Feb. 17—MCKEE — It took three quarters but once North Laurel's offensive attack got hot, there was no looking back for the Lady Jaguars during Friday's 77-53 win over Jackson County.
Eddie Mahan's squad trailed 19-13 at the end of the first quarter and only led 32-27 at halftime and 45-38 going into the fourth quarter before putting the game away for good.
North Laurel (14-2) outscored the Lady Generals, 32-15, in the fourth quarter as juniors Hailee Valentine and Emily Sizemore combined to score 21 points during the game's final eight minutes.
Valentine scored 12 of her game-high 30 points during the period while Emily Sizemore added nine of her 19 points.
"Nothing tonight felt like it was going right," Mahan said. "From the on-again, off-again, of the game itself, and the eventual changing of the game times, to how we played and the physicality of the game. Jackson County is a good team and they have a coach who does a great job, but we were our own worst enemy tonight. We missed 12 layups that I have never seen us miss this year. However, even with all of that, our team woke up and began to play like ourselves in the fourth quarter.
"Emily Sizemore and Hailee Valentine both scored well and the crazy thing, could have played so much better," he added. "My eighth-graders and the McKnight girls all stepped up in different ways and helped our team pull out our win. I keep saying that the best thing about this team is its persistence. No matter how we are playing they keep grinding to get the win. That is a special quality for a team."
Bella Sizemore also scored in double figures for the Lady Jaguars, finishing with 10 points while Brooke Nichelson turned in a nine-point scoring effort.
North Laurel was able to continue its dominance against not only 49th District competition but also Jackson County. The Lady Jaguars are now 28-1 against the Lady Generals while running their win streak against Jackson County to 25 games.
Mahan's squad is now unbeaten in its last 19 games against 49th District competition.
The Lady Jaguars are now 7-0 since losing to state power Sacred Heart, 87-76, on Jan. 23
North Laurel 77, Jackson County 53
North Laurel 13 19 13 32 77
Jackson County 19 8 11 15 53
North Laurel (77) — Valentine 30, B. Sizemore 10, E. Sizemore 19, Nichelson 9, C. McKnight 4, McClure 2, G. McKnight 3.
Jackson County (53) — Carl 13, Lakes 4, Shannon 17, Rose 2, Ward 14, Gilbert 3.