The name of the town became the name of the game.
Boyd County junior forward Grayson Griffith helped turn a yawner into a breathtaker as the Lions outlasted East Carter, 55-52, on Thursday night at Harold Holbrook Athletic Complex East in Grayson.
After East Carter’s Trenton Welsh drained a top-of-the-key 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to tie the game at 52 apiece, Boyd County nearly ran too far.
Marcus Jarrell found himself underneath the basket with defenders closing in along the baseline, but the tightroping guard flipped a pass to Griffith who was awaiting his chance. A baseline 3-point jumper hit bottom with 6 seconds to go.
Said Griffith afterward: “I knew there was at least five seconds left on the clock. Marcus made a good pass to me and there was nobody around me. It was just a good look.”
On the ensuing possession, East Carter was unable to get a shot off amid solid Boyd County pressure as the game went final.
Griffith led the Lions (16-9) with 18 points, and was 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Of the six lead changes that went in Boyd County’s favor, Griffith accounted for three of them.
Boyd County played the final 4:26 without season leading scorer Austin Hunt. Hunt had 11 points and nine rebounds before exiting with intense cramps in both calves.
The Lions trailed by five at the time, but responded with a 13-5 run to end the game.
“Everybody else just picked up,” said Boyd County coach Randy Anderson. “That’s just been kind of a trait we’ve been seeing out of this team.”
Jesse Wallace scored all six of his points in the final four minutes to help hold off the Raiders.
Quinn Huddle and Connor Greene shared team-high honors with 15 points, while Welsh added 11.
East Carter (10-15) played without three starters — leading scorer/rebounder Kyle Stewart (sprained ankle), Jordan Burchett (torn ligaments in ankle) and Cole Brammer (broken nose).
The Raiders made up for the void by using outstanding effort to follow through on a game plan. They limited a good-shooting Boyd County team to 38 percent from the floor. Griffith’s three 3s were the only long balls in 12 attempts.
Anderson wasn’t surprised, considering who his coaching counterpart was.
“A Brandon Baker team plays extremely hard,” Anderson said. “You had better have your shorts tied and be ready to play. We didn’t match their intensity the first half.”
Said Baker: “We couldn’t feel sorry for ourselves (with the injuries). It opened up minutes for other people. A lot of guys did a lot of good things for us.”
Boyd County trailed 13-9 after one quarter, and 26-23 at halftime. The Raiders turned the Lions over 11 times in the first 16 minutes.
The Lions played a more sound second half, topping it off with good late-game movement with and without the ball.
“It just came down to making plays,” Anderson said.
Boyd County travels to Fairview tonight. East Carter hosts Rowan County on Monday.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2664.
Griffith hits clutch 3 to boost Boyd County over shorthanded East Carter
The name of the town became the name of the game.
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- Fleming goes for two: Panthers beat Ashland for 16th Region repeat Fleming County pulled away early and never looked back as the Panthers pounced on Ashland, winning 82-59 in the 16th Region championship game on Tuesday in Morehead. Fleming County will face Scott County in the Sweet Sixteen next Wednesday at Rupp Arena.
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.
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