
JACKSON COUNTY — The North Laurel Jaguars went to Jackson County High School with a purpose Tuesday — to prove a point.
The Jaguars did just that in the form of a 47-43 overtime win over the host team, Jackson County Generals, guaranteeing the defending 13th Region champions a spot in this year’s tournament at Harlan County High School.
Before the game, Jaguars’ coach Brad Sizemore said he told his players that not many people expected them to beat the Generals, but he wasn’t buying it.
“These boys came down here to prove a point,” Sizemore said. “I’ll be honest with you, I told them before the game a lot of people don’t think we can win this game. Everybody doubts you.
“I’m just happy for them,” he added. “They have fought adversity all year and it’s been a different experience learning how to play with a target on our back.”
North Laurel’s Marcus Carson scored 17 points to lead the Jaguars, while Kendrick Henson added 11.
The Jaguars took a 7-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Jackson County recovered with a 16-7 second-quarter effort to take a 20-14 lead at the end of the first half.
The Jaguars tied things up by the end of the third quarter, outscoring the home team 10-4 in the third period to make the score 24 apiece.
The two teams traded points throughout the fourth quarter, scoring 14 each to leave things tied at 38 all as time ran out in regulation.
Sizemore’s squad outscored the generals 9-5 in the overtime period, advancing to the 49th District championship game on Friday night.
Boys 49th District Tournament Semifinals at Jackson County High School
North Laurel 47, Jackson County 43
North Laurel 7 7 10 14 9 47
Jackson County 4 16 4 14 5 43
North Laurel (47) – Carson 17, Broughton 3, Thompson 6, Henson 11, Allen 4, Rush 6.
Jackson County (43) – Fox 3, Hammons 12, Bingham 3, Lawson 15, Wagers 10.