By the time Huntington Prep and Walnut Hills took the floor for the day’s main event, both Boyd County basketball teams settled into the stands with victories by their names.
When Prep junior Montaque Gill-Caesar extended his right arm back and polished off an alley-oop with a strong one-handed flush, the Lions and Lady Lions could just sit back and enjoy the show.
“That’s what this is, a show,” said Boyd County boys coach Randy Anderson.
Day 1 of the second annual Boyd County Roundball Classic featured four games. Six are on the docket today, beginning at noon at Boyd County Middle School.
On Friday, Huntington St. Joe beat Ashland’s girls, 73-48, Boyd County’s girls defeated Johnson Central, 67-58, Boyd County’s boys routed Elliott County, 78-45 and Huntington Prep outdueled Walnut Hills.
Anderson complimented Lady Lions coach Pete Fraley, also the event’s organizer.
“I can’t say enough about Pete Fraley,” Anderson said. “This is an awesome function.”
Boyd Co. 78
Elliott Co. 45
Boyd County shot 62 percent from the floor and quickly distanced themselves from the visiting Lions.
Boyd County (1-2) opened up a 28-11 inside the three-minute mark of the second quarter.
Grayson Griffith scored 21 points and hauled in nine rebounds, Tristan Burgess tallied 19 points and Jonah Black added 13 to lead the way.
Elliott County depends on the three-ball heavily. The Lions (4-1) went a frigid 3 of 29 from long range.
Anderson gave credit to his team’s defense.
“Tonight, we were just trying to be solid,” said the coach. “Our first two games (both losses) we weren’t good defensively.
“All 11 guys that saw the floor tonight had the right focus, right heart,” he added.
Boyd County converted on 34 of 55 field goals and outrebounded Elliott County, 38-26.
ELLIOTT 8 9 16 12 — 45
BOYD CO. 14 18 21 25 — 78
Elliott County (45) — Nickell 5, L. Griffith 8, R. Griffith 3, Holbrook 12, Howell 4, Porter 5, I. Griffith 6, Sloas, Whitley. 3-Pt. FG: 3 (Holbrook 3). FT: 14-19. PF: 11. Turnovers: 9.
Boyd County (78) — Black 13, Anderson 9, Meade 8, Griffith 21, Burgess 19, Gauze 8, Mullins 2, Rowsey, Damron, Preece, Evans. 3-Pt. FG: 6 (Burgess 3, Griffith, Anderson, Black). FT: 6-7. PF: 17. Turnovers: 11.
Boyd Co. 67
J. Central 58
Lady Lions coach Pete Fraley wasn’t exactly in a cheery mood for three quarters of his team’s win over Johnson Central.
His disposition changed by the game’s close, thanks to a 16-5 fourth-period spurt sparked by defense.
“I wasn’t happy leading up to that finish, but we started getting in front of them and contesting shots,” Fraley said.
Logan Fraley, the game’s leading scorer at 21 points, connected on a pair of timely 3-pointers in the quarter. The first gave the Lady Lions a 54-53 lead with 7:20 to go. The second put them ahead 60-55.
Pete Fraley thought eighth-grader Payton Caldwell’s baseline 3-pointer supplied a key swing in momentum. It deadlocked the game at 49-49 with 1:49 to go in the third quarter.
“I bet she hadn’t played eight minutes all season,” Fraley said. “But she had no fear.”
Following a Jayla Spurlock runner, Johnson Central managed a mere three points over the final six-plus minutes.
Still, Fraley was impressed with the opponent. The Lady Eagles are now 3-2.
“Darrin (Rice, first-year head coach) has completely turned them around,” Fraley said of a group that went 14-16 a year ago. “They’re a nice team. They junked it up some, threw a triangle-and-two (defense) at us, gave us some different looks. I thought our kids responded in the end.”
Logan Fraley, a junior Marshall commit, was 8 of 11 from the foul line, contributing to a 22-of-33 team effort. She also sank three of five perimeter shots and recorded six rebounds.
Despite illness, freshman Alexis Lunsford came up with 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and five boards.
Johnson Central used a 16-5 run in the first 3:25 of the second quarter to capture a 28-22 lead. Spurlock, Lauren Delong and Rachel Hall highlighted the surge.
Spurlock recorded 18 points and six rebounds. Hall finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Delong netted 13 points.
Taylor Wheeler worked her way to 13 points and five rebounds for Boyd County (2-2). Houston Reeves added eight points.
J. CENTRAL 12 21 20 5 — 58
BOYD CO. 17 17 17 16 — 67
Johnson Central (58) — Daniel 5, Pierce 2, Delong 13, Spurlock 18, Hall 12, Salyer 8, McPeek. 3-Pt. FG: 2 (Daniel, Spurlock). FT: 12-18. PF: 16. Turnovers: 18.
Boyd County (67) — Reeves 8, T. Wheeler 13, Fraley 21, Lunsford 17, Goins 4, Caldwell 3, S. Wheeler, Stewart. 3-Pt. FG: 7 (Fraley 3, Lunsford 3, Reeves). FT: 22-33. PF: 18. Turnovers: 13.
Hunt. St. Joe 73
A near triple-double for Notre Dame signee Mychal Johnson and a Lady Irish 3-point barrage pushed Huntington St. Joe to a blowout of Ashland in the Boyd County Roundball Classic opener.
St. Joe (2-0) sizzled from beyond the arc early, as seven first-quarter long balls hit bottom. In all, St. Joe was 15 of 29 from downtown.
Griffin Dempsey, headed to the University of Charlotte next season, nailed seven of 11 trey attempts for 21 points.
Her backcourt partner, point guard Johnson, filled up the stat sheet with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Ashland coach Bill Bradley said St. Joe’s sharp shooting and the Kittens’ jitters resulted in a 28-11 deficit after one period.
“I thought we were intimidated at first,” Bradley said. “I think we were a little nervous.”
The Kittens (2-1) struggled to find their stroke, especially at the foul line — they finished 7 of 19 from the charity stripe.
Junior point guard Alexis Robinson tallied a team-best 17 points. Haley-Sue Foutch added 10 points as did Shelby Gransbery. Gransbery also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.
St. Joe committed just eight mistakes compared to Ashland’s 17 turnovers.
“They’re a total veteran team,” said Bradley, referring to St. Joe’s starting lineup of four seniors and a sophomore. “They put on a clinic. They know who their leader (Johnson) is, and they know to get out of the way when she is on a roll.”
ST. JOE 28 9 14 22 — 73
ASHLAND 11 14 10 13 — 48
St. Joe (73) — Mychal Johnson 27, Dempsey 21, R. Lee 17, Petitte 6, Mychelle Johnson, B. Lee, Ziegler, Ca. Gale 2, Ch. Gale, Di. Disu, De. Disu, Jeffrey, Parker. 3-Pt. FG: 15 (Dempsey 7, Mychal Johnson 3, Lee 3, Petitte 2). FT: 12-17. PF: 16. Turnovers: 8.
Ashland (48) — Foutch 10, Gransbery 10, Young 6, A. Robinson 17, Roberts, Hammond 1, M. Robinson 4. 3-Pt. FG: 3 (Young 2, A. Robinson). FT: 7-19. PF: 11. Turnovers: 16.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.