For The Independent
Boyd County celebrated the careers of five seniors before its game with Raceland Tuesday night at Boyd County Middle School.
The Rams did everything they could do to spoil the party.
The Lions overcame a first-half deficit and rode the back of their seniors to pull out a hard-fought 70-65 win in front of family and friends on Senior Night.
“They are a great group of kids,” Boyd County coach Randy Anderson said of his senior group. “It’s so easy to talk about them. It’s definitely from the heart. That’s a classy bunch that’s going to be successful because they are just good people.”
Boyd County (16-13) grabbed its first lead of the game on Clayton Meade’s two free throws midway through the third quarter.
The margin increased to five but Tyler Morris hit a corner 3 to knot the score at 45 heading into the final period.
The lead changed hands four times to begin the fourth as each team was matching the other shot for shot.
Grayson Griffith completed a three-point play to give Boyd County its biggest lead at 61-54.
Raceland came right back seven points of its own and tied the game at 63 on a Nathaniel Davidson layup.
Jonah Black responded with his only bucket of the night, a 3 from the right wing, to give the Lions the lead for good with just over a minute left. Boyd County iced the game with four consectutive free throws to secure the victory.
“We talked at halftime about making sure we do the fundamentals on the defensive end,” Anderson said. “We are really good when we guard it.”
Boyd County placed four players in double figures. Tristan Burgess led the team with 17 points. Meade had 14 and Griffith tallied 11. Bobby Anderson also had 11 off the bench.
Raceland (14-11) started the game torching the nets. The Rams nailed three from beyond the arc to grab the early lead and held it for the entire first half.
“On Senior Night, you’re going to have some emotions,” Anderson said. “This late in the season our guys know it comes down to fundamentals. I thought in the first half, we didn’t do a good job marking their shooters and shot the snot out of the ball in the first half.”
For Raceland coach Bob Trimble, the key starting the game was his team’s energy level.
“I told our guys they were going to bring a lot of energy and we had to match that with a focus,” Trimble said. “Boyd is one of the top four teams in the region.
“We played hard tonight for 32 minutes and that’s what we are all about right now.”
The Rams held an 11-point lead on two seperate occasions the second frame and went into the locker room at halftime with a 35-28 advantage.
Zach Kelly and Jacob Blair continually hit big shots in the second half to keep the Rams close. Kelly was 5-of-8 shooting from long range and Blair made all five of his field goal attempts.
“Those guys are good players,” Trimble said. “They can score the ball. Zach is a 3-point shooter and Jacob is a handful in the lane. They have made shots for us all year.”
Kelly had a game-high 19 points. Morris scored 17 and Blair chipped in 13.