By Chris Parsons
With just one game remaining in the regular season, the South Laurel Cardinals are still looking for some continuity and time is running out.
Despite the fact they’ve failed to gain any major momentum, South Laurel head coach Jeff Davis said he likes the progress his team has made at this point of the season.
“If you look at the beginning of the year, in the first two games we lose our one and two points guards,” Davis said. “Right off the bat you have to refocus and then work on getting those guys back healthy.
“With that said, I’m pleased with the way we’ve grown as a team and played together,” he added. “At the end of the year, you’d like to have more wins, but I think we’ve been playing better than we were in the beginning of the year and that’s what you want at this point of the season.”
After dropping to 0-3 to start the season, the Cardinals won consecutive games before embarking on a stretch where they lost five of the next seven games.
A pair of three-game win streaks, with a three-game losing skid in the middle, left Davis’ squad at 10-11 on the season.
Since then, South Laurel has dropped four of the last five games, including losses to 13th Region rivals North Laurel and Clay County.
As the season comes to a close, Davis said he’s anxious to see if his squad can get healthy for the postseason and try to make a deep run.
“We’ve got some guys out right now and we’re hoping to get them all back by the weekend,” Davis said. “I feel like if we can get everybody back in here, we’ll have a pretty good shot at a couple wins in the postseason.
“Once you win a game or two, anything can happen,” he added.
The Cardinals were without Zac Baxter, who Davis said was suffering from a “lingering bug” in Tuesday’s loss and were without Blake Sanders and Trevor Grubb in the early going.
With the two starting guards sidelined, Davis had to look elsewhere to make up for the time the pair missed on the floor. He said the experience some of his young players gained during the injuries would hopefully help the Cardinals in the long run.
“We were able to play some kids in the early going,” Davis said. “You can’t substitute for experience with these younger kids or any players really.
“It doesn’t matter how much you practice, when kids are gaining in-game experience they are going to get better,” he added. “Hopefully, we have our kids all healthy, but if we don’t, we have some guys that can play in their spots.”
South Laurel will close the regular season Friday at home when the Cardinals host Rockcastle County. Even though the postseason is just around the corner on Monday, Davis said the only thing on his mind at this time is the next game.
“We have focused on what’s next all season,” Davis said. “Whether it’s the next game or the next play, we don’t look any further into the future than that.
“We’ll try to come out Friday and play well against Rockcastle County and that’s our focus right now,” he added. “After that, we’ll look ahead to whatever is next in front of us.”