Diving out of bounds in order to create a turnover doesn’t show up in the box score.
However it does register on Lawrence County coach Josh Cook’s internal stat sheet under the column “Winning Plays.”
Brandon Richardson’s deflection and free throws on the resulting possession helped propel Lawrence County past Raceland 60-56 in the championship game of the Eighth Annual Raceland Derby Classic.
Earlier in the tournament, Cook had said that his team still had to learn to make such winning plays. Now he knows they are paying attention.
“That is a hustle play,” Cook said. “That is a kid sacrificing his body, jumping in the air and just making a great hustle play, and we really needed at that time.”
The Bulldogs, who lead by just two at the time, took advantage of the extra opportunity. Richardson, who had already knocked down three 3-pointers, was fouled attempting to make it four makes from behind the arc. After missing the first, the freshman calming sank the following two.
“I feel that we are starting to make a lot more of the winning plays, but we have a long way to go,” Cook said. “We have got to get a lot better. Basketball is a game of possessions and it comes down to who can win the most possessions.”
Once taking the lead midway through the fourth quarter, Lawrence County did what it had to do to keep it from the free throw line. The Bulldogs make the last six attempts from the charity stripe.
“Tonight it wasn’t always pretty, we had some bad possessions, but in the fourth quarter things went better and that gave us the advantage,” he said.
The Rams took a six point advantage into the final period, mostly on the shoulders of sophomore Connor Messer, who tallied six points in the final minute of the period.
Messer used his athleticism to dominate the glass and did most of his damage right around the rim. He finished with 22 points to go along with 17 rebounds.
Zack Kelly and David Pennington were the only other two Rams to reach double figures, scoring 16 and 10 respectively.
While Messer patrolled the paint for the Rams, the Bulldogs took advantage from the outside, where they made a total of eight 3-pointer baskets.
Grant Kiser accounted for three of those on his way to scoring 13 points. Timmy Dalton was responsible for the other two 3-pointers. He finished with 17 to lead Lawrence County.
LAWRENCE COUNTY 14 10 15 21 - 60
RACELAND 10 17 18 11 - 56
Lawrence County (60) – Kiser 13, Cyrus 6, R. Dalton 2, Chaffins 5, Richardson 15, T. Dalton 17, Prince 2, Wallen. FT: 9-13. 3-point FGs: 8 (Kiser 3, Richardson 3, T. Dalton 2). PF: 16. Fouled out: none.
Raceland (56) – Pennington 10, Blankenship 3, Kelly 16, Messer 22, Dixon 5, Waddle, Brown. FT: 5-12. 3-point FGs: 5 (Pennington, Blankenship, Kelly 2, Dixon). PF 12. Fouled out: None.
Boone County 71
Down by two with just over six seconds remaining, Ashland coach Buddy Biggs called a timeout to discuss what exactly he wanted them to do.
He got most of everything he wanted, everything but the final result.
Dikembe Dixson took the inbounds pass and raced down the court. The 6-foot-6 sophomore made it all the way to the Ashland basket, but was unable to make a contested layup, and the Tomcats fell to Boone County in the third-place game of the Derby Classic.
Dixon finished with 17 points, while Steven Friley added 21, but it was just not enough to battle past Boone County and Brenden Stanley.
Stanley scored a game-high 33 points.
BOONE COUNTY 18 16 14 23 - 71
ASHLAND 24 6 23 16 - 69
Boone County (71) – Ordu 2, Shultz 8 Warning 3, Stanley 33, Stockwell 2, Patton 10, McDonald 13, Hixenbaug. FT: 17-23. 3-point FGs: 0. PF: 25. Fouled out: none.
Ashland (69) - Thompson 6, Stewart 3, Friley 21, Rose 3, Hart 6, Dixon 17, Miller 13, Harshaw. FT: 22-32. 3-point FGs: 3 (Stewart, Salow, Miller). PF: 22. Fouled out: Friley.
Clay County 84
Lewis County 60
Clay County made sure to do one thing against Lewis County on Saturday, keep Brett Ruckel in check.
After going off for 40 points in previous game against Raceland, Clay County held Ruckel to just 16 points and defeated the Lions 84-60.
Clay County was led by Tyler McDaniel’s 23 points to help them take fifth place in the tournament.
CLAY COUNTY 20 14 13 27 - 84
LEWIS COUNTY 13 17 13 17 - 60
Clay County (84) – McDaniel 23, Reed 12, Rice 4, Lyttle 11, Bowling 19, Sams 2, Rojas 1, Wolfe 5, B. Smith 3. FT: 21-28. 3-point FGs: 3 (McDaniel). PF: 25. Fouled out: none.
Lewis County (60) – Davis 6, Duncan 1, Adams 13, Ruckel 16, Parker 8, Holder 3, Weddington 4, Pruitt 4, Ripato 5,Kimbler, Wellingford, Stapleton, Harlow. FT: 24-32. 3-point FGs: 4 (Ruckel 2, Parker, Holder). PF: 19. Fouled out: none.
East Carter 72
South Floyd 62
The Raiders avoided finishing 0-3 in the Derby Classic by taking down Soutb Floyd to claim seventh place.
Cole Brammer led the way for East Carter scoring 24 points, while Connor Greene added 17.
EAST CARTER 10 19 23 20 - 72
SOUTH FLOYD 14 11 17 21 - 62
East Carter (72) – Burchett 7, Huddle 11, Brammer 24, Greene 17, B. Marsh 4, Welsh 9, Roe, Nance, Damron. FT: 12-20. 3-point FGs: 6 (Huddle, Brammer, Greene 2, B. Marsh, Welsh). PF: 13. Fouled out: none.
South Floyd (62) – Justice 7, Daniels 13, Salisbury 14, Martin 7, Bailey 11, Little 8, Helton 3, Johnson. FT: 7-15. 3-point FGs: 2 (Bailey, Helton). PF: 20. Fouled out: Little.