Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 15, 2014

Improved effort helps Lewis find groove

VANCEBURG —

After last Friday’s four-point home loss to Elliott County, Lewis County coach Joe Hampton was very pessimistic about his team’s outlook for the remainder of the season.

Four days later, which included a double-overtime two-point defeat to a highly respected Dixie Heights team, followed by a 29-point win over Raceland and a 38-point victory over Russell, that doom and gloom attitude was gone.

What a difference a day (or two, or three or four) makes.

Tuesday night’s 83-45 win over Russell gave the Lions back-to-back dominant performances against a pair of rivals and improved the team’s record in 63rd District play to 3-0.

Against Russell (4-13), Lewis County wasted no time picking up were it left off in Monday’s victory over Raceland. The Lions’ offense was so on target they jumped out to a 23-3 lead and were never challenged.

Lewis County continued to pile on the points and led 45-15 with 3:03 to play in the first half. It eventually took a 31-point advantage into the locker room.

The margin stretched to 36 with just under a minute left in the third quarter. The fourth quarter featured a running clock and only 14 points as both coaches dug deep into their benches.

So, what was the difference between Friday and Tuesday for coach Hampton’s club?

“We weren’t real happy with our effort Friday. Honestly, the whole year we haven’t been pleased with our effort. But, we played an extremely good team Saturday (Dixie Heights) … and even though we didn’t win, we played very hard,” he said. “I can handle defeat if we play hard and I thought we played extremely hard Saturday. We took (Dixie Heights) to double overtime and maybe that opened some eyes.”

In Hampton’s opinion, maybe the Dixie Heights loss was really a win. The team’s turnaround in effort certainly made it seem so.

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