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
  • Eagle Trace Invitational: Draw it up Drew

    Facing a tricky shot on his final hole of the Eagle Trace Invitational, Drew Burke came through with his best work. At the moment, he just didn’t know how clutch.

    August 2, 2014

  • Senior Sixers state runners-up

    The Ashland Post 76 Senior baseball team nearly pulled off the same feat as the Junior Sixers did in the American Legion State Baseball Championships this week.

    August 1, 2014

  • Salyers, Walters Players of Year

    The Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour saw its season come to a close on Wednesday at the Tournament of Champions at Henry County Country Club.

    August 1, 2014

  • Tee Party: High school golf season opens

    A flurry of area tournaments will usher in the high school golf season, which begins today.
    Rowan County’s traditional boys opener, the Eagle Trace Invitational, tees off this morning at 9 with a field of 13 teams.

    August 1, 2014

  • Paintsville senior Miller Baseball Factory selection

    Paintsville baseball player Taylor Miller is currently participating in an elite event at the Pittsburgh Pirates spring training facility in Bradenton, Florida.

    July 31, 2014

  • Barboursville 2015 U.S. Youth Soccer host

    U.S. Youth Soccer announced Thursday that Barboursville and the West Virginia Soccer Association will host the 2015 U.S. Youth Soccer Region I (East) Championships as part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series.
     

    July 31, 2014

  • Highlands’ Artists Market to begin today

    Up-and-coming artists are being offered a rare chance to show and sell their work during the First Friday art walk.

    July 31, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: Five Teams? Pretty Kool

    If these unseasonably cool July mornings aren’t enough to have your mind on the fast track to football, maybe some Kool Hits news will help.

    July 31, 2014

  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014