Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

February 11, 2014

Lewis ends Panthers' perfection

FLEMINGSBURG — Lewis County boys basketball coach Joe Hampton has been looking for 32 minutes of effort.

The Lions gave Hampton what he wanted Monday, and then some — an 86-84 overtime win over defending 16th Region champion Fleming County on the Panthers' floor.

“It means a lot, being my senior year and all,” Lewis County guard Brett Ruckel said.

Lewis County (13-11) has been playing some of its best basketball: Rowan County's 84-66 win Saturday emphatically halted the Lions' three-game roll, but the Lions improved to 8-2 over their last 10.

“Earlier in the year, we would give effort maybe half or three quarters of the game,” Hampton said. “We took a step backward Saturday against Rowan by not giving full effort, especially on the defensive side … We gave heart and good planning (Monday).”

As he has practically all season, Ruckel led Lewis County Monday with 30 points, but he was far from the only reason for the win. Senior guard Sammy Holder scored 19 points, and two free throws from Wade Adams and Jake Parker put the Lions ahead, 84-79, with 19.2 seconds left in overtime.

The loss was Fleming County's (17-8) first to a 16th Region team this season, and it was the Panthers' second straight (a 73-62 setback against 14th Region power Knott County Central at the Joe B. Hall Prep Classic Sunday at Montgomery County was the other).

Still, Fleming County has won 11 of its last 14, and the last thing head coach Mark Starns wants to hear is that his team was tired because it played four games in four days.

“We can't walk out of this locker room and let people say, that's understandable, that we played four games in four days,” Starns said. “Excuses are a sign of weakness.”

Credit the Panthers for at least one thing: they overcame a 60-41 deficit with 6:12 to go in regulation. Senior Troy Steward's 36 points marked the second straight game over 35 (he poured in 47 Sunday), but it was senior guard Darion Burns' 20 points — including 11 in the fourth quarter — that helped send the game to overtime.

Burns played his fourth game of the season as he recovers from knee surgery. Besides the points, Starns said Burns is starting to regain some confidence.

“I told (Burns), 'you've got to go through the bumps,'” Starns said. “(I told Darion), ‘I believe in you; you've got to believe in yourself.'”

Burns' scoring was good, but it doesn't begin to describe what else he did in the fourth quarter.

There was scoring: With 5:15 left, he stole a pass and hit a layup.

There were passing and defense: He found Steward for a bucket, combined with Brady Saunders to force a turnover and made a free throw. The score: Lewis County, 60-48, 4:44 left in regulation.

Next, a steal and score. Lewis County, 60-50, 4:36 remaining.

Holder's bucket and free throw put Lewis County up 65-52, with 3:48 to go. A little more than a minute after that, Burns deflected a pass that resulted in a Saunders field goal, and with 2:27 to go, his assist led to Steward's 3-pointer.

Lewis County up, 65-59.

Ruckel made a free throw. Steward followed with two technical foul free throws, and teammate Austin Crisp knocked down a 15-footer from the left corner.

Lions up, 66-63, 2:05 remaining.

Saunders knocked down a 12-footer less than 30 seconds later. Seconds after that, Lewis County's Trenton Walker converted a Ruckel miss and it was Lions, 68-67, with 1:16 to go.

Here is where Burns was at his best: six points in nearly a minute, which tied the score at 71-all with 36 seconds left. His outburst matched a combined five points from Walker and Holder.

Ruckel missed a shot from the left corner with one second to go. After Saunders' free throw early in overtime put the Panthers up, 72-71, Holder and Ruckel followed with 10 of Lewis County's final 15 points.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos