Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 5, 2013

Lions christen new digs with win

Kyle Hobstetter
The Independent

CANNONSBURG — Boyd County basketball played in front of a standing-room crowd on Friday night and the Lions didn’t disappoint.

Boyd County defeated Fairview 80-59 in what was the first boys’ basketball game played at the new Boyd County High School.

It may not be the regular home of the Lions — the rest of the season will still be at Boyd County Middle School — but Lions coach Randy Anderson said it’s now officially his team’s home.

“Some people said it was kind of like an away game,” Anderson said. “It’s hard to believe how nice (the high school) is and our kids get to be a part of it ... This is their home now.”

And what better way to open up the Lions’ new home than by defeating the team that ended its season last year in district opponent Fairview.

In 2011-12, Fairview defeated Boyd County 56-53 in the opening round of the 64th District tournament, keeping the Lions from reaching the region tournament.

While Anderson said the game wasn’t about revenge, he did say his team didn’t forget who ended its season.

“If you’re any kind of competitor at all you don’t forget who eliminated you last year,” Anderson said. “That sticks in my craw. I’ve lived with that for four or five months.”

Along with getting a district win, it was a record night for senior Brandon Lowe who scored the 1,000th point of his career with a baseline jumper in the second quarter.

Lowe had a game-high 21 points, and while he loved reaching the milestone, he loved getting a win a little bit more.

“It felt pretty good, but winning feels much better,” Lowe said. “We just needed to win and I was trying to help us win by any way possible.”

Lowe started the game off by hitting four of his first five shots, putting him just three away from a grand. He then missed his next three.

A spinning layup pulled him to within one, and a foul on the shot allowed him to get to the line to put up the milestone. He ended up missing the free throw and the crowd got antsy.

Lowe only had a smile on his face.

“Brandon is just Brandon,” Anderson said. “You don’t get a whole lot out of him except he shows up, he knows where his heart is and he always has a smile. I’m just happy for him.”

Lowe is now the 26th player in Boyd County history to reach 1,000 points.

Brandon Taylor had a big game for Boyd County too. He scored 15 points, including going a perfect 5 for 5 from the field in the third quarter. Austin Hunt added a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Lions.

While Boyd County (9-7) had plenty of scoring options, Fairview coach Derek Cooksey was more impressed with the Lions’ matchup zone defense.

“We got a little stagnant,” Cooksey said. “Boyd County runs a matchup zone and that’s what they want you to do. I thought our guys didn’t cut as hard as we want them to. That’s because they do a good job of taking your spacing and angles away.”

Fairview (7-6) was led by Devon Turner and Isaiah King, both with 15 points. Fairview shot 39 percent from the floor, with most of its shots coming off drives for putbacks.

Cooksey’s hoping that his young team, that features just two seniors, will learn to keep their heads up instead of getting down so quickly.

“If we keep working in the next coming weeks our young kids will keep getting better,” Cooksey said. “That’s what we have to demand out of them.”

GIRLS 

Boyd County 66

Fairview 23

The first win in the new Boyd County High School belongs to the Lady Lions.

Taylor Wheeler and Logan Fraley each had 14 points in pacing Boyd County over Fairview in the first organized game in the school’s history.

Morgan Kenser added 13 points, too, and has the honor of being the first player to score a basket in the new school.

Boyd County (10-3) outscored Fairview in the first quarter, 25-3. It’s the third straight win for the Lady Lions.

Fairview (7-5) had no scorers in double digits and went 9 of 25 from the free-throw line.

FAIRVIEW    3    7    7    6    —    23

BOYD CO.    25    19    15    7    —    66

Fairview (23) — Mac. Humphrey 4, Adkins 6, Meeks 2, Mad. Humprhey 2, Burton 2, Bell 7, McPeek, Cornwell, Fraley. FT: 9-25. 3-PT FG: 0.

Boyd County (66) — E. Stewart 6, L. Fraley 14, T. Wheeler 14, Kenser 13, Lunsford 7, Hu. Reeves 1, Coburn 2, Goins 6, S. Wheeler 1, M. Fraley, Murphy, Lee, Lynch, A. Stewart. FT: 9-17. 3-PT FG: 5 (L. Fraley 3, Goins, Lunsford).

KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at khobstetter@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.