Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

February 22, 2013


Big finish lifts Ashland to sixth straight district title

ASHLAND — Ashland’s six seniors wanted to make their final game at James A. Anderson something to remember.

In order to do so, the Kittens needed to knock off the 16th Region’s winningest team and avenge last month’s 18-point loss to archrival Boyd County.

Coach Bill Bradley and his players made it happen Thursday night, using a team effort to come from behind in the second half and beat the Lady Lions 61-54 for a sixth consecutive 64th District championship.

“It’s my senior year, and I didn’t want to lose on my home court the last time here,” said co-captain Kaylyn Gambill, who bombed in a trio of 3-pointers in the second half to help lift the Kittens. “We just wanted to go out and win. We have a goal to go back to Diddle (Arena).”

The Kittens trailed by eight points in the second quarter against Boyd County’s tough matchup zone defense.

They buckled down, however, using timely 3-pointers and clutch free-throw shooting the rest of the way to come out on top in the district final once more.

“At halftime, we had not scored much,” senior forward Sydney Cullop said of a 28-23 deficit. “If we wanted it, we knew we had to give everything we had. I’m so proud of our team. We’ve worked so hard in practice and encouraged each other.”

Cullop drained a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to put the Kittens in front to stay, and Gambill followed with a rainbow shot from the corner for her fourth trey of the night.

Ashland (22-6) used a 6-0 spurt to stretch the lead to 54-46 with 1:55 remaining. Alicia Gunter hit a runner from the baseline, Haley Sue Foutch made a putback and Allie Slone followed with two free throws. Gunter and Slone are also part of the team’s senior class.

Boyd County (24-8) trimmed it to 57-54 on Emily Stewart’s basket with 30 seconds left, but Foutch and Slone each sank two free throws to seal it.

“It was a war tonight,” Bradley said on the court as the post-game celebration wound down. “Already four different girls got ice packs after the game.”

Ashland took a 2-1 lead in the season series against Boyd County. Both teams advance to the regional tournament next week at Morehead State University.

“Boyd County is so competitive,” Bradley said. “Pete (Fraley) has them so ready. They are a physical team and play that matchup. We are more of a finesse team, but knew we had to get in there and fight.”

Super sophomore Alexis Robinson led the Kittens with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She hit both of her 3-point shots, including an NBA-range connection to pull Ashland even in the early stages of the third quarter.

“I guess we started hitting shots,” Robinson said. “Gambill really came up big. It was a really big win.”

Cullop finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Gambill scored 12 points and Foutch had 10 despite playing with foul trouble.

Taylor Wheeler had 20 points and Stewart 16 for Boyd County. Guard Logan Fraley picked up three fouls in the first three minutes and missed the rest of the half.

“That definitely hurt,” Pete Fraley said. “Ashland got some open looks in the corner a couple of times in the second half. They did a good job of spreading the floor and knocking down open shots.”

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • 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