Mar. 5—LONDON — North Laurel accomplishes a feat no other 13th Region team has done since 2014-15 season by starting with an unblemished 19-0 record.
The last team to do it was Williamsburg, who went on to win the 13th Region championship. Of course, the Jaguars have their eye on the prize but currently they're preparing for two big games coming up Friday and Saturday against Ashland Blazer and No. 1 ranked Lexington Catholic.
Nate Valentine's squad had to shake off some rust in the first quarter against McCreary Central on Monday before using a 26-point second quarter to propel them to an easy 80-39 win.
"We seemed a little bit sluggish early tonight," Valentine said. "Chase hit a 3 at the buzzer at the end of the first quarter and that seemed to flip to the switch for us.
"We got contributions from several guys tonight," he added. "I was very pleased with our defensive effort in the second half. We now have two tough games this weekend that will only help us later this year in the tournament."
Sophomore Reed Sheppard continued his impressive play and missed out on recording his second career quadruple-double by only two steals.
He finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, eight steals and one block while Ryan Davidson added 20 points and seven rebounds. Brody Brock also finished in double figures, tallying 14 points.
North Laurel fought hard to build a 21-15 advantage in the first quarter thanks to Chase Keen's 3-pointer at the buzzer, and used a 17-2 run in the second quarter to outscore the Raiders, 26-9, while building a 47-24 halftime lead.
The Jaguars put the finishing touches on the win by outscoring McCreary Central, 18-13, in the third quarter and 15-2 during the game's final eight minutes. They 32-of-55 shot attempts and went 9-of-11 front he free-throw line.
Valentine's squad outrebounded the Raiders, 24-15, and managed to score 28 points off of McCreary Central's 15 turnovers.
North Laurel 80, McCreary Central 39
McCreary Central 15 9 13 2 39
North Laurel 21 26 18 15 80
McCreary Central (39) — Conatser 4, Davis 14, Stephens 17, McKinney 2, Trammell 2.
North Laurel (80) — Sheppard 26, Sizemore 8, Davidson 20, Brock 14, Harris 2, Reynolds 3, Elza 2, Keen 3, Messer 2.