Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

March 9, 2014

Kings 'just play' to beat Gem City

ASHLAND — Before Sunday, Kentucky Kings coach Tim Fraley had only seen small snippets of what his team’s true potential.

On Sunday night, he got to watch it for an entire half.

“We have always had stretches where we play really well as a team, but then we revert back because everyone here as always been the star or the man of their team,” Fraley said. “The second half we didn’t have any of that. We just played and everyone saw the results.”

The result was an impressive 104-98 win over the previously undefeated Gem City Slam at the Ashland National Guard Armory.

The Kings (2-2), who trailed by 12 at halftime, showed more patience and used better ball movement to get consistent, open shots at the basket in the second half.

“I really hope the guys see how well they played in the second half, and really buy into it,” Fraley said. “If we work and play like that for 40 minutes, we are pretty good.”

Anthony Williams, who missed much of pregame warm-ups, was excellent in second half for the Kings.

The forward scored all 14 of his points after the intermission.

“He didn’t get much of a chance to warm up, but in the second half I thought he had some legs and some touch,” Fraley said of Williams, who also added seven rebounds. “Our guys did a good job of finding him and he also did a nice job of cleaning up some misses. He is just so long and always around the basket.”

As well as the offense played the second half, the second quarter was a perfect example of stagnant offense Fraley said his team reverts to at times with most possessions ending with an ill-advised jump shot.

With the Slam threatening to break things open in the second quarter, Wes Jones came off of the bench did what he could to keep the Kings close.

Jones connected on a tough drive to the basket and finished a three-point play in transition to give the Kings some momentum into halftime.

“Wes is able to just put his head down and get to the goal, and he is great at finishing around the rim,” said Fraley of Jones, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds.

It was yet another bench player that gave the Kings a nice boost at the end of the third quarter. This time it was Kasey Jones. The Kentucky Christian University product scored seven points in a two-minute stretch in the third and fourth quarters.

Cam Miller led the Kings in scoring with 22 points to go along with eight rebounds. Chris Early added 15 points and five boards.

Adrion Graves, who played his college basketball at Xavier, led Gem City with 23 points.

GEM CITY     26    30    22    20    —    98

KENTUCKY     25    19    31    29    —    104

Gem City (98) — Graves 23, Redden 16, G. Smith 15, Anderson 13, Russ 10, Robinson 10, A. Smith 7, Tubbs 4. 3-pt FGs: 8 (Graves 4, Redden 2, Robinson 2). FT: 14-22. PF: 19. Fouled out: Anderson. Turnovers: 12.

Kentucky (104) — Miller 22, Early 15, Williams 14, Stevens 12, W. Jones 12, Pennington 10, K. Jones 10, Cotton 5, Jackson 4, Tyson. 3-pt FGs: 11 (Miller 3, Early 2, Stevens 2, W. Jones, Pennington, K. Jones 2). FT: 23-30. PF: 18. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 11.

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