Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 30, 2013

Tomcats throw a bench in Elliott's plan

ASHLAND — Ashland took advantage of another 20-point night from sophomore Dikembe Dixson and also got 20 from its bench to remain in the winning mode Tuesday night.

Dixson ignited an 18-3 run in the third quarter to break open a close game and the Tomcats fended off Elliott County down the stretch for a 70-65 victory at Anderson Gym.

A four-game winning streak has Ashland at 16-8 on the season.

While Dixson has been a staple in the Tomcats’ success, Tomcat coach Buddy Biggs was happy to see the team’s depth playing a key role again.

Steven Friley scored 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field, while Tyler Stewart and Tyler Rose each contributed five points.

“That’s why we’re 16-8 instead of 8-16,” Biggs said of the bench production. “I thought those guys were great tonight. All four we put in (including Robert Wesley) did really well. Any time you get 20 points off the bench, it’s great.”

Friley has settled nicely into a reserve role and also had four rebounds in 11 minutes of playing time.

“We all know the starting five doesn’t really matter,” he said. “We have to be ready to come in, keep up that energy and let other guys get a break.”

On a night when Elliott County shot 14-for-36 from beyond the arc, Biggs felt like the Stewart hit the biggest 3-pointer of the game.

After Elliott County closed to 62-60 in the fourth quarter, Ashland’s Zach Hart made a third-chance basket and Stewart followed with a 3-ball from the corner to extend the Tomcats’ lead to seven points with just under two minutes remaining.

“That one was really big for us,” Biggs said.

Elliott County, aided by Ashland misses at the foul line, cut it to 69-65 on freshman guard Landon Griffith’s deep 3-pointer. The Lions had a chance to pull closer but couldn’t connect on their next long-range try.

Ashland’s Ross Thompson then made one of two free throws with nine seconds left.

The Tomcats made it tough on themselves by missing the front end of all three bonus situations in the fourth quarter.

“The only negative tonight was our late-game free throw shooting,” Biggs said. “We turned what could have been a 12- or 13-point margin into a one or two-possession game. We have to do a better job there.”

At the same time, Biggs complimented a gritty Elliott County squad for hanging close.

“Elliott is a solid basketball team,” Biggs said. “They’ve beaten West, they’ve beaten Morgan, they’ve beaten Lewis and they lost by two at Rowan. When you shoot that high volume of 3-pointers, you are going to hit some.”   

Despite giving up plenty of size, the Lions (11-11) kept the score close most of the way despite an off-shooting night by top scorer Logan Nickell. The junior was scoreless in the first half and 4-for-18 overall.

“They are aggressive, a good team to be that small,” said the 6-foot-6 Dixson.  

Nickell did connect on a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to trim Ashland’s lead to 38-37, but Dixson went on a tear by scoring 13 points to fuel the Tomcats’ big run. He made a variety of shots, including a glide through the lane to put his team up by 19.

“He’s hard to defend,” Elliott County coach Greg Adkins said. “We couldn’t get stops for three or four minutes. We go through that at different times. We’ve not good enough to have those lapses.”

Even so, Adkins said he was proud of the way the Lions fought back.

“I like the way our kids battled,” he said. “We had opportunities.”

Landon Griffith hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Jesse Flanery connected on his first four attempts from 3-point land to account for all 12 of his points.

Not to be outdone, Ashland’s Logan Salow bombed in his first four 3-point attempts — three of them coming in the opening quarter.

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
    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

  • 0716softball.jpg KHSAA pushes presence of masks

    Fairview’s Sydney Ekers and Lewis County’s Kelsey Rizzo didn’t wear masks to play softball until after they were struck in the face by line drives.
    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has made a recommendation that it hopes will reduce such instances.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOCAL SPORTS BRIEFS: Ellis on 'leave' for Fairview volleyball

    Lauren Ellis is stepping aside as Fairview’s volleyball coach for this fall in order to complete coursework on her master’s degree, she said Tuesday.

    July 16, 2014

  • KHSAA board recommends use of protective head gear in softball

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association's Board of Control conducted its first meeting of the 2014-15 academic year at the Bank of Kentucky Center in Northern Kentucky on Monday morning.

    July 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone