Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 14, 2013

DISHING THE WEEKLY DIME: Here we are, the PG’s best so far ...

Aaron Snyder
The Independent

ASHLAND — 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?



All-Star Dime

BOYS

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).



GIRLS

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).



Loose Change

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.



Snyder’s

Super Seven

BOYS

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)



GIRLS

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)



30-Point Club

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.



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AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.