North Laurel tops Jackson in 13th Region finals

Published 7:06 am Tuesday, March 7, 2023


Contributing writer

It wasn’t the best shooting performance for North Laurel on Sunday in the championship game of the 13th Region Tournament finals against Jackson County.

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The Lady Jaguars shot 29 percent from the floor on 14 of 48 shooting, but managed to hit 13 of 29 free throws as they edged the Lady Generals, 42-39.

Jackson County led for most of the game. They held an 8-6 advantage after one period, 19-16 at halftime and 30-27 after three quarters.

The Lady Jaguars outscored their district opponent 15-9 in the final quarter to claim their second regional title.

Emily Sizemore, the tournament MVP, powered North Laurel with 21 points, including 11 of 14 free throws.

The Lady Jaguars led 40-39 with 33.3 seconds to play before Chloe McKnight hit one of two free throws.

Sizemore connected on one of two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to make it a three-point game.

Jackson County missed a 3-pointer as North escaped with the victory.

“Jackson County gave us everything we could handle,” said North Laurel coach Eddie Mahan. “I’m just so proud of my kids. Obviously, Emily Sizemore with her senior leadership, you could tell she rose to the occasion after she struggled there for the first couple of quarters.

“It was a complete team effort.”

McKnight scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds for North Laurel. Jaelyn Black followed with six points. Brooke Nichelson was held to three points while adding seven boards as she battled foul trouble most of the game.

Senior center Kenady Ward led the Lady Generals (22-10) with 12 points. Junior forward Kylee Shannon followed with 10 points. Abby Gilbert, a sophomore forward, added seven points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

The 29-6 Lady Jaguars will play 11th Region champion Frederick Douglass tonight at 8:30 p.m.

North Laurel won 66-53 at Frederick Douglass on Jan. 21.

Jackson upsets Corbin

The 13th Region All “A” Classic Champions may have claimed their biggest win of the season in Saturday’s semifinals.

Jackson County rolled past the defending region champions Corbin 64-42.

Jackson County took a 19-10 after eight minutes of play and outscored Corbin 23,-4 in the second quarter. The Lady Generals went into the locker room leading 42-14.

Kylee Shannon led Jackson County (22-9) with 27 points. Kenady Ward scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. She also added five assists. Abby Gilbert finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and three steals.

Bailey Stewart paced Corbin (22-10) with 16 points. Kylie Clem added nine.

Jackson County outrebounded Corbin 33-17.

North beats South — again

North Laurel Lady Jaguars beat crosstown rival South Laurel on Saturday 67-63 to earn its spot in the regional finals.

North Laurel improved to 28-6 on the season while  the Lady Cardinals ended the year at 19-15.

Sophomore guard Brooke Nichelson powered the Lady Jaguars with 28 points. Senior Emily Sizemore fired in 24 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Bella Sizemore, a sophomore guard, scored 10.

Eighth-grade guard Peyton Mabe and senior forward Emily Cox each scored 17 points for the Lady Cardinals. Mabe grabbed eight rebounds and added three assists. Cox had six rebounds and connected on four 3-pointers. Eighth-grade guard Shelbie Mills added 11 points.