Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

February 10, 2013

Cougars feed off Perry, Whitt to down Rowan

Morgan County rebounds from last-second loss to Lawrence

WEST LIBERTY — Some of the Morgan County boys basketball team planned to travel to a Morehead restaurant for a Saturday night snack.

If they made it, they should have celebrated mightily. The Cougars survived two 10-point deficits to knock off visiting Rowan County, 56-53.

It wasn't known whether Samuel Aguirre, Jordan Perry and Jordan Whitt were among the celebrants, but the Cougars should have lifted a soft drink in praise. Whitt and Perry scored 16 points apiece to lead their team, and Aguirre added 11, including two free throws with 16.7 seconds remaining.

Perry didn't know several seniors had painted black mustaches in an impromptu “Matthew Perry Night” takeoff on his dad's — the head coach — gray-and-black-haired upper lip. However, he knew instantly why the Cougars won.

“Playing hard, knocking down shots,” the younger Perry said.

There's another reason why Saturday's win may have been sweeter: the Cougars could forget about a 78-76 Friday loss to Lawrence County when the Bulldogs' Austin Chaffin drained a buzzer-beater.

“We had to play all-out and value the ball and just be tough,” Whitt said. “... When we (were) down 10, we knew we had to battle that much harder. When we battled that much harder, we knew we could get back in it, and sure enough we did.”

Last night, not only did Morgan County (18-6) overcome a 14-4 Viking lead and a 17-7 deficit, the Cougars survived Jalen Stone's 19 points and Tyler Thacker's 14.

At times in the first quarter, it seemed Rowan County had a single play — get the ball to Stone for a 3-pointer on the left side. It was a matter of not fixing what was working: in less than three minutes Stone hit one from the left corner and two from the left of the free-throw line extended.

“I told them (Trevor) Newsome and Stone were going to shoot it relentlessly,” Matthew Perry said. “They're not going to stop shooting; they're going to move the ball until they get it.”

And Morgan County? Not so much early — an Alexsander Malinic free throw was the Cougars' only point for nearly four minutes.

Stone finished the quarter with 12 points, and he had help: a Newsome steal and 15-foot jumper and Tyler Thacker's 8-foot floater and free throw.

The Cougars — or more correctly Jordan Perry — heated up; his two threes, a Malinic reverse layup and a scoop 8-foot runner past Stone pulled his team to within 17-14 after a quarter.

When Rowan County (14-12) tried a box-and-1 zone defense hoping to contain Perry, it was utterly unsuccessful because he scored four points less than 90 seconds in the second quarter. For a while, that didn't hurt the Vikings much because Thacker's bucket over Malinic and free throw gave them a 30-23 lead.

But there were problems on the horizon.

Thacker committed two turnovers, which Whitt converted into four points to pull Morgan County to within 32-30 early in the third quarter.

Rowan County's biggest problem involved its biggest players. Forward Josh Barnard fouled out with 3:21 left in the game, and center Matt Brown joined him a little more than three minutes later.

“It's hard every night when they don't get to play,” Rowan County coach Shawn Thacker said. “It make things kind of difficult when both kids stay in foul trouble.”

With the Vikings' much shorter lineup, it was advantage, Morgan County, because of four plays: Malinic's layup put the Cougars up, 45-44; Aguirre's fast-break bucket; Perry on a layup; and Aguirre's tip-in.

It also didn't help Rowan County to have just one field goal over the final 2:24. Aguirre's two free throws with 16.7 seconds left secured the win.

ROWAN CO.    17    15    8    13    —    53

MORGAN CO.    14    12    9    21    —    56    

Rowan Co. (53): Stone 19, Newsome 5, Thacker 14, Brown 6, Callahan 5, Barnard 4.

Morgan Co.: (56): Aguirre 13, Whitt 16, Perry 16, Malinic 11.

Free throws: RC 6-8; MC 15-23. Three-pointers: RC 7 (Stone 5, Newsome, Callahan); MC 3 (Perry 2, Aguirre).

Text Only
Local Sports
  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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