Warriors routed by North Laurel

Feb. 15—Coming off another rivalry victory over Pulaski, the Southwestern Warriors were back in action inside the Wig Wam on Tuesday evening, welcoming in a North Laurel squad that had just knocked off Pulaski as well on Monday. Still missing the presence of do-it-all forward Jordyn McDonald, the Warriors were hoping to fare better than their crosstown foes against one of Region 13's best.

For a quarter at least, Southwestern was right there with the Lady Jaguars. However, a rout that began to form in the second quarter eventually got out of hand, as North Laurel dominated the second half to take home a 75-46 victory over the Warriors.

Sophomore Haley Combs scored the first three points of the game before baskets from Jaelyn Dye and Payton Acey put the Warriors in front for the first time in the ball game 4-3. Combs and junior Brooke Nichelson flipped the lead back in favor of the visitors shortly thereafter. Kinsley Molden nailed the first three-pointer of the contest to tie the game back up at 7-7.

Again it was the Lady Jags who pushed back out to a three-point lead, although after a three from Kylie Dalton plus a layup from Jessalyn Flynn, the Warriors went back on top 12-10 and forced a timeout from North Laurel. A traditional three-point play from senior Chloe McKnight gave the Jags a 13-12 lead after the first quarter.

Ava Jones tied the game up soon after the start of the second with a made shot from long range at 15-15. That was the last time this game would be tied, however. Baskets from Chloe McKnight, Nichelson and freshman Mariella Claybrook, as well as a three from senior Jaelyn Black set the Jaguars on a 11-2 run and gave them a 26-17 advantage. Flynn broke the run with a made free throw.

Two straight baskets inside from Chloe McKnight forced Southwestern head coach Junior Molden to use a timeout as the Lady Jaguars were attacking the paint to much success so far. Acey and Megan Loudermilk were able to slice into the North Laurel lead heading into the final moments of the period, but the Jags still went into the break with a 35-24 lead after Combs scored on a traditional three-point play shortly before the buzzer.

Nichelson and Dalton opened up the third quarter by trading baskets to keep the North Laurel lead at 11. A quick 5-0 run by the Jaguars forced another timeout by Southwestern early in the period, with that run extending to 8-0 out of the timeout. Two made free throws from Loudermilk finally broke that run, before two more from Chloe McKnight and five from Gracie McKnight made this game lean into blowout territory as North Laurel was up 52-28.

Acey had two made from the line and after three-pointers from Loudermilk and Kenzie Williams, the Warriors had made a small dent into the North Laurel lead as they now trailed by 18 points. A Nichelson three closed the quarter though and gave the Jaguars a 57-36 lead heading into the fourth.

North Laurel began the fourth by pushing the game virtually out of reach with a 7-0 run that made the score 64-36. Acey and Dye both scored but both teams soon emptied their benches as the North Laurel lead was insurmountable at this point. Dye scored one more time, with freshman Andrea West also scoring a basket, before the end of the game as the Lady Jaguars defeated Southwestern by a 75-46 final score.

The Warriors were led by Acey with 12 points, with both Loudermilk and Dye adding seven points apiece. Dalton added five, Flynn had four, the trio of Williams, Jones and Molden had three and West added two to wrap up their scoring. North Laurel was led by Chloe McKnight with a game-high 21 points.

Southwestern falls to 16-9 for the season and will square off with crosstown foe Somerset on Friday at the Briar Patch.

Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at