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Defending 13th Region champions South Laurel punches ticket to Sweet 16

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 3:22 AM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - WYMT and Kentucky Sports Radio are teaming up to bring you the Martin’s Peterbilt 13th Region tournament as part of the Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week showcase.

In the girls’ 13th Region championship game Monday night, it was a cross-county battle between the Lady Jaguars of North Laurel vs. the Lady Cardinals of South Laurel at the Corbin Arena.

Defending champions South Laurel beat North Laurel in a close one, 63-57.

Rachel Presley led the Lady Cardinals with 18 points and 13 rebounds. She was also named the tournament MVP.

Hailee Valentine led North Laurel in scoring with 29 points, which included four three-pointers.

The win was extra special for Presley, who lost her dad before the season started. She and South Laurel Coach Chris Souder talked about how he was still with her, even though he is no longer here.

“I felt him with me here this morning and throughout the game. Of course, at the end of the game, that’s why I was so emotional, because this is exactly what he would want for me and I’m glad that I was able to do that for him,” Presley said.

“We’re going to run everything through Rachel. She’s been through so much, our heart goes out for her. Of everyone, she’s probably the nicest kid in this gym. She just kept battling and we’ve had to have meetings and talks just to get her through it because her dad was so special to her. He’s really looking down on Rachel tonight. I don’t know that I’ve ever been more proud of a young lady in my coaching career than I am tonight of Rachel,” Souder said.

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