Have you ever been on a date and all you really want to do is fast-forward to that first kiss?
Well, lucky for you, the Monday Morning Point Guard aims to please.
Why wade through a bunch of words when all you really want is the PG’s picks for district tournaments?
Let's just hope I’m not delivering the kiss of death.
‰64th District boys: Nick Miller’s return has drastically changed the complexion of the district from what it was just a few days ago. The PG was perfectly satisfied with sliding the Tomcats just behind Boyd County, despite the 2-0 record for Ashland in head-to-head battles, but it now appears Ashland could be back on track. Nonetheless, the Lions have impressed me entirely too much with the completeness of their team. PG’s pick: Boyd County.
‰64th District girls: Even with very little rest and not a ton of depth, Boyd County prevailed over Rowan County in an impressive win on Friday night — it was the Lady Lions’ sixth game in seven days. Both Ashland and Boyd County have several of the top players in the region, including Boyd County’s new all-time scoring leader (Taylor Wheeler). It might be a less familiar name who proves pivotal for the titleholder on Thursday. Forward Destiny Goins, for example, has played well of late. PG’s pick: Boyd County.
‰63rd boys: While I don’t see Russell upsetting Lewis County on Tuesday, the likelihood did increase a bit with the return of senior point guard Ramsey Mullins. Plus, the Red Devils are at home. If Lewis County and Greenup County meet in the finals, which I expect, the Musketeers will finally knock off the Lions in their fourth attempt. PG’s pick: Greenup County.
‰63rd girls: Can anyone really challenge Lewis County here? Well, yes, of course. Russell nearly beat the Lady Lions on Jan. 20 in the same building in which they could match up for the crown on Thursday. Still, the inside-out game of Lewis County is too much. PG’s pick: Lewis County.
‰62nd boys: What happens in West Liberty, stays in West Liberty. Some crazy things can certainly happen here. West Carter could upset Elliott County and Morgan County could easily top East Carter even though the Cougars have suffered six straight losses. Jordan Perry, the region’s leading scorer at 24.3 points per game, is the difference as Morgan County moves on to meet West Carter — yes, you read that correctly — in the finals. PG’s pick: West Carter.
‰62nd girls: Well, duh! It’s gotta be the Lady Raiders. It’ll be the Carters in the finals, as the Lady Comets get revenge for an All “A” loss to Morgan County. And the East side will claim the title and its 29th victory of the season. PG’s pick: East Carter.
‰61st boys: Fleming County rolls, but the Panthers shouldn’t look too far ahead after this. Another meeting with Rowan County could lie in the region tournament, where it could be much different. PG’s pick: Fleming County.
‰61st girls: Each team has a very strong leader in production. Fleming County has Martina Lytle, Rowan County Faith Conn, Menifee County Ashton Woodard and Bath County Sarah Price. If nerves don’t get the best of Bath, the Lady Cats will be in the finals against the piping hot Lady Panthers. Fleming County hasn’t lost in February. PG’s pick: Fleming County.
‰57th boys: Lawrence County is exceptionally skilled, but the Bulldogs are still young in age, although not experience. The PG sees the Dawgs eking one out against Sheldon Clark, but they’ll fall to the mighty Golden Eagles in the championship game. PG’s pick: Johnson Central.
‰57th girls: Magoffin County hasn’t dropped a game since Jan. 10. The closest to stinging the Lady Hornets was Johnson Central. The Lady Eagles claw one out this time. PG’s pick: Johnson Central.
And a Nickel
‰Former Lawrence County standout Taylor Porter is shining at Murray State. The Racer freshman notched a career-high 25 points in a win over Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday. She drained four 3-pointers in the contest. She is currently ranked 13th in 3-point field goal percentage in the Ohio Valley Conference and is averaging 29 minutes a game as a starter.
‰Elliott County boys basketball coach Greg Adkins is now a proud father of three. The latest addition to the Adkins family is Lia Jade, who was born on Thursday morning. Lia’s sisters are twins Lake and Madi.
‰Johnson Central boys coach Tommy McKenzie set a school record for most 20-win seasons with five. He surpassed Mike Castle, who had four between the years of 1983-89. McKenzie is the Golden Eagles’ seventh-year coach.
‰East Carter junior Megan Stickler recently eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career. She is one of the leading scorers on an extremely balanced offense for the state-ranked Lady Raiders.
‰With Thursday’s 66-57 triumph, Mason County’s boys now own a 16-game winning streak over the Panthers.
Snyder's NEKY Super Seven
1. Johnson Central (20-6)
2. Fleming County (19-9)
3. Rowan County (20-9)
4. Ashland (19-8)
5. Boyd County (17-13)
6. Lawrence County (19-9)
7. Lewis County (15-12)
Look who’s knocking (next two in): Elliott County, East Carter.
1. East Carter (27-2)
2. Ashland (20-7)
3. Boyd County (21-8)
4. Lewis County (18-10)
5. Fleming County (17-10)
6. Bath County (15-8)
7. Johnson Central (17-11)
Look who’s knocking (next two in): Russell, Rowan County.
