Boyd County was in no mood for a third defeat this week.
Not even when the opponent was Ashland, ranked in the top 15 of various state polls.
Boyd County, smarting from setbacks to East Carter and Ironton, took it to Kittens from the start and rolled to a 57-39 victory Saturday night at Boyd County Middle School.
“We’ve had spirited practices,” Lady Lions coach Pete Fraley said. “Coming off two losses, we were looking at a three-game losing streak. Our kids stepped up tonight and played well.”
Competing with a sense of urgency, the Boyd County used an active 1-2-2 defense to hold the Kittens to easily their lowest scoring output of the season.
“We marked their shooters and kept them in check,” Fraley said.
The Lady Lions also beat Ashland down the floor for several baskets in building a 17-point lead midway through the second quarter.
“Boyd County really played well,” Ashland coach Bill Bradley said. “They came after us like crazy, and we didn’t match their intensity. We’ve got to do a better job of getting ready. We were not sharp. We weren’t boxing out, getting through screens, or getting the loose balls. Boyd County muscled us around.”
As a result, the Lady Lions ended a five-game losing streak to the Kittens and beat them for only the second time in their last 20 meetings.
“It was a good way to end the weekend for our boys and girls. Boyd County definitely needed that,” said junior forward Taylor Wheeler. Boyd’s boys knocked off Ashland on Friday.
Wheeler, honored before the game for scoring her 1,000th career point on Monday at East Carter, added a game-high 20 to her total against Ashland.
Wheeler had three runouts in the first half to aid the Lady Lions’ fast start. She shot 7-of-11 overall, most of them driving layups.
“Taylor Wheeler, what can you say?,” remarked Fraley. “She’s such a great competitor. Those runouts were important in getting us out to the lead.”
Defensively, Boyd County held Ashland to 26-percent shooting. The Kittens managed only 24 points through three quarters.
“Everybody has a job,” Wheeler said of the zone defense, “and everybody did it tonight. It was a team effort, especially on defense.”
Logan Fraley played a key role with one of her best all-around games of the season. The 5-foot-11 sophomore finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
Fraley said she got the silent treatment from her father/coach after the Lady Lions’ last two games.
“I don’t like losing at all,” Logan said. “We always get hyped up to play Ashland. They are a really good team. You have to come out and play your best game, especially against them.”
Ashland (13-4) surged at the start of the third quarter behind center Haley Sue Foutch to get within 31-22, but Boyd County turned it on again and pulled out to a 20-point lead early in the fourth period.
Emily Stewart scored all nine of her points in the first half for the Lady Lions (13-6), who outrebounded Ashland 42-32.
Alexis Robinson had 19 points and eight rebounds for Ashland, but finished 5-for-19 and connected on just 6-of-12 free throws. The Kittens missed four consecutive 3-pointers to open the game and connected on only 4-of-25 overall.
“Defensively, we jammed it up and did a good job closing out on their 3-point shooters,” Pete Fraley said.
ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2671.
Lady Lions follow boys, rout Ashland win
Boyd County was in no mood for a third defeat this week.
- Local Sports
- Lewis county advances to Monday's semifinal Lewis County held of a late charge by the Boyd County Lions Saturday afternoon to earn a match up against Fleming County in the 16th Region Tournament in Morehead.
- Fleming County boys move to the semifinal Elliott County's Hunter Holbrook had 21 points Saturday, but the Fleming County Panthers had four players in double figures to beat the Lions 67-45 to advance to the semifinal round of the 16th Region Boys Basketball Tournament in Morehead.
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"I'm stunned, wow," he said.
Ashland's coach had just learned of the remarkable numbers the Robinsons had put together in the 16th Region championship game.
- Kittens complete three-peat Ashland's girls used a 14-6 third-quarter run and an MVP-like performance from junior Alexis Robinson to beat East Carter, 45-41, on Friday in Morehead. The Kittens accomplished their first region three-peat in program history. Robinson scored 25 points and earned MVP honors for the third straight tournament.
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Michael Salmons, so dubbed on the cover of The Independent’s 1998 football preseason preview tab before his senior season as a Raceland fullback and defensive lineman, was introduced Friday afternoon to the Rams as their new head football coach.
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Even if Cinderella stories are what captivate basketball observers during March, there’s no room to complain with Ashland and East Carter facing off in tonight’s 16thRegion Tournament final, either.
- GALLERY: Kittens beat Fleming in region semifnal Ashland used another nice performance by Haley-Sue Foutch, who led the Kittens with 18 points and 11 rebounds, as it pulled away from Fleming County in the second half. The Kittens won, 57-39, in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals in Morehead. They will face East Carter on Friday at 7 p.m. Mykasa Robinson added a career-high 16 points for the Kittens (23-8).
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