Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

December 7, 2012

EKC boys championship: Panthers feed off Steward's 30

Fleming gets past Russell

WEST LIBERTY — Troy Steward was upset.

Fleming County's junior guard had just nine points in the first half of Thursday's Eastern Kentucky Conference championship against Russell. He frustrated the Red Devils in the last 16 minutes — 30 points for the night in the Panthers' 67-60 win at Morgan County High School.

Steward: made 11-of-18 shots from the field, hit all six of his free throws, grabbed six rebounds, served three assists and added two blocks and two steals while committing just two turnovers.

“I wasn't shooting good, my shot was off,” Steward said. “Coaches told me, get to the basket more. That's when my shots started to fall then from the outside.”

Steward, who scored 28 in Monday's semifinal win over Rowan County, shined brightest in a nearly six-minute span in the third quarter: seven points in less than a minute, including four over Russell's Kyle Skaggs (who led the Red Devils with 27 points); a 3-pointer with 1:04 to go; and an assist on Austin Crisp's field goal on a play in which he faked a three. All of that put Fleming County ahead 48-45 with a quarter to play.

A mid-fourth quarter stretch was a good example. Steward had a dunk and an alley-oop layup on a Darion Burns pass, but Saunders converted a Steward steal, stole a pass from Russell's Googie Hayes and dropped in a layup, all of which gave the Panthers a 58-51 lead.

As impressive as Steward's statistics were, Fleming County is not 4-0 without junior forward Brady Saunders. He scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and spent much of the game guarding Skaggs, who needed 21 shots to make his eight field goals.

“He's a great shooter,”  Saunders said. “I just tried to stay on my feet, keep my hand in his face and try to give him the most difficult look possible. You do what you can.”

Skaggs bettered his 26 points in Tuesday's win over East Carter. He didn't want to make excuses, but felt playing four games in six days finally caught up with him.

“(Fleming County was) more physical and more active than any team we've played,” Skaggs said. “We knew it was going to be a battle ... We got tired, and when they made a run, we kind of shut down. It was the toughest game we've had by far.”

Russell held a 32-27 halftime lead, and Fleming County coach Mark Starns told his players they were better than they'd shown.

“Our energy level was not very good, for whatever reason,” Starns said. “... We got (Russell) into running with us, and that helped us. It got us going; when we're running, when we're getting deflections and getting steals, everybody's energy level picks up.”

Russell coach Merle Kidwell said Fleming County simply made plays in the second half.

“We turned it over 14 times in the second half; we only had two turnovers at the half, and that was the difference in the game,” Kidwell said.

Skaggs was as ticked as Steward in the first quarter, mostly because he missed five straight shots. Way different story in the second — 18 points, which including 16 straight and three 3-pointers.

Lance Evans (10 points, 10 rebounds), Jacob Porter (13 points, six assists) and Skaggs each scored two points to help put Russell (4-1) up 32-27 at halftime.

Evans' four points gave the Red Devils their last lead at 49-48 less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Fleming County outscored Russell, 19-11, the rest of the way.

Former Mason County and University of Tennessee star Chris Lofton — Steward's cousin — took in the game. When asked if Steward could beat him one-on-one, “I wouldn't go that far” was his reply.

Steward agreed.

“I've got a lot of work to do to get past him,” he said.

RUSSELL    10    22    13    15    —    60

FLEMING CO.    10    17    21    19    —    67

RUSSELL: Evans 10, Porter 13, Skaggs 27, McGuire 8, Estep 2. Three-point goals: Skaggs 3, Porter. FT: 10-12. Team Fouls: 19.

FLEMING COUNTY: Burns 5, Crisp 10, Steward 30, Saunders 17, McKee 5. Three-point goals: Steward 2. FT: 13-20. Team fouls: 13.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.
     

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014