Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 11, 2013

Russell looks elsewhere

With Skaggs off-target, others fill scoring void against Raceland

RUSSELL — It is not often that a coach gets an opportunity to give the state’s leading scorer a hard time about being unable to put the ball in the basket.

So when it happened Thursday night, Russell coach Merle Kidwell wasn’t about to miss his chance.  

“Kyle kind of proved that he is human tonight,” Kidwell said. “When he came to the bench at the end of the third quarter, I said ‘Nice basket, glad you could score tonight.’ At first he just looked at me, but then he chuckled. Kyle is just all about winning.”

And despite just six points from Skaggs, the Red Devils defeated 63rd District rival Raceland, 61-37, on Thursday at Marvin Meredith Gymnasium.

Skaggs, who entered the game averaging just over 27 points per contest, wasn’t the only Red Devil who struggled to score early. Russell missed its first nine shots from the field.

“I didn’t know how many we missed, because I couldn’t count them all,” Kidwell said. “This was the exact opposite of the East Carter game, when we made our first nine.”

The lid finally started to come off the basket for the Red Devils at the beginning of the second quarter, courtesy of their defense.

Jacob Porter’s two steals near midcourt both led to easy baskets, helping the offense get on track. After starting the game 3 of 24, Russell went 9 for 13 in the second eight minutes. The spurt led to a 10-point halftime advantage at 27-17.

“Jacob guarded (Lewis County’s Brett) Ruckel last game and Zack Kelly tonight. He has really taken defense to heart,” Kidwell said. “And he is still able to contribute offensively.”

Porter finished with 15 points, eleven of which came in the first half.

Raceland coach Bob Trimble said it was Red Devils’ early second quarter defense that changed the game.

“They started double-teaming the ball, and we did not respond well to that,” he said. “We did not make the extra pass to get the really easy shot but, shoot, give them some credit. They are really good.”

Russell (14-4) is very good when it gets the kind of play it received from Johnny McGuire and Ross Lane off the bench.

McGuire scored a game-high 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting, including a nice one-handed jam on a fast break.

“In the second half, Johnny probably had the best game of his career,” Kidwell said. “He has kind of been up and down this year. But tonight is what we think he can do. He can run the floor; he got a big dunk.”

The 6-foot-4 junior also utilized a nice left-handed baby hook shot effectively around the basket.

“A lot of people think he is left-handed, because he goes that way so much. We have been working with him to try and get him to go the other way too,” Kidwell said.

Lane provided seven points in some of his most extensive playing time of the season.

“Ross gave us a big lift in the first half, with five off of the bench,” Kidwell said.

In the second half, the Red Devils kept scoring while the Rams continued to struggle, without Connor Messer and Chase Waddell, who were both ill.

“Without Connor on the floor our inside game is not near as strong, and we like to play inside out,” Trimble said. “They did a good job guarding Zack, but we missed him several times when he was wide open and when he is open he usually knocks it down.”

Raceland (6-8) did a good job of limiting Skaggs open looks at the rim, holding him to just 2 of 12 from the field. His first basket was a layup with less than 30 seconds remaining in the third period. He later hit a 3-pointer.

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