Bath County’s Blake Maze nearly dropped 30 in the first half against Fairview. He had 29 at the break en route to a 34-point performance.
Hunter Holbrook was sizzling beyond the arc as he hit six 3-pointers on his way to 30 points. The Elliott County Lion’s hot hand was crucial against West Carter.
Fleming County’s Troy Steward, certainly no stranger to this section, accumulated 30 in a Panthers’ win over Campbell County.
Tweet the PG
Follow the Point Guard on Twitter, @DindependentQB, for local sports news and scores. You can also find sports writer Zack Klemme roaming around in Twitter-land, @zklemmeADI.
And the Oscar goes to…
Make sure to check back next week for the annual Academy Awards of 16th Region basketball, a totally fake production with no real red carpet but plenty of nominees and hardware winners! OK, fine, there are no actual trophies even though I lobbied for The Independent to make life-size gold duplicates of my face to give to the chosen few.
See you next week!
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.
Have you ever been on a date and all you really want to do is fast-forward to that first kiss?
- Local Sports
Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)
The Fleming County Panthers waited nearly an hour to ascend the ladders set up under the goals at Ellis T. Johnson Arena on Tuesday night.
To the victor belongs the spoils, which traditionally includes the nets after winning a tournament title. But Fleming County milled around on Morehead State’s floor taking pictures and soaking in the atmosphere after handling Ashland 82-59 in the 16th Region Tournament final.
Snipping the twine was almost an afterthought. In fact, except for a minute or so of celebration with their student section immediately following the final buzzer, the Panthers didn’t really even seem all that excited.
They expected to be here, and they were all business after earning back-to-back region titles and trips to Rupp Arena.
AARON SNYDER: Truth or Dare unkind to ’Cats
Ashland was left feeling like the shy kid after an intense game of Truth or Dare.
Truth: Fleming County outrebounded Ashland, 39-24, after Ashland outdueled Greenup County by 10 the night before.
'Relaxed' Steward earns MVP award
Both Fleming County coach Mark Starns and stellar senior Troy Steward attributed his significant strides this season to aggressiveness.
Playing a part, too, in Steward earning the 16th Region Tournament Most Valuable Player award was the lack of nerves, which were nearly overwhelming at times a year ago.
Central's 15th Region reign continues
Once was good.
Twice was nice.
Three was sweet for the Johnson Central Eagles.
Senior Slade McPeek scored 22 points and earned most valuable player honors Tuesday night as Johnson Central rolled past Shelby Valley, 81-56, for its third straight 15th Region championship at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
- Fleming goes for two: Panthers beat Ashland for 16th Region repeat Fleming County pulled away early and never looked back as the Panthers pounced on Ashland, winning 82-59 in the 16th Region championship game on Tuesday in Morehead. Fleming County will face Scott County in the Sweet Sixteen next Wednesday at Rupp Arena.
VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights
Fleming County defeated Lewis County, 66-58, and Ashland beat Greenup County, 81-61, on Monday night at Morehead State University to set up tonight's championship matchup. Tipoff is set for 7.
Ashland cruises past Greenup to 16th Region championship game
Tyler Stewart is known for his unrelenting hustle as one of Ashland’s glue guys.
When the senior guard can pitch in some offense too, as he did Monday in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals, that’s just one more problem for Tomcats opponents.
Stewart scored 20 points, senior Steven Friley posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ashland outscored Greenup County 21-9 in the third quarter to break open what was a seven-point game at halftime and cruise past the Musketeers, 81-61.
Fleming battles back to 16th Region final
A healthy Wilder Williams this season has given Fleming County a whole new dimension.
Prior to his sophomore year, Williams sustained a football injury that resulted in three ankle surgeries and limited him to bench duty last season while the Panthers made their run to the 16th Region championship.
A physical 6-foot-3 player, Williams is making his presence felt around the basket as Fleming County looks to return to the Sweet Sixteen.
AARON SNYDER: Will the next hero be unmasked?
Who will the bat signal shine for tonight?
Or, should I say, the Cat signal?
In the third installment of a trilogy that might rival the Batman three-pack of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Fleming County and Ashland will battle in a matchup that has produced a classic clash in each of the last two 16th Region Tournaments.
If the first two collectively served as a gradual progressions to tonight’s scene, the climax could be off the charts.
Corey Gregg was Ashland’s superhero in 2012, when the senior confidently fired a perfect 3-point shot from the right corner. The triple thrust the Tomcats and Panthers into overtime, from which Ashland emerged 79-73 in a first-round game.
Central wins, Lawrence falls in 15th
The biggest concern for Lawrence County coach Josh Cook was staying out of foul trouble.
His team stayed in it all night, and it cost them a spot in the 15th Region title game.
Shelby Valley senior Tyler Carr led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Wildcats knocked off Lawrence County, 72-60, in the semifinals of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
“This one hurts,” said Cook. “We’ll learn from this, and I have no doubt that our kids will get back here and finish the job.”
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)