Knox Central captures third straight regional title with win over North Laurel

By Les Dixon, Corbin Times Tribune

CORBIN — To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best and for the third year in a row, the Knox Central Panthers are the best team in the 13th Region.
The Panthers erased an early 15-10 deficit in the first half and never looked back, defeating North Laurel during Saturday’s 13th Region title game, 78-63,
Knox Central became the first team to win in the 13th Region to win three consecutive region titles since South Laurel accomplished the feat from 2006 to 2008.

North Laurel built a 15-10 lead in the first quarter and held a 19-18 advantage with under a minute remaining in the first period before seeing the Panthers take the lead for good just seconds later at 21-18.
Five players scored in double figures for Knox Central, including tournament MVP Gavin Chadwell, who scored 17 points and pulled down six rebounds. Abram Brock finished with 16 points while Isaac Mills (14 points), Jevonte Turner (12 points), and Andrew Sizemore (11 points). Brock, Mills, Turner, and Sizemore also joined Chadwell in the All-Tournament Team.
Sophomore Reed Sheppard led North Laurel with a game-high 38 points. He also led the team with seven rebounds, five assists, three blocks, and three steals. Ryan Davidson, who scored his 1,000th career point in the first quarter, finished with 17 points and five rebounds.
Knox Central led 25-19 at the end of the first quarter and 43-36 at halftime before putting the game away with a 17-6 run in the third quarter.
The Panthers shot 26-of-45 from the floor, including a red-hot 8-of-12 from 3-point range. Knox Central outrebounded the Jaguars, 29-18.
Saturday Boys’ Tournament Notebook:
***Knox Central is the eighth school in 13th Region history to win three boys’ regional titles in a row. Joins 06-08 SL, 84-90 Clay, 73-76 Clay, 57-59 Clay, 53-55 Clay, 47-52 Corbin, & 42-45 Harlan.
***Knox Central is the fifth team in the past 65 years to win each of their tournament games by 15 or more points joining 2016 SL, 1992 Clay, 1978 Clay, 1974 Clay.
***Tonight’s loss was North Laurel’s first setback of the season to a 13th Region team.
***Knox Central had five double-figure scorers in tonight’s championship game.
***Knox Central will face Ashland Blazer in the opening round of the Sweet 16.
Knox Central 78, North Laurel 63
Knox Central (78) — Sizemore 11, Ledford 6, Brock 16, K. Turner 2, J. Turner 12, Mills 14, Chadwell 17.
North Laurel (63) — Sheppard 38, Dotson 3, Sizemore 2, Elza 1, Davidson 17, Harris 2.
Knox Central 25 18 17 18 78
North Laurel  19 17   6 21 63