Boyd County’s offense ran like an old-fashioned game of tag.
Tag, you’re it, Austin Hunt. Tag, you’re it, Grayson Griffith. Tag, you’re it, Todd Stacy. Tag, you’re it, Jesse Wallace.
Russell coach Merle Kidwell simply called it an old-fashioned butt kicking.
Boyd County continued its boiling hot ways as it rolled Russell, 79-59, on Tuesday night at Boyd County Middle School.
Hunt led the Lions with 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting. The Lions were 18 of 28 from the floor in the second half as they turned a 31-28 halftime lead into a 20-point rout.
Friday’s long-awaited win over Ashland may have opened the door to a brand of Boyd County basketball not seen in quite some time.
“That win, I think, just set off a spark that kind of ignited us,” said Griffith, a junior. “We’ve just got to try to keep that going.”
Hunt started off hot against his former school. The senior hit two pull-up jumpers and a turnaround two to contribute to his eight-point period.
Griffith seized the sizzle from there. He splashed in a pair of 3-pointers and drained two pull-up paint shots to help himself to a 10-point second stanza.
In comes Stacy, who turned two Red Devil turnovers into buckets and drilled a three on his way to a nine-point third.
Finally, in the fourth, Wallace diced up the Devil defense for seven of his nine total points.
Griffith had 18 and Stacy 12 to join Hunt in double figures, but Lions coach Randy Anderson was just as happy with a double-digit rebounding margin — 36-25.
“In football it’s three-and-out, in basketball it’s one-and-done,” said Anderson, referring to allowing the opponent just one shot per possession. “Everybody’s got to be a rebounder, not just our bigs.”
That’s especially true with the team’s biggest player, Brandon Lowe, out for the remainder of the season.
“Once B-Lowe went out, everybody realized there’s six to eight (rebounds) a game, that all of us have to pick up the slack,” Anderson said.
Tristan Burgess paced the Lions on the glass with seven boards.
Russell senior Lance Evans grabbed a team-best six rebounds to go with 15 points against his former school. Kyle Skaggs tallied a game-high 27 points for the Red Devils, and Jacob Porter pitched in 12. Only six shots were attempted outside of those three players.
Russell (18-5) saw a nine-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt. It heads to the Touchstone Energy All “A” Classic on Thursday.
“This is the first bit of adversity we’ve had in a while,” Kidwell said. “Pointing fingers and making excuses, which we did at times in the second half, needs to change. We’ll be fine.”
Kidwell pointed the finger at himself for not amending Russell’s defensive look.
“I was stubborn,” he said. “We’d played so well in (man-to-man) all year, I stuck with it too long, and that’s how you get beat. I’ll take the blame for not getting out of the man-to-man.”
Kidwell also admitted that Boyd County (14-9) was extremely tough to guard, even without Lowe. The Lions became only the second team to score 79 or more points against Russell this season — the other was Covington Scott.
Anderson supplied a reason why. “We’re really pushing the basketball, and we’re sharing it. There’s no clique or no selfishness. We like each other and we’re making great memories together.”
AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2664.
Lions share spotlight as Boyd drops Russell
Boyd County’s offense ran like an old-fashioned game of tag.
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VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights
Fleming County defeated Lewis County, 66-58, and Ashland beat Greenup County, 81-61, on Monday night at Morehead State University to set up tonight's championship matchup. Tipoff is set for 7.
Ashland cruises past Greenup to 16th Region championship game
Tyler Stewart is known for his unrelenting hustle as one of Ashland’s glue guys.
When the senior guard can pitch in some offense too, as he did Monday in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals, that’s just one more problem for Tomcats opponents.
Stewart scored 20 points, senior Steven Friley posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ashland outscored Greenup County 21-9 in the third quarter to break open what was a seven-point game at halftime and cruise past the Musketeers, 81-61.
Fleming battles back to 16th Region final
A healthy Wilder Williams this season has given Fleming County a whole new dimension.
Prior to his sophomore year, Williams sustained a football injury that resulted in three ankle surgeries and limited him to bench duty last season while the Panthers made their run to the 16th Region championship.
A physical 6-foot-3 player, Williams is making his presence felt around the basket as Fleming County looks to return to the Sweet Sixteen.
AARON SNYDER: Will the next hero be unmasked?
Who will the bat signal shine for tonight?
Or, should I say, the Cat signal?
In the third installment of a trilogy that might rival the Batman three-pack of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Fleming County and Ashland will battle in a matchup that has produced a classic clash in each of the last two 16th Region Tournaments.
If the first two collectively served as a gradual progressions to tonight’s scene, the climax could be off the charts.
Corey Gregg was Ashland’s superhero in 2012, when the senior confidently fired a perfect 3-point shot from the right corner. The triple thrust the Tomcats and Panthers into overtime, from which Ashland emerged 79-73 in a first-round game.
Central wins, Lawrence falls in 15th
The biggest concern for Lawrence County coach Josh Cook was staying out of foul trouble.
His team stayed in it all night, and it cost them a spot in the 15th Region title game.
Shelby Valley senior Tyler Carr led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Wildcats knocked off Lawrence County, 72-60, in the semifinals of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
“This one hurts,” said Cook. “We’ll learn from this, and I have no doubt that our kids will get back here and finish the job.”
- Fleming hangs tough to beat Lewis Fleming County locked into another fight against Lewis County, which beat the Panthers earlier this season, before winning 66-58 on Monday in Morehead. Wilder Williams posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Panthers, who face Ashland on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
- GALLERY: Ashland gets by Greenup County, will meet Fleming in region final Ashland's Steven Friley scored 21 points Monday to lead the Tomcats to an 81-61 win over Greenup County in the 16th Region semifinal in Morehead.
Kittens clamoring for more at state
Ashland girls basketball coaches went the extra mile, and a whole bunch more, to get a first-hand scouting report on the Kittens’ opponent for the State Tournament.
Head coach Bill Bradley and assistant Phil Wittich drove all the way to Henderson — 5 hours, 20 minutes one way Bradley said on the way home — to take in Sunday’s Second Region championship game.
Henderson County, playing on its home floor, defeated University Heights 67-54. The Lady Colonels went unbeaten in their region this season and are 24-5 overall.
EKC hands out hardware
The Eastern Kentucky Conference handed out its 2014 awards on Monday afternoon at a luncheon at Carter Caves.
Barracudas earn kudos from coach
Ashland Area YMCA swimmers impressed coach Ryan Ferguson from start to finish in the three-day Kentucky Y Competitive Swim League State Meet.
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