Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 23, 2013

Tag-team knockout

Lions share spotlight as Boyd drops Russell

Aaron Snyder
The Independent

SUMMIT —  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 asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.