Boyd County’s offense revolves around movement and defense under coach Randy Anderson. For three quarters, it revolved around standing.
Boyd County, though, responded in the fourth quarter and exploded for 22 points on its way to defeat Fairview 61-49 on Friday night at Fairview High School.
After Fairview had the lead through most of the first three quarters, Anderson said his team finally stepped up its pressure and ball movement in the final frame.
“We just kind of passed it and looked, passed it and looked,” Anderson said. “We’re not very good when we do that. Second of all, our defense is our best offense.
“I think tonight and (Thursday against East Carter) in the first half we were waiting for it to come to us instead of making it happen.”
One player who made it happen for Boyd County was Austin Hunt, who finished with a game-high 20 points.
After struggling in the first half with just six points, Hunt was more aggressive in the post and drove to the basket more often in the second half.
“It’s about doing whatever I have to do for us to win,” Hunt said. “At the time we needed a couple of buckets, so I started to be more aggressive. And thankfully I knocked down my free throws and put us in good shape.”
With the loss of Brandon Lowe, the Lions have been looking to solidify their presence in the post.
For Anderson, sometimes that mean sticking usual wing player Hunt down low and letting him use his strength to get to the basket.
“He’s starting to understand his game, especially at this level,” Anderson said. “I’m sure it’s going to be different at the college level. He’s really worked on his body and on what God’s given him. He’s really athletic and very strong.”
For three quarters, though, the game was in Fairview’s control with its athleticism and ball-hawking defense.
Elijah King capped off the first quarter with a king-sized two-handed dunk that gave the Eagles a 10-point lead late in the first quarter.
He then hit a buzzer-beating off-balanced running jumper to give Fairview an eight-point lead at the end of the first.
King finished the game with 12 points and played for nearly 29 minutes before fouling out on a late technical foul.
“He just impacts the game in so many ways,” said Fairview coach Derek Cooksey. “To be honest we should have probably got him a break there, but he didn’t want to come off the floor. That’s something we’re still figuring out.”
Logan Thovson finished with 11 points for the Eagles while Isaiah King 10. Fairview never regained the lead after Boyd County tied it at the end of third quarter.
It was another case of coming so close, but not finishing the game with a win for the Eagles.
“We’ve been in that situation all year,” Cooksey said. “Especially in district games. (Against) Ashland and Boyd, we’ve been there in the fourth quarter.”
Lions junior Tristan Burgess hit three huge 3-pointers to lead Boyd County’s fourth-quarter breakaway.
Burgess finished the game with 14 points with all four field goals coming from behind the arc, which isn’t surprising to Hunt.
“He’s the best shooter I’ve ever been in the gym with,” Hunt said. “You’re surprised when he misses, that’s how good he is. He’s a big part of our team.”
Todd Stacy finished with 10 points for Boyd County, while Brandon Taylor was a perfect 4 of 4 from the field for 10 points.
The win marks Boyd County’s (17-9) seventh in a row and ties the Lions with Ashland for the No. 1 seed in the 64th District.
A coin flip will determine which team will have the top spot and play Rose Hill, while the No. 2 seed takes on Fairview (11-11).
For Anderson, who is not a betting man, Ashland should get the call in the air.
“Ashland better call it because I’ve never played the lottery and I’ve never been to Vegas,” Anderson said. “We’ve went from two years ago to where we’ve loved to be in this situation and now we’re in the situation where our kids have won and created that opportunity.”
Boyd County 75
The 64th District girls No. 1 seed will also be down to a coin flip between Boyd County and Ashland after the Lady Lions routed Fairview on Friday night.
Taylor Wheeler scored 16 points to lead Boyd County (17-7) which raced out to a 23-7 lead in the first quarter.
Logan Fraley scored 12 points while Emily Stewart scored 11 for the Lady Lions.
Fairview (10-12) was led by Madison Humphrey with 11 points while Brittany Bell added 10 points.
BOYD CO. 23 21 23 8 — 75
FAIRVIEW 7 16 9 4 — 36
Boyd County (75) — E. Stewart 11, Hou. Reeves 2, T. Wheeler 16, Fraley 12, Lunsford 6, Hu. Reeves 9, Coburn 7, Goins 5, Kenser 7, A. Stewart, S. Wheeler. FT: 12-26, 3-PT: 5 (Wheeler, Fraley 2, Lunsford, Hu. Reeves).
Fairview (36) — McPeek 2, Mac. Humphrey 7, Meeks 2, Mad. Humphrey 11, Mayes 3, Bohannon 1, Bell 10, Cornwell, Adkins, Thompson, Fraley, Reynolds. FT: 9-16. 3-PT FG: 3 (Mac. Humphrey, Mad. Humphrey, Mayes.)
KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2658.