CORBIN — By Les Dixon
JACKSON COUNTY — North Laurel proved the old saying that “you can throw a team’s record out the window” to be true Tuesday during semifinal action of the 49th District Tournament.
The Lady Jaguars entered their game against Jackson County with only five wins, but you’d never had known it judging by their impressive 68-34 blowout win.
The two teams had just met less than two weeks before, as North Laurel (6-24) managed to pull out a 46-37 win — Tuesday’s 34-point victory was totally different.
“We changed around two or three different things, kind of game-planned around what Jackson County does with their strengths and tried to make sure we were able to attack it the right way this time,” North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan said. “They gave us problems with (the zone) last time. Part of that was just because we weren’t hitting, but we also didn’t have a whole lot of offenses to penetrate against the zone. We added two or three things that we were going to be able run against it. We ran it early and had a lot of success against it.”
The Lady Jaguars jumped out to a 19-5 edge in the first quarter while building a 31-10 lead at halftime and never looked back, as seventh grader Hannah Lawson led the way with 20 points while Brooke Carpenter added 18.
“That shows a lot of guts, a lot of tenacity, and also show what kind of player she’s going to be,” Mahan said of Lawson’s play. “What I have been most impressed with this year of her development is her ability ot be able to read the game and he basketball IQ is definitely up.”
The win advances North Laurel to Thursday’s 49th District title game against Clay County, who has already beaten the Lady Jaguars twice this season.
49th District Girls Tournament at Jackson County High School
North Laurel 68, Jackson County 34
North Laurel 19 12 17 20 68
Jackson County 5 5 13 11 34
North Laurel (68) – Wyatt 15, Chestnut 3, Gray 5, Smith 1, Lawson 20, Hamm 2, Carpenter 18, Ellington 4.
Jackson County (34) – Rose 15, Belt 4, Madden 4, Ball 2, Crowe 8, Hammonds 1.