Defending champs roll past Pineville in regional opener

Published 4:57 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

By John Henson

Contributing Sports Writer

Defending 13th Region champ North Laurel moved one step closer to a repeat with a dominating 69-40 win over Pineville in the opening game of the 13th Region Tournament on Monday at The Corbin Arena.

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The Lady Jaguars scored the game’s first five points and led all the way in improving their record to 27-5. Junior wing Brooke Nichelson hit 13 of 16 shots, including all four 3-point attempts, in a 34-point night. Chloe McKnight, a 6-3 senior center, added 14 points in addition to making life difficult for the Lady Lions in the paint.

Pineville shot only 29 percent for the game, hitting 11 of 38 shots, and turned the ball over 16 times.

Junior guard Ava Arnett led the 20-10 Lady Lions with 19 points. Standout senior guard Madison Johnson was limited to nine points.

It was the 17th straight first-round exit for Pineville, which last won a game in the regional tournament in 1984.