Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

March 6, 2014

ZACK KLEMME: If the slipper fits


Even if Cinderella stories are what captivate basketball observers during March, there’s no room to complain with Ashland and East Carter facing off in tonight’s 16thRegion Tournament final, either.

The first time the Lady Raiders, ranked eighth in Kentucky by the Associated Press, and the two-time defending region champion Kittens faced off this season, East Carter coach Hager Easterling likened the game to a heavyweight boxing match.

That’s what fans should figure to see tonight, not only because that’s the oft-used simile or metaphor for a contest between expected contenders, but because East Carter and Ashland have both displayed a willingness and ability to win physical basketball games when necessary.

The Kittens slogged through a 49-45 defeat of Lewis County in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, then powered to a 57-39 victory against Fleming County in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Toughness, physicality and intestinal fortitude helped Ashland win those games. Coach Bill Bradley has suggested at times this season the Kittens needed to “get a little meaner” too, and he said they have begun to show that.

Easterling, for his part, said Ashland will present a physical challenge for his team, specifically mentioning Haley-Sue Foutch’s work inside.

“It’s gonna be a big key because that’s what kept them in the game over at Ashland last time we played, was offensive rebounding,” Easterling said. “They just killed us on the offensive glass. A lot of times in the postseason it is who plays the most physical that does win.”

The Lady Raiders are guard-oriented and shot 26 3-pointers in their 51-38 defeat of Russell in the semifinals Thursday. But that doesn’t mean they’re soft.

“They’re so well-rounded,” Bradley said. “They all shoot 3s, they all can handle the ball, they’re very smart (and) they’re the most experienced team in the region right now.”

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

    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