I’m not exactly sure why I do this to myself.
It’s basically the equivalent of Lindsay Lohan getting out of the house. We’re just setting ourselves up for disaster and negative attention.
Just kidding. The Point Guard unveils his All-Stars every year because, what is harmful about giving a little extra credit where it’s due?
With just a few weeks before the conversation turns to the postseason, let’s look back on the first half of the season and what individuals crack the elite list of the PG’s All-Stars.
Now, keep in mind that only a dozen players are selected for each the boys’ and girls’ teams, and since there are 16 16th Region schools, not every school can possibly be represented.
Just because it was such an extra tough task to contain the number to 12 this particular season, I’ve tacked on three spots labeled “alternates” to go along with the five starters and seven reserves on each roster.
This is really just for the readers’ pure entertainment. And some bonus recognition for the outstanding student-athletes in our area.
“The Dime” this week are the five boys’ and five girls’ starters on the PG’s 2012-13 All-Stars.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
PG Darion Burns (Fleming County) — Although he missed a handful of games due to a stress fracture in his foot, the Panthers’ point guard has made his expected impact this season by being the driving force for the favorite to win the region. It’s hard to believe he’s just a junior.
SG Kyle Skaggs (Russell) — Skaggs has steadily improved throughout his career, but he’s gone above and beyond what he had to do coming into this season. Skaggs’ ability to get to the foul line is second to none in the region, which is one of the many reasons he’s leading the state in scoring at close to 27 points per game.
SF Kyle Brown (West Carter) — With the mass exodus of muscle mass from last year, the 6-foot-2 senior has had to step into a hodge-podge role. He’s put it all on his own shoulders to do everything he possibly can to keep the Comets afloat. His 23 points per game are impressive, but not nearly as remarkable as his 9.5 rebounds per contest.
PF Dikembe Dixson (Ashland) — If I’m assembling this team a week ago, Dixson might have been a reserve. But his recent 27-point performance against Mason County showed why the 6-6 sophomore has a bright future as a Tomcat. When he becomes consistent in all facets of the game, watch out.
C Kyle Stewart (East Carter) — Often overlooked, Stewart has been a key piece to the Raiders for some time now. While he draws plenty of attention, his skills kind of sneak up on opponents at times.
Reserves: Troy Steward (Fleming County), Brett Ruckel (Lewis County), Austin Hunt (Boyd County), Brandon Lowe (Boyd County), Logan Nickell (Elliott County), Jordan Perry (Morgan County), Nick Miller (Ashland).
Alternates: Brady Saunders (Fleming County), Tyler Thacker (Rowan County), Jacob Porter (Russell).
PG Alexis Robinson (Ashland) — If Robinson continues to sharpen her tools, the sky is the limit for the talented sophomore point guard. She’s evidently logged some extra hours on her mid-range game, especially with the stepback jumper. She is currently on the ESPN HoopGurlz Top 100 Watch List for the Class of 2015, so of course she’s listed here.
SG Kaylyn Gambill (Ashland) — Gambill isn’t just a one-trick pony, but she performs her best trick better than anyone else. Rio Grande-bound after this season, Gambill would be a welcome addition to any college if she can shoot 55 percent from three-point range.
SF Taylor Wheeler (Boyd County) — She’s everywhere on the court, no matter if the Lady Lions are playing defense or offense. It’s not exactly a finesse game with Wheeler, but she gets the job done well just about every game.
PF Haley Sue Foutch (Ashland) — For some, it’s just easy to see that they love the game when they’re on the court. Foutch fits into that category. There was some concern with the Kittens after the departure of a solid post player last season, but Foutch has eliminated all worries.
C Savannah Anderson (Lewis County) — Honestly, this position came down to Anderson or Bath County’s Sarah Price. Both put up gaudy numbers, but Anderson is almost automatic offensively if she receives the ball in the post. Her 66.7 field goal percentage dwarves the rest of the region.
Reserves: Logan Fraley (Boyd County), Kristen Mayo (East Carter), Sarah Price (Bath County), Hope Parsley (Russell), Destiny Jones (Greenup County), Krystal Keeton (Raceland), Myriah Porter (Rose Hill).
Alternates: Allie Slone (Ashland), Cheyenna Ferguson (Morgan County), Ashton Woodard (Menifee County).
Here are some extra thoughts from the PG:
‰The 16th Region All “A” Classic resumes tonight with the first night of two semifinal round girl-boy doubleheaders. The PG is seeing a Morgan County-Russell matchup for the boys title on Thursday, and Bath County-Morgan County battle on the girls’ side of things. All games take place at Raceland-Worthington High School.
‰Maybe the boys’ region is not a two-team race after all. Morgan County quickly put the kibosh on that by competely oh so closely with Fleming County. The Cougars lost to the Panthers, 47-44, despite having several guys fighting through flu-like symptoms.
