All right, that’s enough. The procrastination must end.
It seems like everyone around me is on the ball, getting their Christmas shopping finished up early this year.
Most also have a head start on the PG in basketball-watching, too.
Meanwhile, I’m standing 35 feet from the hoop, just dribbling away as the clock ticks toward zeroes.
"”Do something!” The PG can hear the shouts, some erring on the side of unruly, from the crowd. “Pass the rock!”
It’s time for me to make a move and drive to the rim.
I’m hitting both the mall and the court this week.
We’re almost two weeks into the season (and two weeks away from Christmas) and I haven’t even witnessed my first high school tipoff, or my first foul, of the year. And I’m hearing there are plenty of those this season.
So, no more missing out.
The PG must show his face starting now.
I’ve got to show I’m worth a Dime ...
‰Even though Fleming County finally knocked off Rowan County for the first time in its last nine tries, Rowan County took an equally large step last Monday. The Vikings, by sending the Panthers to double overtime and losing by just five at 81-76, showed they’re not exactly finished yet. The two-time defending champions still have a few tricks up their sleeve.
‰One is not so easily hidden. He's 6-foot-11 senior center Matt Brown. Rowan County coach Shawn Thacker and staff jokingly called Brown “One-and-Done” due to his tendency to not follow his shot, made or missed, last season. Brown is quickly shaking off that moniker. The big man tallied 16 points and 19 rebounds in the loss to Fleming County.
‰Ashland’s girls are so talented offensively that their defense is somewhat overshadowed. Through the first three games this season, the Kittens were turning teams over about 30 times a contest. On Saturday, they used a slightly different method against archrival Boyd County. They forced only 16 miscues but held the Lady Lions to 33 percent from the field.
‰First Boyd County, then East Carter. The Kittens are certainly going to find out where they stand and if they can surge to another 22-0 tear within the 16th Region, as they did a season ago. With one of two regular-season hurdles cleared against the Lady Lions, the Lady Raiders enter Anderson Gymnasium to challenge Ashland this Friday.
‰East Carter’s girls are coming off a 70-33 thrashing of Fleming County, not exactly a region doormat. The Lady Raiders are showing that competitive fire so much desired by coach Hager Easterling. Megan Stickler and Kelsey Stumbo offer good size both in the post and on the perimeter, respectively, and they have plenty of surrounding pieces. East Carter is the last 16th Region team to beat the Kittens during the regular season — Feb. 18, 2011, at East Carter.
‰Ashland's boys are off to a sizzling start. Unbeaten at 3-0, the Tomcats are coming off a rare defeat of Scott Humphrey-coached George Rogers Clark.
Newcomer Dikembe Dixson and sophomore Nick Miller combined to go 20 of 28 from the floor for 51 points and had 14 rebounds as the team tallied 92 points against the defending 10th Region champions Cardinals.
Ashland might have been happy to play the game at Clark. Humphrey is 16-0 inside Anderson Gymnasium against any opponent.
‰Under Mark Cantrell, Greenup County’s girls have struggled to get going. The Lady Musketeers nabbed that elusive first win, an important one at that, on Saturday. They beat Lewis County, a 63rd District foe.
Now, the PG still has Lewis County ranked in the Super Seven and Greenup County on the fringe. This is partly because of the full body of work and also the fact that Lady Lions point guard Emily Frye has been out.
‰Rowan County senior Taylor Conn notched her 1,000th point in a Lady Vikings win over West Carter on Saturday. The career total includes her time at Lakeside Christian Academy before she transferred to Rowan County prior to last season.
‰They’re five games in, and Fleming County's boys have already consumed a double dose of double OT. As long as they're earning double W’s, the Panthers won't mind.
After shooting 11 of 18, even though his “shot was off” according to Steward himself, in a 67-60 win over Russell (no OT) this past week, the junior wing racked up 28 points in a 79-75 2OT victory over Paducah Tilghman.
‰The first of several holiday tournaments for area teams is a much-anticipated one. Much of it organized by Boyd County girls coach Pete Fraley, the Boyd County Roundball Classic will tip off this Friday night with Boyd County-Huntington St. Joe girls and finish up Saturday night with Boyd County-Mason County boys.
What lies in between? A jam-packed schedule full of college basketball prospects, including those from Walnut Hills High School (Cincinnati), Huntington Prep Academy and Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Andrew Wiggins, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound senior forward for Huntington Prep, is one of a possible six Class of 2013 Division I recruits on his team's roster. Kentucky is among those in the hunt for Wiggins.
Johnson Central junior Shane Hall (6-8) will also be featured. He recently received an offer from Tennessee.
1. Fleming County (5-0)
2. Russell (5-1)
3. Ashland (3-0)
4. Rowan County (1-1)
5. East Carter (2-1)
6. Morgan County (2-2)
7. Boyd County (1-2)
1. Ashland (4-0)
2. East Carter (4-0)
3. Boyd County (3-1)
4. Fleming County (4-1)
5. Russell (2-2)
6. Rowan County (2-3)
7. Lewis County (2-2)
Tweet the PG
Follow the Point Guard on Twitter, @DindependentQB, for scores and news throughout the week.
A different Kyle (not Russell's Skaggs, this time) enters the club. He's not a stranger, by any means, though. West Carter’s Kyle Brown poured in 31 points in the Comets' 82-72 loss to Lewis County.
Fleming County’s Troy Steward went off for 30 against Russell in the EKC Tournament championship game.
Just in time for this week, Greenup County’s Destiny Jones and Lewis County’s Savannah Anderson had 32 and 30 points, respectively, on Saturday night.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.
All right, that’s enough. The procrastination must end.
- Local Sports
Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)
The Fleming County Panthers waited nearly an hour to ascend the ladders set up under the goals at Ellis T. Johnson Arena on Tuesday night.
To the victor belongs the spoils, which traditionally includes the nets after winning a tournament title. But Fleming County milled around on Morehead State’s floor taking pictures and soaking in the atmosphere after handling Ashland 82-59 in the 16th Region Tournament final.
Snipping the twine was almost an afterthought. In fact, except for a minute or so of celebration with their student section immediately following the final buzzer, the Panthers didn’t really even seem all that excited.
They expected to be here, and they were all business after earning back-to-back region titles and trips to Rupp Arena.
AARON SNYDER: Truth or Dare unkind to ’Cats
Ashland was left feeling like the shy kid after an intense game of Truth or Dare.
Truth: Fleming County outrebounded Ashland, 39-24, after Ashland outdueled Greenup County by 10 the night before.
'Relaxed' Steward earns MVP award
Both Fleming County coach Mark Starns and stellar senior Troy Steward attributed his significant strides this season to aggressiveness.
Playing a part, too, in Steward earning the 16th Region Tournament Most Valuable Player award was the lack of nerves, which were nearly overwhelming at times a year ago.
Central's 15th Region reign continues
Once was good.
Twice was nice.
Three was sweet for the Johnson Central Eagles.
Senior Slade McPeek scored 22 points and earned most valuable player honors Tuesday night as Johnson Central rolled past Shelby Valley, 81-56, for its third straight 15th Region championship at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
- Fleming goes for two: Panthers beat Ashland for 16th Region repeat Fleming County pulled away early and never looked back as the Panthers pounced on Ashland, winning 82-59 in the 16th Region championship game on Tuesday in Morehead. Fleming County will face Scott County in the Sweet Sixteen next Wednesday at Rupp Arena.
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.”
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)