Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 28, 2013

DISHING THE WEEKLY DIME: West can’t sneak by PG

Aaron Snyder
The Independent

ASHLAND — Unfortunately, my team's situation doesn’t allow the Monday Morning Point Guard to distribute the ball to every court on every night, so we weren’t able to pay witness to the Carter County Clash on Saturday.

That doesn’t mean you’re flying under the radar, though, Comets.

That’s right, we see you, West Carter. The PG’s got his sights set on you like Jack Byrnes does Greg Focker in Meet the Parents.

By winning five out of their last six games — after losing 12 of their first 13 — the Comets have shown they’re still a threat in the 62nd District.

In West Carter’s 50-47 win over East Carter on Saturday, there were two signs of significant team growth: 1) The defense held East Carter's top two scorers to eight total points; and 2) Kyle Brown was not the leading scorer. Jacob Layne was, with 17 points.  

With Morgan County perhaps the prohibitive district favorite, the race for No. 2 will be one to, well, keep your eyes on.  

The Dime

‰How far have the Boyd County boys come since tipping off the season? The Lions played their first two games against Russell and Ashland — they lost both by a combined 20 points.

They played them both in the last 10 days — this time, they won by a combined 32 points. Is that a sufficient answer?

The Lions are one victory away from solidifying their first winning regular season since 2006-07, when they were 14-12 heading into the postseason.

‰Fleming County’s boys would love to totally turn the tables on their 61st District rivals tonight. Rowan County heads into Flemingsburg after nine days off.

The Panthers lost to highly regarded Madison Central this past weekend. Fleming County leads the season series, 2-0.

‰Rowan County boys coach Shawn Thacker received a high honor this month. The National Federation of High School Coaches Association selected Thacker as the 2012 Coach of the Year for boys basketball.

Thacker has guided the Vikings to back-to-back 16th Region titles.

‰SPOILER ALERT! Ashland’s ranked sixth in this week’s Super Seven, but that doesn’t mean the Tomcats are being counted out. The PG wouldn’t dare do such a thing, especially now that senior guard Logan Salow seems to be at his best health of the season. He provides the steady leadership that this young team needs.

‰Johnson Central highly touted junior Shane Hall returned from a high ankle sprain this past weekend. Hall had nine points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes in a 61-47 defeat of Knox Central.

‰Greenup County’s boys snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 51-49 win over Betsy Layne on Saturday. The Bobcats were 13-6 going into the contest.

‰The Rowan County-Mason County boys game was postponed on Friday night due to the weather conditions. Mason County will attempt to improve to 6-0 against the 16th Region on Feb. 7 against the Vikings.

 ‰First-round State Tournament games will pit the 16th Region against the Fifth Region in boys, and 10th Region in girls. Unless the PG sees some overall improvement, or a shocker or two, chances of advancing to the semifinals in either Bowling Green or Lexington are slim. I'd love to be proved wrong!

‰Avoiding the “What have you done for me lately?” trap as you see in most polls at any level, I’m trying to decipher the region's top teams based on the whole body of work. And it’s always ill-advised to base it solely on head-to-head matchups. Needless to say, this part is always tough.

Fleming County is 9-0 inside the region, so No. 1 is an easy call. The rest? Well, let me hear your feedback … how would you rank ‘em?

‰On the girls side, the best three teams are bunched so close together, it's nearly a three-way tie for the top spot. I’ll stick with the Lady Lions for now.   

Snyder’s

Super Seven

BOYS

1. Fleming County (16-4)

2. Russell (19-6)

3. Boyd County (14-9)

4. Rowan County (12-8)

5. Morgan County (15-5)

6. Ashland (15-8)

7. Lewis County (10-9)  

GIRLS

1. Boyd County (15-7)

2. Ashland (15-5)

3. East Carter (17-5)

4. Lewis County (11-8)

5. Rowan County (11-9)

6. Bath County (11-7)

7. Fleming County (10-9)  

30-Point Club

You wouldn’t have necessarily pegged West Carter-Bath County as a must-see matchup prior to this week, but the Comets’ Kyle Brown and the Wildcats’ Keegan Sammons put on a prize show.

Brown’s 36 points helped West Carter outlast Sammons’ 33 and Bath County.

Russell's Kyle Skaggs poured in 33 points in the Touchstone Energy All “A” Classic opening-round win over Butler County. The Red Devils needed each one in the one-point nailbiter. The senior was also named to the All “A” all-tournament team.

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AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.