Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 5, 2014

Rams charge past Fairview

Rocky Stanley
The Independent

RACELAND — Raceland took charge offensively while taking several charges on the defensive end.

As a result, the Rams beat district rival Fairview 74-59 on Tuesday night for their 12th win of the season.

Junior guard Jason Blair shot 7-for-11 from the field and Raceland hit a sizzling 59 percent overall. Defensively, the Rams threw up a roadblock as Fairview was whistled for six charging fouls.

“Coach (Bob) Trimble does a great job with that group,” Fairview coach Derek Cooksey said. "They understand their roles. I was impressed with Raceland’s shot selection and their defense has gotten better.”

Blair totaled 21 points and five other Rams scored at least seven as the team went 26-of-44 from the field.

“They can shoot it,” Cooksey said. “Blair creates so much off penetration.”

Blair scored 11 points in the first half without missing a shot. Raceland led by as much as 14 points in the second quarter while limiting Fairview to 19 points at the intermission.

“With every good team, it starts with effort and guarding the basketball,” Trimble said. “I felt like we did that early. It energized you when you’re playing good defense, flying around.”

That’s the kind of culture Trimble is trying to build.

“Guys are getting after it, diving on the floor,” Trimble said. “Traditionally, that’s what fans at Raceland are accustomed to seeing, and that’s what we want to give them.”   

Raceland’s defense put the clamps on Fairview scoring leaders Andrew Carroll and Antwan Washington early, limiting them to a combined four points in the first half.

“We contained Carroll well, and kept Washington out of the lane,” said Raceland Zach Kelly, who took two charges on the night.”

Washington, who came in averaging 17.5 points in his last four games, had as many charging violations (2) as points in the first half.

But the quick point guard came alive in the third quarter to get his team back in the game. Washington came up with steals and attacked the basket for 15 third-quarter points. He scored six consecutive points, including two layups, to trim Raceland’s lead to 37-31 midway through the third period.

“Washington’s a handful,” Trimble said. “We did a good job on him in the first half, but it’s hard to hold him down for four quarters.”

Raceland, however, answered Fairview’s surge with six consecutive points to push the margin back to a dozen. The Eagles couldn’t get closer than seven points in the fourth quarter.

“Winning tonight helped our confidence going to Greenup County (on Thursday),” Kelly said. “We’ve got a lot of balance.”

Tyler Morris scored 14 points and Kelly 13 as the Rams picked up their second consecutive win. Sophomore Landon Adams came off the bench to make a 3-pointer on two separate occasions in the first half. He hit another in the fourth period to finish with nine points.”

Fairview’s Washington scored a game-high 24 before fouling out late. Alex Roy added 12 for Fairview (3-16).