Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 19, 2014

McKenzie hits milestone for Central

Golden Eagles edge Lawrence County, 69-65


Tommy McKenzie became the all-time winningest coach in Johnson Central history on Saturday night as the Golden Eagles edged 57th District foe Lawrence County in front of a packed house at Eagle Fieldhouse. 

McKenzie, 32, in his seventh season as head coach at Johnson Central, has 123 wins. He surpassed Wendell Wallen, who coached the Golden Eagles from 1973-79.

“It has nothing to do with me,” said McKenzie, who has guided Central to back-to-back 15th Region titles. “It’s about the kids, my staff, this school and our wonderful community.”

McKenzie captured the all-time wins mark in five fewer games than it took Wallen, who guided the Golden Eagles to a regional title in 1975. He led Meade to three regional titles prior to the consolidation to Johnson Central. 

McKenzie helped guide Johnson Central to a regional title in 2000 as a player. He later was an assistant under Mark Starns when the Golden Eagles won a regional title in 2006.  He has led JCHS to four 20-win seasons, tied for the most in school history with Mike Castle. 

“When you look at the history of this program … Paul Williams, Mike Castle, Wendell Wallen and Johnny Ray Turner, this program has been in good hands for many, many years,” McKenzie added. “I’ll think more about this night years from now.”

It was a game of runs on Saturday. Central (10-5) never trailed and won its sixth straight game. 

The Golden Eagles’ size, led by 6-foot-9 Marshall signee Shane Hall, controlled the glass, outrebounding Lawrence County by a lopsided 51-35 margin. Hall finished the game with 12 points and 17 rebounds, eclipsing 1,000 rebounds for his career. Prior to the game, he was recognized as a McDonald’s All-American nominee. 

But it was Central’s Braxton Blair who carried much of the offensive load. The junior point guard was as cool as the other side of the pillow, scoring 16 first-half points en route to a game-high 27. He also connected on 11 of 16 free throws. 

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0420chattin0397.jpg Pole vaulters conquer wind in Chattin

    For obvious reasons, pole vaulting records and windy conditions don’t go together.
    Raceland’s Connor Messer and Fairview’s Morgan McIntyre raised the bar anyway at Saturday’s Ernie Chattin Memorial Invitational.
    Despite a windy challenge — especially for Messer — on the hilltop at Ashland Athletic Complex, both athletes set new pole vault marks for the 11-year-old meet and received Outstanding Performance awards.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0415eastSB0170 copy.jpg Stock soaring for East eighth-grader Fouts

    With a name like Montana, you just have to go big.
    Six-foot eighth-grader Montana Fouts isn't a big talker, but when it comes to the business of softball, her skills convey a loud and clear message.
    The East Carter pitcher is making herself a can't-pass-up commodity with her flawless throwing form and sizzling speed.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lewis snaps 4-game skid, beats Ashland, 2-0

    Question: What four-game Lewis County losing streak?

    Answer: the one the Lions snapped Saturday by knocking off visiting Ashland, 2-0, in the third annual Lewis County Autism Awareness game.

    April 20, 2014

  • HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP: Hensley fires 2nd no-no in 2 days, Kittens split

    Ashland junior Megan Hensley no-hit Portsmouth West on Saturday, one day after dealing a perfect game, as the Kittens beat the Lady Senators 16-0 in five innings at the Valley of Thunder at Symmes Valley.

    April 19, 2014

  • west.JPG Streak snapped: Comets end 40-game losing streak to Raiders

    Nineteen years and 40 games between East Carter and West Carter have passed since the Comets have beaten the Raiders.
    Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” was the No. 1 song the last time West got a win over East.
    The visiting Comets ended almost 20 years of futility against the Raiders in dominating fashion on Friday night, defeating East Carter, 8-0.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Williams steps down as Lady Vikings coach

    Jen Williams did not make this decision lightly.

    April 19, 2014

  • HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP: Hensley spins perfect game

    Ashland’s Megan Hensley fired a perfect game and drove in the only runs of the game with a two-run homer as the Kittens topped Upper Arlington (Ohio) 2-0 in the Valley of Thunder at Symmes Valley on Friday night.

    April 19, 2014

  • 0418ashlandBB0268.jpg One-run fun: Ashland on smiling side of close game vs. East

    After opening the season with a 2-1 victory, Ashland has had a hard time cracking the close game code.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418_Ash_vs_JC_0003.JPG Hensley rises, fires as Kittens win big

    Johnson Central softball coach Jason Hurt’s already high opinion of Ashland junior Megan Hensley rose to another level Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714_29a.jpg Diller, Mackie spark Raceland

    It is time for the 16th Region to take notice of the Raceland softball team.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos