Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 27, 2013

16th Region Tournament: Semis Circled

Ashland bounces West, moves to 7th straight semifinal

MOREHEAD — Sophomore Dikembe Dixson's debut in the Boys 16th Region Tournament produced rave reviews.

Dixson rarely missed while dropping in 24 points and also swatted away six shots as Ashland beat West Carter 63-48 in the tournament opener Tuesday night at Johnson Arena. The Tomcats will make their seventh consecutive tournament semifinal appearance.

“I felt good out there,” Dixson said after his dominant performance on Morehead State University's floor. “The only other time I played here was during the summer.”

West Carter didn't have anybody taller than 6-foot-2 to contest the 6-6 Dixson, who was 9-for-11 from close range and made all six of his free throws. He came in shooting 59 percent from the field.

“He's a difficult matchup for us because of his size and length,” said Comets coach Jeremy Webb, whose team surrendered 30 points to Dixson two weeks ago in Ashland's 63-50 win. “It's not just his offense but the way he protects the rim. Our guys were trying to alter their shots and we had a hard time putting the ball in the basket.”

West Carter led 12-11 after Dustin Black buried a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the first quarter.

But the Comets quickly went stone cold, going 0-for-14 in the second period. They trailed by 11 points at the half and couldn't get closer than eight the rest of the way.

 “I thought we did a good job in the first half finding (Kyle) Brown and (Jacob) Layne defensively,” Ashland coach Buddy Biggs said. “It was nice to get this one out of the way. A lot of our kids have not played in this type environment, with these kind of stakes.”

Ashland, coming off its 57th all-time district title, improved to 23-9 and will meet Fleming County in the semifinals Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Tomcats have shot better than 50 percent from the field in each of their three postseason games. They went 13-for-19 in the second half Tuesday to make it 11 wins in the last 12 games.

“West Carter isn't the biggest team inside, so we tried to exploit that,” Ashland guard Logan Salow said. “Dikembe did a good job getting open and being patient.”   

 Dixson's big night pushed him over the 600-point mark this season, only the 15th time it has happened in Tomcat history.

The team's other sophomore starter, 6-3 forward Nick Miller, supplied 11 points and seven rebounds as Ashland posted a 41-24 advantage on the boards.

“They are special,” Salow said of the sophomore duo. “They are key right now in getting us to this point, and hopefully further.”

Dixson was surprised to learn that he blocked a half-dozen shots.

“I didn't know I had that many,” he said. “Coach said to swat everything if I was not in foul trouble.”

Dixson made three rejections in the first half before sitting out the last 4:45 after picking up his second foul.

Salow, a senior guard and catalyst during the Tomcats' stretch run, finished with 10 points and four assists. Salow made a nice feed to Dixson for a layup to start the second half, then splashed his second 3-pointer of the night.

Ashland took a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter and built the margin to as much as 20 inside the final minute.

Junior Steven Friley gave the Tomcats another lift off the bench with nine points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

“Ashland's a very good team,” Webb said. “You can't go 7:48 without a point in the second quarter and expect to beat that kind of team. Defensively, they extended out during that time and took away some of our open looks.”

West Carter (9-20) connected on only 14 percent of its shot attempts in the first half.

Brown, the Comets' career scoring leader with many school records, struggled offensively from the start. He shot 2-for-16, with both baskets coming in the second half. Black, the team's other senior, scored 13 points.

“Kyle and Dustin both have meant everything to our program on and off the court,” Webb said. “Both probably didn't have the game they wanted tonight, but looking at the body of work these two had very successful careers.”

Layne led the Comets with 14 points, including two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter before Ashland pulled away. The Tomcats made 12 of their 17 turnovers in the first half to help West Carter hang around despite its shooting woes.

Tickets on sale

Tickets for both the Ashland boys semifinal game and Ashland girls first-round game will be on sale today at 1 p.m. at Ashland Blazer High School.     

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Flatwoods mayoral debate set for Tuesday

    A public debate among the candidates seeking to become the next mayor of Flatwoods will take place next week.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ashland couple indicted on grave violation charges

     A man and a woman from Ashland have been indicted for allegedly stealing brass flower vases from graves at Rose Hill Burial Park.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Shore clerk gives updates on city building bids, sewer project

    City officials may not have to wait much longer to move from their temporary offices on Main Street into a shiny, new building.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fate of stray animals in Carter County questioned

    Stray animals in Carter County may be disappearing because no one seems to know exactly where they are going.

    April 22, 2014

  • Recovery center finds home

    The mayor of Grayson said he isn’t concerned about the money a new recovery center will funnel into the city, although he is deeply appreciative of what the proposed facility may be able to offer “people who really need help” recovering from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

    April 22, 2014

  • Olive Hill man charged with shooting wife during dispute

    A Carter County man has been arrested for allegedly shooting his wife in the neck during a domestic dispute.
    Robert Tackett, 47, of Olive Hill, was lodged in the Carter County Detention Center on Monday, charged with attempted murder-domestic violence, Kentucky State Police at Ashland said.

    April 22, 2014

  • Two of three Greenup commission seats on ballot

    Two of three commission seats are up for grabs in Greenup County this fall, and both will involve primary contests to determine the ballot lineup in the November election.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0423attmurder_tackett.jpg Olive Hill man charged with attempted murder

    A Carter County man has been arrested for allegedly shooting his wife in the neck during a domestic dispute.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rotary updated on Alliance

    Ed Neely, president of the Ashland Rotary Club and chairman of the Ashland Alliance, addressed Rotarians in both capacities during the Monday meeting to give an update on the organization’s recent progress.

    April 21, 2014

  • Prater has been satisfying fans’ hunger for 40 years

    Debbie Prater has satisfied thousands of athletes’, parents’ and fans’ snacking desires for nearly 360 months.
    That’s just about 40 years of serving nachos, popcorn, chili dogs, water and soda from Lewis County’s football, basketball and baseball concession stands, and Prater is retiring after this year’s last pitch.

    April 21, 2014