That's how long it took Boyd County to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead against Rowan County, which eventually became a 3-1 win in Tuesday's boys 16th Region semifinals at Fleming County High School.
Which means, Thursday's regional championship match will be a reprise of last week's 63rd District final: Ashland and the Lions at 7 p.m.
Ashland overwhelmed Boyd County, 4-1, Sept. 10 in Cannonsburg, and the Lions squeaked past the Tomcats, 1-0, in the district title game Oct. 16 at Russell. Last night, it took Boyd County senior Jonah Black just a couple minutes to opine about Thursday.
“It'll be a battle for the ages right there,” Black said.
For the second straight night, Black and junior Jordan Smith saved Boyd County (9-7-2) — Smith scored three goals Monday against Fleming County, and Smith scored once with two assists. Last night, Smith scored twice and Black added one.
Black's Tuesday goal split two Vikings and beat goalkeeper Alex Mays with 32:04 left in the second half. With 31:54 remaining, after Mays dived and mishandled Smith's shot from about 20 yards out, Smith chipped the ball over him and tapped in the rebound.
“I just wanted to be precautious and just tap it in, it was an open goal,” Smith said.
Smith tallied his second goal a little more than seven minutes later. “We just gave up three quick goals; I don't know how else to explain it,” Rowan County coach Max Hammond III said.
After the match, Lions coach William Ferguson wasn't sure if he had just seen something psychic.
“Just the way that they play off each other and the way they read each other, it's just become second nature to them,” Ferguson said. “It's almost like at times they get telepathic. It's pretty cool.”
Black said Smith makes plays to go with his speed, but he wasn't sure about the telepathy.
“Telepathic?” Black said. “We do work together pretty well.”
Rowan County (10-9-3) sophomore Allan Mays opened the scoring in the 30th minute when he sent Justin Graham's pass past Boyd County keeper Wyatt Lewis. Even though the Lions outshot the Vikings, 11-9, after 40 minutes, Ferguson wasn't happy.
“First half was a bit shoddy on our part,” Ferguson said. “We came up a little bit flat … We knew in the first half (if) we kept putting pressure on them, it would work out for us.”
The way Ferguson sees it, it's worth the 115.72-mile round trip on Interstate 64 and Ky. 32 to watch the Lions and Tomcats.
“Both sides are going to play their hearts out,” he said. “Both of us are going to want the trophy with the gold on it.”
And Smith? “We beat them before, so we should be able to beat them again,” he said.
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VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights
Fleming County defeated Lewis County, 66-58, and Ashland beat Greenup County, 81-61, on Monday night at Morehead State University to set up tonight's championship matchup. Tipoff is set for 7.
Ashland cruises past Greenup to 16th Region championship game
Tyler Stewart is known for his unrelenting hustle as one of Ashland’s glue guys.
When the senior guard can pitch in some offense too, as he did Monday in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals, that’s just one more problem for Tomcats opponents.
Stewart scored 20 points, senior Steven Friley posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ashland outscored Greenup County 21-9 in the third quarter to break open what was a seven-point game at halftime and cruise past the Musketeers, 81-61.
Fleming battles back to 16th Region final
A healthy Wilder Williams this season has given Fleming County a whole new dimension.
Prior to his sophomore year, Williams sustained a football injury that resulted in three ankle surgeries and limited him to bench duty last season while the Panthers made their run to the 16th Region championship.
A physical 6-foot-3 player, Williams is making his presence felt around the basket as Fleming County looks to return to the Sweet Sixteen.
AARON SNYDER: Will the next hero be unmasked?
Who will the bat signal shine for tonight?
Or, should I say, the Cat signal?
In the third installment of a trilogy that might rival the Batman three-pack of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Fleming County and Ashland will battle in a matchup that has produced a classic clash in each of the last two 16th Region Tournaments.
If the first two collectively served as a gradual progressions to tonight’s scene, the climax could be off the charts.
Corey Gregg was Ashland’s superhero in 2012, when the senior confidently fired a perfect 3-point shot from the right corner. The triple thrust the Tomcats and Panthers into overtime, from which Ashland emerged 79-73 in a first-round game.
Central wins, Lawrence falls in 15th
The biggest concern for Lawrence County coach Josh Cook was staying out of foul trouble.
His team stayed in it all night, and it cost them a spot in the 15th Region title game.
Shelby Valley senior Tyler Carr led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Wildcats knocked off Lawrence County, 72-60, in the semifinals of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
“This one hurts,” said Cook. “We’ll learn from this, and I have no doubt that our kids will get back here and finish the job.”
- Fleming hangs tough to beat Lewis Fleming County locked into another fight against Lewis County, which beat the Panthers earlier this season, before winning 66-58 on Monday in Morehead. Wilder Williams posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Panthers, who face Ashland on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
- GALLERY: Ashland gets by Greenup County, will meet Fleming in region final Ashland's Steven Friley scored 21 points Monday to lead the Tomcats to an 81-61 win over Greenup County in the 16th Region semifinal in Morehead.
Kittens clamoring for more at state
Ashland girls basketball coaches went the extra mile, and a whole bunch more, to get a first-hand scouting report on the Kittens’ opponent for the State Tournament.
Head coach Bill Bradley and assistant Phil Wittich drove all the way to Henderson — 5 hours, 20 minutes one way Bradley said on the way home — to take in Sunday’s Second Region championship game.
Henderson County, playing on its home floor, defeated University Heights 67-54. The Lady Colonels went unbeaten in their region this season and are 24-5 overall.
EKC hands out hardware
The Eastern Kentucky Conference handed out its 2014 awards on Monday afternoon at a luncheon at Carter Caves.
Barracudas earn kudos from coach
Ashland Area YMCA swimmers impressed coach Ryan Ferguson from start to finish in the three-day Kentucky Y Competitive Swim League State Meet.
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