Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 20, 2014

Kings kick off semi-pro basketball season


ASHLAND — The new kid in town hosted the first block party.
The Kentucky Kings, the freshest faces in the semi-professional Universal Basketball Association, hosted the Eastern Conference Tipoff Classic on Saturday. The preseason event consisted of four-fifths of the conference — the Louisville Flash beat the Indiana Generals before the Louisville Diesel outlasted the Kings, 100-99, in the nightcap.
Approximately between 150 and 175 people took in the Kings' first action in the National Guard Armory in Ashland. Only about 50 people were in attendance for the first game.
"When we had our first meeting in September, they talked about having a preseason classic somewhere," said Ricky Witt, the team's founder. "I figured, being the new team in the league, we could host it.
"I just want this to be something entertaining for Ashland. And I think it will be."
Kings coach Tim Fraley said he thought the crowd got its money's worth, even though the Kings lost.
"The game was just awesome, back and forth," Fraley said. "I couldn't be happier. We thought the Diesel was the best team in the conference coming in, and they've already played eight or nine scrimmage games. This was our first real game together. I'm stoked."
Anthony Williams, of Portsmouth, turned in an impressive performance. His 23 points were a team high. He came up with several second-chance opportunities in the fourth quarter, dropping buckets and/or drawing fouls.
Williams helped the Kings erase an eight-point deficit. They trailed 82-74 with 8:49 to go. The game was tied at 99-99 after a pair of Cam Miller free throws with 34 seconds remaining. Miller, a Wheelersburg product, had 20 points.
Carlos Mitchell led all scorers with 29 points. The Diesel guard made one of two free throw attempts with 5 seconds left to give Louisville a 100-99 advantage.

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