North Laurel rides first quarter to down Lady Cats

Published 9:56 am Friday, January 27, 2023


Contributing writer

On paper, North Laurel playing at Bell County on Jan. 24 should’ve been a regional showdown.

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The Lady Jaguars held Bell High to one point in the opening quarter and poured in 26 points themselves to claim a 77-58 victory.

“Obviously, the first quarter killed us. I thought North came out and was the aggressor and we didn’t handle it well,” said Bell County coach David Teague. “I thought we played well the next three quarters, outscored then 57-53 during that stretch. Hard to get down to a team of their caliber.”

North Laurel placed four players in double figures.

Sophomore guard Brooke Nichelson poured in 23 points to lead the Lady Jaguars. Senior guard Emily Sizemore followed with 18 points while sophomore guard Bella Sizemore and junior center Chloe McKnight each tallied 14 points.

Junior forward Gracie Jo Wilder paced Bell County with 17 points. Lauren McGeorge, a sophomore guard, followed with 15 and senior guard Mataya Ausmus scored 10.

Sophomore Kylee Greer-Gann tossed in five points for the Lady Cats. Mikayla Gambrel and Kairi Lamb each scored four. Hallee Jones added three.

The North Laurel advantage was 44-21 at the break. The Lady Cats cut the deficit to 57-41 after three quarters.

Lamb and Wilder each had eight rebounds for Bell County. Ausmus pulled down six.

The Lady Cats shot 34 percent from the floor on 19 of 56 shooting. Bell County hit 15 of 22 free throws and we’re five of 16 from behind the arc.

“I hope it’s a game we can learn from and use it to get better down the stretch,” added Teague.

The Lady Jaguars has won five straight over Bell High.

North Laurel (15-4) was slated to play 12-3 Danville Christian in the Rocket Classic at Rockcastle County on Friday.

The Lady Jaguars will meet Owensboro Catholic (16-4) in Mount Vernon today.

Bell County (15-6) hosted Middlesboro on Friday. The Lady Cats will host South Laurel (12-11) Friday at 2:30 p.m.

Bell will play host to Harlan on Tuesday in a girls/boys district doubleheader beginning at 6.