Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

February 21, 2012

Boyd girls overcome Fairview's fast start

WESTWOOD — Heavily favored Boyd County got a first-half scare from Fairview’s girls Monday night before advancing to the 64th District Tournament championship game.

When the teams met a month ago, Boyd County rolled to a 29-point halftime cushion on the way to a 71-32 blowout.

This time, the defending 16th Region champions found themselves trailing by seven points at the intermission as Fairview took advantage of frequent trips to the foul line.

Lady Eagles senior Kayla Day put on a first-half show with 20 points, but Boyd County regrouped behind a trapping half-court defense to win 53-42 at George Cooke Memorial Gym.     

“We expected a tough game, but didn’t think we would be down at the half,” Lady Lions coach Pete Fraley said. “In the locker room before the game, we said we can’t put them on the free throw line. That’s exactly what we did, and Fairview made 14 of 18.”

Boyd County (20-9) buckled down defensively to start the second half, creating double teams and coming up with nine Fairview turnovers in the third quarter to trigger a decisive 17-1 run.

Ashland, meanwhile, breezed past Rose Hill Christian 91-22 in the opening game.

Thursday’s district final is set for 7 p.m.

“We need to come out and play a lot better Thursday or we will get embarrassed,” Fraley said. “Ashland is the team to beat. They will be ready.”Fairview’s Day, the state’s second-leading scorer according to KHSAA statistics, did her best to extend the team’s season in front of the home fans.

She tallied 31 points, including 15 of 16 free throws. Day capped her 15-point second quarter by throwing in a twisting shot to give the Lady Eagles a 29-22 lead at the break.

“She just carried us like she has for three years,” Bellamy said. “We executed exactly the way we wanted to in the first half and Boyd County helped by getting us in the bonus. In the second half, we couldn’t get the breaks to get back to the foul line. We weren’t ready for their half-court trap.”

Bellamy is resigning after this season, his third at Fairview and 32nd overall. The Lady Eagles ended the season at 9-20.

“We were up against the odds tonight,” Bellamy said. “When you get to my age, there is such a thing as a moral victory. That was a moral victory. I will take it anytime.”

Boyd County’s Taylor Wheeler scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half. Emily Stewart also finished with 14 for the Lady Lions, who overcame poor shooting from the foul line (12-for-29) and behind the 3-point arc (3-for-14).

Stewart supplied eight points in the third quarter when Boyd County made its move.

“Defensively, when Day gave up the ball we tried to not let her get it back,” Fraley said. “Overall, she made some nice drives to the basket and made her free throws.

Earlier, Ashland reeled off 31 consecutive points in the first half to make quick work of Rose Hill.

“I thought we stayed pretty crisp and sharp the whole game,” Ashland coach Bill Bradley said. “Again, we did a good job of making the extra pass. Everybody contributed.”

Fourteen different players got into scoring column for the Kittens. Julia Heaberlin had 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Kaylyn Gambill hit four 3-pointers to account for her dozen points.

Mykal Farris and Allie Slone each scored 11, while the Kittens’ defense held Rose Hill to 9-for-55 shooting and helped force 24 turnovers.

Alana Martin had eight points to lead the Lady Royals (1-23).

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