Mar. 10—WILDER — Elijah Jervis's North Laurel Jaguar sixth-grade basketball team is bringing home a state championship after defeating North Oldham in the sixth-grade state title game on Sunday, 46-31.
The 15-point victory capped off a perfect 20-0 season for the Jaguars. North Laurel jumped out early and never looked back during its championship win.
"This has been a fun ride," Jervis said. "It's easy to coach these guys. The kids are so relentless. I told them from our first practice to play hard, play smart, play together and that's exactly what we did."
The Jaguars' sixth-grade squad has now won three state championships in the past five years, and all three wins have been against North Oldham.
"This is great. It's awesome at this level," Jervis said. "Right here is where it starts. Winning another state championship means a lot to the program."
Joe Smith led the way with 21 points while Cooper Elza turned in a 12-point scoring effort. Jude McWhorter finished with eight points while Brayden Hampton scored four points and Asher Edwards finished with one point.
The Jaguars took control in the first quarter and jumped out to a 14-7 lead after seeing Smith score six points while Elza hit a 3-pointer and added four points, and McWhorter also scored four points.
North Laurel was able to take control of the game in the second quarter by outscoring North Oldham, 13-3, to take a 27-10 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Smith added seven points in the quarter while Elza scored three points. Hampton tossed in two points during the period while Edwards connected on a free throw attempt.
Smith continued with the hot-hand in the third quarter by adding six points while McWhorter and Elza each scored four points apiece and Hampton chipped in two points to increase the Jaguars' advantage to 43-21 going into the final quarter of play.
North Oldham outscored North Laurel, 10-3, in the fourth quarter but the damage had already been done. Smith scored twice points in the period while Elza added a free throw to put the finishing touches on the championship win.
"I told them in the huddle, offense wins games and defense wins championships, and that's what it came down to," Jervis said of the championship win.
Members of the team are Cam Anderson, Brayden Hampton, Jude McWhorter, Cooper Elza, Joe Smith, Asher Edwards, Lucas Cupp, Carson Goins, Jayden Duncan, Brodon Hacker, Sawyer Miller, and Evan Zarate. Coaches are head coach Elijah Jervis, assistant coach Jack Caudill, assistant coach Roy Rawlings, assistant coach Ken Sizemore and manager Timmy Caldwell.
6th Grade State Middle School Tournament
North Laurel 46, North Oldham 31
North Oldham 7 3 11 10 31
North Laurel 14 13 16 3 46
North Oldham (31) — Green 22, Seely 6, Shearer 2, Aubrey 1.
North Laurel (46) — Smith 21, Elza 12, McWhorter 8, Hampton 4, Edwards 1.