‰Johnson Central boys coach Tommy McKenzie became the program’s fastest coach to 100 wins with a defeat of Belfry last weekend. That’s the good news. The bad? Standout junior Shane Hall will likely miss at least two more weeks with a high ankle sprain.
‰Lawrence County senior Taylor Porter (26 PPG) is really charring the nets this season. With several 30-point games, in addition to a 41-point effort against South Floyd earlier this season, her scoring average ranks among the top five in the state.
1. Fleming County (13-2)
2. Russell (15-4)
3. Morgan County (13-4)
4. Ashland (11-7)
5. Boyd County (10-8)
6. Rowan County (10-7)
7. East Carter (7-10)
1. Ashland (11-3)
2. Boyd County (12-4)
3. East Carter (12-5)
4. Bath County (9-5)
5. Rowan County (10-7)
6. Lewis County (7-8)
7. Greenup County (11-10)
I’m a bit late on this, but Lewis County’s Brett Ruckel notched 30 points against Elliott County nearly two weeks ago. During that game, the junior also hit the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Ruckel also has a 40-point game to his name this season and has become a leader on an inexperienced Lions squad.
Tweet the PG
Follow the Point Guard on Twitter, @DindependentQB, for scores and news throughout the week.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.
I’m not exactly sure why I do this to myself.
- Local Sports
VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights
Fleming County defeated Lewis County, 66-58, and Ashland beat Greenup County, 81-61, on Monday night at Morehead State University to set up tonight's championship matchup. Tipoff is set for 7.
Ashland cruises past Greenup to 16th Region championship game
Tyler Stewart is known for his unrelenting hustle as one of Ashland’s glue guys.
When the senior guard can pitch in some offense too, as he did Monday in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals, that’s just one more problem for Tomcats opponents.
Stewart scored 20 points, senior Steven Friley posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ashland outscored Greenup County 21-9 in the third quarter to break open what was a seven-point game at halftime and cruise past the Musketeers, 81-61.
Fleming battles back to 16th Region final
A healthy Wilder Williams this season has given Fleming County a whole new dimension.
Prior to his sophomore year, Williams sustained a football injury that resulted in three ankle surgeries and limited him to bench duty last season while the Panthers made their run to the 16th Region championship.
A physical 6-foot-3 player, Williams is making his presence felt around the basket as Fleming County looks to return to the Sweet Sixteen.
AARON SNYDER: Will the next hero be unmasked?
Who will the bat signal shine for tonight?
Or, should I say, the Cat signal?
In the third installment of a trilogy that might rival the Batman three-pack of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Fleming County and Ashland will battle in a matchup that has produced a classic clash in each of the last two 16th Region Tournaments.
If the first two collectively served as a gradual progressions to tonight’s scene, the climax could be off the charts.
Corey Gregg was Ashland’s superhero in 2012, when the senior confidently fired a perfect 3-point shot from the right corner. The triple thrust the Tomcats and Panthers into overtime, from which Ashland emerged 79-73 in a first-round game.
Central wins, Lawrence falls in 15th
The biggest concern for Lawrence County coach Josh Cook was staying out of foul trouble.
His team stayed in it all night, and it cost them a spot in the 15th Region title game.
Shelby Valley senior Tyler Carr led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Wildcats knocked off Lawrence County, 72-60, in the semifinals of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
“This one hurts,” said Cook. “We’ll learn from this, and I have no doubt that our kids will get back here and finish the job.”
- Fleming hangs tough to beat Lewis Fleming County locked into another fight against Lewis County, which beat the Panthers earlier this season, before winning 66-58 on Monday in Morehead. Wilder Williams posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Panthers, who face Ashland on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
- GALLERY: Ashland gets by Greenup County, will meet Fleming in region final Ashland's Steven Friley scored 21 points Monday to lead the Tomcats to an 81-61 win over Greenup County in the 16th Region semifinal in Morehead.
Kittens clamoring for more at state
Ashland girls basketball coaches went the extra mile, and a whole bunch more, to get a first-hand scouting report on the Kittens’ opponent for the State Tournament.
Head coach Bill Bradley and assistant Phil Wittich drove all the way to Henderson — 5 hours, 20 minutes one way Bradley said on the way home — to take in Sunday’s Second Region championship game.
Henderson County, playing on its home floor, defeated University Heights 67-54. The Lady Colonels went unbeaten in their region this season and are 24-5 overall.
EKC hands out hardware
The Eastern Kentucky Conference handed out its 2014 awards on Monday afternoon at a luncheon at Carter Caves.
Barracudas earn kudos from coach
Ashland Area YMCA swimmers impressed coach Ryan Ferguson from start to finish in the three-day Kentucky Y Competitive Swim League State Meet.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights