Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

December 9, 2012

Tomcats use big second half to beat Clark County

WINCHESTER — Ashland boys basketball coach Buddy Biggs was battling a cold during most of Friday's game at George Rogers Clark.

The Tomcats gave Biggs the hardwood equivalent of a heating pad and menthol salve on his chest. They overwhelmed the Cardinals in the second half, 55-29, on the way to a 92-73 victory.

Friday was the first time Biggs has defeated Clark after seven losses since he's been at Ashland, and he wasn't sure one of his Tomcat teams ever scored 55 points in a half.

“The cold is not quite as bad as it was before the game, there's no question,” Biggs said. “When you play a second half like that, you've got to give all the credit to the kids.”

For sophomore Nick Miller, his 23 points with 4-of-6 from three-point range was a long way from missing most of last season with a foot injury.

“If anything, it's going to get me going for the rest of the games,” Miller said.

And if you didn't know Ashland sophomore Dikembe Dixson could be a special player in the 16th Region, take a look at Friday's numbers: 28 points, 12-of-17 shooting from the field, eight rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and six steals.

Besides the scoring, Ashland turned a 22-11 rebounding deficit into a 31-29 triumph.

Ashland (3-0) has not seen its own court all year and had not played since knocking off Boyd County Nov. 30 in Cannonsburg, and in last night's first half, the Tomcats looked rusty as a 1957 Chevrolet that had sat in the garage since '65 — just one field goal over the final 4:41 of the first quarter.

“I was kind of upset with myself, but not with the team,” Dixson said. “We started out a little bad, so second half we did better, and the outcome was a win.”

Miller was involved in Ashland's first five points. He scored a little more than a minute in, and his pass from the top of the circle led to Zach Hart's 3-pointer from the right wing less than 30 seconds later.

Clark had some early foul trouble — guard Braxton Greene picked up a couple whistles. Good thing the Cardinals had forward Khmarkis Blanton, who scored six points in less than two minutes, which helped tie the game at 12-12.

And the Tomcats? No points for more than two minutes until Miller's free throw cut the Cardinal lead to 14-13.

Clark (0-4) countered with a 5-0 run on the way to its 19-13 lead after one quarter.

The Cardinals' speed continued to frustrate Ashland in the second. The Tomcats made just 11 of 26 shots in the half, and Clark held a 22-11 rebounding edge.

A Malik Warner bucket put Clark up 46-37 just 21 seconds into the third quarter.

Then, a whole lot of Dixsonian drama.

After Ross Thompson’s two free throws, Dixson: scored a layup off his steal of Warner's pass; took Miller's pass for another layup; and two steal-and-slam dunks in 15 seconds. That's eight points in 63 seconds, which gave Ashland a 49-47 lead.

“It felt amazing,” Dixson said. “My adrenaline was rushing, all that good stuff.”

Next, some Zach Hart heroics and Tyler Stewart scoring. Hart scored on a baseline drive and served the assist Stewart turned into a 3-pointer, followed by Stewart's three points.

Clark stayed close, trailing by just 55-54 midway through the third thanks to Blanton's five points. He led the Cardinals with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

The 6-foot-6 Dixson followed the earlier streak with four points and a block on the way to Ashland's 63-59 lead after three quarters.

“(Dixson's) length kind of took over,” Clark  coach Scott Humphrey said. “They turned us over a couple times. We became tentative, they became aggressive; that's probably the difference.”

The fourth quarter featured some Miller malice. In less than a minute he scored eight points, including two 3-pointers.

Two more Tomcats contributed. Steven Friley had four points, and Thompson poured in seven over the final 1:43.

Ashland hosts Greenup County next Tuesday before a Northern Kentucky swing to Boone County and Beechwood next weekend and three games at the Raceland Derby Classic Dec. 20-22.

So how long will Dixson remember Friday's win? Not very.

“This is the game I'll remember until Tuesday,” he said.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo